When my husband and I found out I was pregnant early 2017 I immediately knew I wanted to breastfeed my coming child. I also knew expressing my breast milk using a breast pump was something I wanted to do as well. I figured this would be the only way I could drop the child off at grandmas if I wanted to run an errand childfree or if my husband and I wanted to continue to have date nights. After starting the challenging yet miraculous journey of nursing my baby girl, I found many other benefits to expressing my milk that I had never considered.
- Increased milk supply when coupled with nursing
- Milk storage
- Relief from engorged breasts
- Helping to open ducts from a mastitis that formed on one of my boobs find out what a mastitis is here |
With all that said I set out to research the pumps that are on the market and quickly decided to go with a Medela breast pump. I chose this brand initially because of the brand recognition. When I thought of a breast pump before I started research, I thought about the Medela product line.
I was sent the NEWEST breast pump by Medela (Sonata), along with their iconic Freestyle pump (Review coming soon). I use both pumps almost every day by pumping in the morning and in the evening before bed. With a mastitis on one of my boobs – I pump between 600-700 ML of milk between the two pumping sessions and feed my girl on the breast during the day.
My brief birth story – (How my Medela pump SAVED my milk supply)
I delivered my dear daughter at 38 weeks and 5 days and as I’m sure most mothers would attest to, it was the most magical God given experience EVER. I had a healthy pregnancy and delivery and my lovely girl was born a healthy 6 lbs 5 Oz.
2 weeks following the birth of Hannah Rae I got this excruciating headache that just wouldn’t subside, so I decided to pay my family doctor a visit days later. I was immediately sent to the emergency room with high blood pressure and protein present in the urine. I was re admitted to the hospital for two days for BP control and the time away from my girl caused my milk supply to decrease drastically. I was pumping my milk in the hospital with my Sonata breast pump thankfully. Although my milk supply decreased because I wasn’t nursing the baby – the breast pump saved it because I was still able to stimulate my boobs with a pump that was strong enough to mimic a nursing infant. This allowed my milk to continue to let down. In that moment the breast pump became more than just a product that I sought out to prepare for a new baby, it became a lifesaver. Maybe this sounds a bit dramatic to some, but nursing my baby and feeding her breast milk was and remains my number one priority (for food) as a new mom.
During the 2 weeks after I gave birth (Before being readmitted) I had also been pumping to relive my engorged breast, which typically happens early on when a mother’s milk comes in. As a result, I had a reserve supply of milk in the freezer (stored in Medela storage bags) that lasted the whole time I was in hospital. Talk about a saving grace! I seriously am indebted to my Sonata (the pump I was exclusively using in hospital).
Side Note: I also developed a mastitis, which only added to the stress of the blood pressure scare that I am currently still dealing with.
With that said – Here is a breakdown of the Sonata breast pump for any moms in the market for one.
When I was unboxing this pump – I thought to myself: “This is one attractive looking breast pump”! It has a sleek and sophisticated look that stands out from the other pumps in the Medela line of pumps. This pump has a user-friendly dashboard with large touch screen buttons that allow you to control the various settings of the machine.
The pump motor IS rather bulky, but I imagined that it would be because it would pack a powerful punch – and I was right! It’s a strong suctioning pump that goes up to a level 10 vacuum strength for a strong pull.
The packaging for the pump was executed very well aesthetically – Apple-esque packaging in my opinion. It made the excitement of opening the package that much more thrilling!
- Offers hospital performance in a personal-use breast pump for consistent pumping sessions
- Provides flexibility to choose from multiple pumping rhythms (Signature and Lifestyle Rhythms)
- Quiet when it matters most and perfect for discreet pumping situations on-the go or late-night sessions
- Bluetooth® Smart Solution interface connects the pump to MyMedela app feeding resource for real-time tracking of your baby’s growth and pumping sessions, and unlimited access to evidence-based, personalized lactation information
- Instant connection to your personalized pumping dashboard with reminder messages that notify you when the battery is low
- On a full charge the Sonata should provide a pumping mom with 3-4 pumping sessions.
