Lactation specialists agree that when it comes to establishing your milk supply or dealing with low milk supply, a hospital grade breast pump is best. If Baby is unable to nurse or having trouble latching on, a hospital grade breast pump is best. So then, the only question becomes, which hospital grade breast pump is best?
Medela Hospital Grade Breast Pumps are by far the most popular option when it comes to renting or buying. With two options, the Medela Symphony, and the Medela Lactina, you may have a hard time deciding which one is best for you. Let me point out a few differences and hopefully help you decide.
First of all, the Medela Lactina was the first hospital grade breast pump by Medela, and the Medela Symphony came later. Both are multi-user friendly and require the purchase of a double breast pumping kit. Both hospital grade breast pumps can be used as a single or double breast pump, and both offer variable speed and vacuum settings.
The Medela Symphony is a bit more technical than the Lactina, offering program cards that allow you to save your personal preferences. Whereas the Medela Lactina only offers speed and vacuum settings as well as a maximum comfort setting, the Medela Symphony offers two different types of program cards, one standard and one specifically designed for premature babies that are unable to nurse.
The Medela Symphony Preemie 1.0 program card is designed to produce a significantly greater milk output in fewer minutes of pumping. Research suggests that when a baby is unable to nurse if an exclusive breastfeeding relationship is desired, the mother must bring in full milk production within the first 10 to 14 days postpartum, and the Medela Symphony can do just that. It also offers Medela’s 2 phase expression technology and one-touch letdown.
The Medela Lactina offers one-speed regulator and one vacuum regulator, so you have to create your own stimulation and expression phases.
If you have any special needs, or if you have a special needs baby, I would suggest the Medela Symphony (view it here) with the Preemie 1.0 program card. It is specifically designed for maximizing milk flow when a baby is unable to nurse, and when it comes to having the best chance for a successful exclusive breastfeeding relationship, I won’t take any chances. The Medela Symphony comes with the Standard Symphony 2.0 Program card, and I believe you’d have to purchase the Preemie 1.0 Program Card separately from Medela unless you get the Medela Symphony Preemie Breast Pump (see it here) that comes with both cards as well as a Preemie Quick Start Card. There’s also another model, called the Medela Symphony Plus (check price here), that comes with a rechargeable battery pack.
Now, if you’re looking for a hospital grade breast pump that is powerful and extremely effective, one that gets the job done and is extremely simple to operate, then the Medela Lactina Select Hospital Grade Breast Pump (See it here) may be the better option. If you’re using a hospital grade breast pump purely because they’re faster and more effective, then I would definitely suggest the Medela Lactina. You can usually find it on sale at Amazon through different sellers for under $2,000. The reason for this is, since it’s a multi-user friendly pump, many of them are used as rentals for a while and then sold as new but refurbished. This is a great deal, but make sure that the seller listed has a positive seller rating.