I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a huge fan of pumping (Breastfeeding? Magic. Pumping? Mechanical.), but I’ll also admit that it’s important. It’s what allows me to leave my baby while I get my hair done or enjoy a girls night, and it’s also the reason I can continue providing breast milk to my baby now that I’ve returned to work. So, although it’s not my favorite pastime, it is something I’m grateful to be able to do—especially when the equipment I’m using makes it as convenient and tolerable as possible.
I’ve been lucky enough to try out Medela’s latest double-electric breast pump, the Sonata, and I have been pleasantly impressed by my experience. The design is slick, and the technology is effective, meeting my expectations and then some.
The highlight of the Sonata is its Smart Solution, which allows the pump to communicate with your smart device via Bluetooth to connect to the MyMedela app. In addition to tracking your pumping sessions, it also offers a place to log baby’s feeding sessions (both breast and bottle), diaper output, sleep and more. I’ve yet to sit down to pump without my phone close by, so it’s proven a convenient place to store these important details for reference later. The app also offers tips and advice, encouragement and other tools and videos to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. It’s intuitive and streamlined—everything you’d want.
As for the pump itself, it’s a compact, round machine with a touchscreen display that makes operating it a breeze. Although I was intimidated as I prepared for my first pumping session, I soon found it was easier to navigate than expected. Two-Phase Expression Technology encourages letdown with two minutes of gentle stimulation, and the option to skip straight to the expression phase means moms with a quicker letdown don’t waste any time. A large timer (that can count up or down) indicates how long your session is, two pumping rhythms allow you to choose the option best suited for you, and a range of suctions can be selected for maximum comfort. Perhaps the best part? Compared to other pumps, it’s quiet—which is a welcome attribute when you’re worried about co-workers hearing what’s happening behind closed doors. #awkward. (And it’s also nice for middle-of-the-night pumping—a regular occurrence for me.)
The rechargeable pump can be plugged in or operate on battery power. I typically charge it at night, and it easily gets me through my two 20-minute pumping sessions each day at work. (The manual suggests the battery life is about an hour.) The pump comes with a basic black carry tote, the necessary pumping parts, four bottles with lids, breast shields in two sizes, two bottles stands and a cooler and freezer pack. The pump itself weighs just 2.2 pounds, so transporting it to and from work is hardly an imposition. I wish there were a few fewer pieces to wash and sanitize, but I think all of us moms probably have dreams of a lightened dishwashing load.
I’m quite pleased with my experience overall and would happily recommend the Sonata to anyone in the market for a quiet, efficient, technologically sound double electric breast pump. It goes a long way toward making an often dreaded activity more bearable—and that is not something I take for granted.
To buy: target.com