- You can pump hands free with the Easy Expression Bustier
Sonata technology: Power input: 100-240Voltz | 50-60Hertz
- Smart Bluetooth technology allows you to sync to the MyMedela app
- Quiet hospital performance | **Hospital performance allows multiple users to hook up to the motor with their own pumping kit accessories.
- Responsive pump technology that adjusts to your body to give you consistent pump
As described in the First Impression section this pump has a dashboard with large touch screen buttons and a digital display that tells you how long you have been pumping for. It also allows you to control the strength of the suctioning vacuum (1-10), to choose between the Signature and Lifestyle Rhythm for control of the expression phase, and to start and pause the session. You can also mute the pump to create an ultra quiet pumping experience.
RHYTHM and EXPRESSION STRENGTH OPTIONS
The two-phase expression technology is said to mimic the natural suction of your infant. There is a fast expression phase called the STIMULATION PHASE to prompt milk flow. This phase is said to pump at > 100 cycles per minute (about every half a second or so). The second phase is the EXPRESSION PHASE, which suctions about every second. This longer lasting suction draws the nipple in deeper for a more milk yielding outcome. This second phase pumps at about 60 cycles per minute, similar to the speed an infant is said to suck at once the milk starts to flow.
About 3.9% of milk is released during the stimulation phase and the remaining 96.1% during the expression phase.
DATA COLLECTION WITH THE MY MEDELA APP
This pump also gives you the ability to collect data by syncing it with the MyMedela App for the mom who loves to track. You can collect data on things like pumping session lengths and monitor your breastfeeding and pumping schedule. You can also keep tabs on your baby’s height, weight, sleep, and diaper changes.
The pump comes with 2 different size cups for different nipple and breast sizes (24 mm and 27 mm), 2 pieces that enable suction, and three other pieces that complete the design.
One connects the suction tubes to the pump’s motor, the other holds the breast cups in place and the other piece connects the bottle to the pump. The parts are very easy to assemble – I didn’t even have to refer to the manual to put it together. They fit together like a perfect puzzle. They are also very easily cleaned with a bottle brush and easily sterilized in the Medela quick clean micro steam bags which I have been loving for quick cleans.
Products included in the Sonata kit include the following retailed at $475.00 :
- One Sonata breast pump with rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- One breast pump bag
- One double pumping kit
- Includes two breast shield connectors, two connector caps, two valves, two silicone membranes and one set of tubing
- One set of 24 mm and 27 mm breast shields
- Four 5 oz. bottles with lids
- One cooler and cooling element
- Two bottle stands
- One power adaptor
I personally love this pump. It’s best feature in my opinion is the expression phase combined with the hospital performance that allows me to get a lot of milk in a small amount of time. I love the look of this pump and compared to my Freestyle pump it is very quiet. I don’t use the My Medela app simply because I am not a data collecting mom. The Sonata has become my home pump and my Freestyle (Review to come) is the one I take out of the house. This is what I use to help boost my milk supply and my Freestyle provides me relief from full breasts when I am out of the house and away from baby. The pieces are easy to clean and assembly can be done very quickly. Although there are more pieces than the Freestyle – I find the pieces fit together more easily (very user friendly).
This works best for me combined with the bustier. I use it for every session and it gives me the flexibility to move around. I typically am not able to complete chores while hooked up to this pump because you are still required to hold it with one hand, but I am happy that it gives me the opportunity to get up and grab things. It is also heavier and so I’m always scared to drop it (Confession – I have before) SHH.
All in all, I love it. It’s a must have product in my opinion for the mom who will be pumping at least once a day for whatever reason like I do.
Is it worth is?
YES. If it broke tomorrow – I would run out and purchase another one. I always ask myself this question to gage my need for a product that is rather costly (Retailed at: $475.00CAD). This is surely one of those times where I can say a product has truly become a lifestyle need for me.