My wife and I were first introduced to the Medela Symphony in the hospital where my wife gave birth to our son via emergency c-section. Our friend and doula told us that it was the best breast pump she knew to, so to speak, establish the milk supply that would be necessary to properly feed our son.
Our friend described this need in an e-mail I requested she send me so I could explain it to my mother. Here is some of what she wrote.
To accomplish the above goals [establishing the milk supply] one would need a pump that does a number of things; first, has the electric power needed to generate the necessary suction-to-flow power to stimulate “let-down”; second, it’s recommended that the person pumping will pump from both breasts simultaneously where possible, this “double-pumping” action will not only cut down on the pumping time but will increase simultaneous stimulation which has been found to increase prolactin levels (the hormone responsible for “let down”).
When Elizabeth was still recovering from the surgery, she attempted to use a manual pump. About twenty minutes later, absolutely nothing had happened. I asked Elizabeth to describe the difference between using the manual pump and the Medela and she described it like this. She said, “The manual pump was tiring and it seemed like it was never going to get anything out. With the Medela, you can adjust the amount that it pulls (on your nipple) as well as the speed of the suction and you can almost feel the milk coming out. I was just squeezing a handle with the manual and getting frustrated at the lack of result.”
This convinced us that the Medela Symphony was the right choice, but then we found out how much it cost — nearly one thousand five hundred dollars. We therefore inquired about the possibility of renting the pump. First we inquired at the hospital if they rented their pumps but they said that they did not rent them out. I searched online for a rental agency and found an organization called Yummy Mummy. I called them a few days later and that evening the pump was delivered that afternoon by messenger.
Yummy Mummy offers three packages — weekly, monthly, and three months at a time. We decided to go for the month option, thinking that we would just get a ‘standard’ breast pump after Elizabeth established a good milk flow. As it turns out, we are going to be keeping the Symphony for another month — it is so excellent at pumping milk that we would like to keep the flow going for a little longer, so to speak.