I’m a huge Medela fan. I use a ton of their products. By far, the one that I have gotten the most mileage out of is my Pump in Style breastpump. I’ve had my Pump in Style for almost four years now, and while it still expresses milk efficiently, I’ve started to notice a few design flaws (and there’s also the issue of it talking to me). I was delighted when Medela asked if I wanted to review the new Pump in Style On the Go Tote. I’ve spent many hours pumping away with my trusty old Medela at my side and I couldn’t wait to try the new and improved version.
I noticed the difference as soon as I took the new pump out of the box. The bag design is sleek and slim. It actually looks like a real handbag, not a giant breastpump in drag like some other designs. The tote bag has a double shoulder strap and it is made out of black microfiber with. I love that the fabric is nice looking, but also easy to clean. There are side pockets on the outside of the bag to hold bottles or other personal items.
There is a large singular zipper closure at the top of the bag, there are side pockets on the outside to hold bottles or other personal items, as well as a large pocket with a velcro closure on the longest side of the bag, which would be large enough to hold a magazine or pumping instructions. You connect your pump parts by accessing the motor from the outside of the bag. There is a flap with a magnetic closure that zips open. There is even a little mesh pocket inside the flap to store extra valves and membranes or other small parts. The flap can also be used as a stable and easy to clean work station. The interior of the bag is made from the same microfiber, but in a nice light tan color. I love the light color as it makes it easier to see inside the bag. My old Pump in Style is black inside and it’s hard to find those little pump parts.
My favorite part of the new design though? The inside of the bag is super, super roomy. Just to give you an idea of how much space there is, here is what I have inside my tote right now: the motor (which is a permanent part of the bag), an insulated cooler filled with four 5oz storage bottles and an ice pack (this is included with the purchase of the pump), the AC adapter and battery pack (also included), 2 24mm PersonalFit breastshields and the tubing (included), nursing pads (included), my cardigan, and a small clutch, and there is still room left over.
Even though I can fit all these essentials inside the tote, it’s not bulky or large in size. I busted out my tape measure and here are the dimesions: it’s about 13 inches long, 10 inches tall, and six inches wide. I’m really impressed with how compact and efficient the new bag design is.
There is another new and improved feature for the Pump in Style advanced breastpump. The two-phase expression technology has been improved to provide more efficient pumping in less time. The two-phase expression is important because it mimics the natural sucking rhythm of a baby: light and quick sucking to get the milk started followed by long slow sucking to deliver the milk faster.
The first phase of expression lasts for two minutes and then the pump automatically goes into the second phase. If a let-down occurs sooner than two minutes, the user can push on the let-down button to initiate the second phase. I find that this feature is especially helpful as there are many factors that determine the timing of a let-down and not all pumping sessions are the same. Once the user is in the second “expression” phase of pumping, she can adjust the level of suction for maximum comfort. The sucking should feel slightly uncomfortable, but not at all painful.
The pump works like a dream. I rented a Medela hospital grade pump after my second baby was born, and I think the new Medela Pump in Style On the Go Tote compares quite well. My entire session lasted about 10 minutes. The motor was quiet, all things considering (it is working hard after all), and it expressed milk beautifully. The pump still “talks”, but it’s more of a humming sound. To be honest with you, it kind of put me into a relaxed trance.
I noticed another change in one of the product that Medela sent: the storage bottles have a new design. They are sleeker and more rounded than their old counterparts. There is also a new breastmilk labeling and storage system (sold separately) that makes it easier to organize and locate bottles in the fridge or freezer. The tray holds up to six Medela breastmilk bottles at once and it has a curved design which allows you to move the bottles from front to back, which helps you identify which bottle is freshest, thus avoiding any waste. Trust me, there is nothing worse than wasted breastmilk! The storage bottles also have a tracking and labeling system built into the lid so you can mark the day of the week and time of day that the milk was collected. They come in 5oz and 8oz sizes, are dishwasher safe, and totally BPA free.
The Medela Pump in Style On the Go Tote retails for $279.99 (but we have already seen it on sale!). Obviously, a breastpump is an investment. I can tell you that it is well-worth spending the extra money on a quality one. The Medela Pump in Style has been my breastpump of choice for years and it has seen me through two babies, supply issues, going back to work, clogged ducts, and bouts of mastitis. I trust the Medela brand and I love that their products are easily available. I know that if I lose a part, or need to replace one, I can go to my nearest Target at anytime to pick one up. Heck, even my grocery store has some Medela products! I highly recommend the Medela Pump in Style On the Go Tote and any other Medela product for nursing mothers.
A big thank you to Medela for sending the Pump in Style On the Go Tote and the Breastmilk Storage and Labeling System!