A manual breast pump can be useful in many situations – if you only pump occasionally, as a backup pump, for pumping on the go, and more! Here’s a complete review of the Medela Harmony manual breast pump.
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What is the Medela Harmony?
The Medela Harmony is a manual breast pump where the “power” is provided by your hand, rather than electricity or a battery.
A manual pump like the Harmony can be useful for people who don’t need to pump very often, or as a backup pump for exclusive pumpers/people who pump at work.
What are the pros of the Medela Harmony?
Some of the advantages of this breast pump include:
- It’s a very effective manual pump, and does what it’s supposed to do well
- It’s intuitive and easy to use
- You can use it in two different modes (letdown and expression), just like an electric pump
- It fits in most purses/handbags (just put it in a plastic zip-top bag), so it’s easy to take on the go
What are the cons of the Harmony?
There are also a few disadvantages:
- Your hand can get tired if you need to use it for a longer period of time
- Only one size breast shield is provided, so if you need a different size you’d need to buy it separately
How to set up your Medela Harmony
The different pieces of the Medela Harmony include:
- Breast shields – Breast shields are also called flanges, and are the part that goes on your breast. Medela Harmony “with Flex” comes with FlexFit breast shields (with silicone on the edges) as shown above, while the older version of the Harmony comes with the PersonalFit flanges. Note that you may need a different size than the one that comes with your pump.
- Connector – This piece connects all of the other pieces together – the breast shield, the valve, the bottle, and the handle on top.
- Handle/Stem/O-Ring/Diaphragm – This piece attaches to the connector and is the “crank” that you pull for suction.
- Valve and valve membrane – The valve stretches each time your hand moves the handle, providing the suction on your breast.
- Bottle – Your milk flows into the bottle as you pump.
How do the different modes work with a manual pump?
The handle has two different sides that you can pull down.
For letdown mode, you pull on the short end, and you do it quickly and lightly.
Once you see your milk let down (start to spray), you’d start pulling on the long end, more slowly. This will more effectively express the milk.
What bottles are compatible?
All Medela bottles are compatible, and other narrow-mouth bottles may fit as well.
Wide mouth bottles (like Spectra or Avent bottles) will not fit, though you may be able to use an adapter for some.
Who is the Medela Harmony a good choice for?
The Medela Harmony can be a great investment for breastfeeding parents who:
- Only need to pump occasionally – this can be a good option if you’re pumping once a week or so for date nights, or if you want to pump for 10 minutes each day to build a small freezer stash
- You’re exclusively pumping and want to have a backup pump (in case your power goes out or your pump breaks)
- You don’t seem to respond well to an electric pump and want to see if you’re able to get more milk with a manual breast pump
- You want an easy option for pumping on the go (it fits in most purses/handbags, so in some cases it can work better than bringing all of your pumping gear to a bachelorette party or wedding)
Medela Harmony Review: Bottom Line
If you think you could benefit from having a manual breast pump for any of the reasons outlined above, the Medela Harmony is a great option. I really liked using mine.
Let me know if you have any questions on this Medela Harmony review in the comments!