Are you getting a new breast pump, and not sure which one you should get? Here’s a complete review of the new Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow, including the pros and cons, and what else to consider.
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What is the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow?
What are the pros of the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow?
Some of the advantages of the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow include:
- It is an effective, quality pump that’s sold at a lower price point than many other pumps.
- It is a closed system pump, which means no milk gets into the tubing.
- There are only two pump parts to clean, with no annoying, hard-to-get-to places like some other pumps (including the older version of the Pump in Style).
- It comes with two sets of Medela’s PersonalFlex breast shields (sizes 21mm and 24mm).
Here’s a story showing how it’s put together and works:
What are the cons of the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow?
There are also a few disadvantages:
- It doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, so you need to be near an outlet to use it (or have a separate battery pack).
- It doesn’t have a timer or the ability to see what vacuum strength your breast pump is on (just the ability to adjust it up or down).
- The pump parts only come as a set, so you have to replace the connector and membrane at the same time – you can’t just replace the membrane. (Membranes often need to be replaced more frequently to maintain the breast pump’s suction.)
The Pump in Style with Max Flow comes with PersonalFlex breast shields:
These are different from traditional Medela breast shields (as well as most other breast shields on the market) because they are an oval shape as opposed to a round one, and they have a silicone rim that can fit more closely to your breasts.
Medela says these are 11.8% more effective than regular breast shields, as well as more comfortable.
Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow Pump Parts
Aside from the breast shields, the Pump in Style with Max Flow has two pump parts: the connector and the membrane.
The advantage of these pump parts is that there are only two pieces to clean, and there are no impossible-to-reach-with-a-bottle-brush places that you often have with connectors. (Especially when the breast shield and connector are one piece, as is the case with many breast pumps.)
The connector includes a barrier to the tubing that makes the Max Flow a closed system pump.
This design has two advantages – milk doesn’t get into the tubing, and there is no extra part (the backflow protector) to wash.
What bottles are compatible with the Max Flow?
The Max Flow uses the same standard Medela bottles as all other Medela pumps. If you have Medela bottles from an older child, they are compatible with this pump.
Medela bottles are narrow-mouth, and other narrow-mouth bottles may thread to Medela pumps. (I pumped directly into Dr. Brown’s bottles sometimes.)
If your baby drinks from wide-mouth bottles, you may be able to pump directly into them using an adapter like this one.
What are the differences between the old and new Pump in Style pumps?
A few of the differences between the older model Pump in Style Advanced and the new Max Flow include:
- The Advanced is an open system pump, while the Max Flow is closed system.
- The Max Flow is smaller and more portable.
- The Max Flow pump parts are easier to use and clean than the older version.
What are the differences between the Pump in Style and Freestyle Flex?
A few of the differences between the Max Flow and Medela’s other popular pump, the Freestyle Flex, include:
- The Freestyle Flex has a portable battery pack, which makes pumping on the go easier.
- The Freestyle Flex is smaller.
- The Flex has a timer.
What are the differences between the Max Flow and the Spectra S2?
Both the Max Flow and the Spectra S2 tend to be fully covered by insurance. They are similar in a lot of ways, with the major differences being:
- The Max Flow is smaller.
- The S2 has a timer and the ability to control cycle speed.
- The S2 has a connected breast shield/connector (which can be harder to clean) and the Max Flow does not.
Max Flow Review: Bottom Line
The Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow is a great workhorse pump. It’s ideal for pumping at work in a location where you’ll have easy access to an outlet almost all of the time.
However, if you’re exclusively pumping or pumping on go, a more portable breast pump might be a better option.
Already have this pump? Here’s more on how to use the Max Flow. Plus, let us know your Pump in Style with Max Flow review in the comments!