Product Review: Medela PISA

Almost two years ago, I made the decision (which was no longer a possibility last May) to return to work when A1 was 10 weeks old. I needed a pump that would work well, express milk on a reasonable setting, and travel with me. I also needed one with a car adapter.

I went to my LC, who is amazing. She recommended the Medela Pump In Style. It came in a messenger bag, and was well concealed. In fact, if you zip up the side to hide the hookup/operation component, you wouldn’t even know it was a pump at all. It looks like another briefcase! I already carried one of those anyway, so I’m sure this came as a shock to no one at the office.

I wanted a pump that would last, something to carry me through my second nursing relationship (little did I know I would be pregnant again that spring).

This is an excellent pump. I can’t sing its praises enough, but I will try.

First of all, as with any breast pump, it is critical that you are fitted properly. All flanges are in different sizes. In my next review, I will discuss the experience I had with the borrowed Breastform MiPump I used. I am on the large side for flanges–30 mm, which is XL. Comfort is key when you select a pump. Pumping can suck, especially if you do it exclusively (EP). I will cover that subject in a future post as well.

The greatest and perhaps most innovative feature of the PISA is the two-phase expression technology. The let-down phase actually does trigger the milk-ejection reflex, and the expression phase can be set to a comfortable level. You want it to be almost as comfortable as nursing. It feels slightly awkward using a pump the first time in general, but you will get used to it.

You can’t go wrong with an electric double pump, which this model is. I can express a full serving of milk for A2 (5-6 ounces) in 10-15 minutes. (Yes, I produce that much, and yes, I will reveal my lactation secrets in a future post.)

Another great feature is the ability to switch from a single to a double pump. If you are engorged on one side, you can switch the small yellow port plug to the opposite one. It will give you all the suction you need. In fact, the suction is excellent either way. The car adapter doesn’t change that, either.

All parts, of course, including the bottles, connectors, and freezer bag adapters—are compatible. You get a cooler, cold pack, and set of four 5 oz. bottles with it. A1 still uses Medela bottles. She loves them! The membranes I had lasted almost two years, so I just replaced them last month. They are also easy to clean and sterilize in Medela bags or the dishwasher.

On a scale of 1-10, I give this product a 10. I EP’d with A1, which was hard, but the pump always worked well. I pump for A2 once a day to build up my frozen stash for travel or other events that require time away from her.

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Credit: The Medela website

This is the model I chose, the “On the Go” bag. Also available are the backpack and the metro bag.

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