Medela Pump in Style Issue

Updated on April 16, 2011
K.R. asks from Fort Collins, CO
16 answers

Hi mamas.

So I am using a pump in style double breast pump right now - only used the swing before and don't remember having any issues. I lost one of the bottles that screw on to the bottom of the breast shields to collect the milk, so I've been using storage bags that I just hold over the collection area.

However, I've noticed for the past little while that when I use it as a double pump with the bags that there is very little suction. It's definitley not full strength. I then plug one of the sides, but even then I have to hold my hand over the plug to get full suction. Is this because I'm not creating the vacuume with the bottles screwed on? Are the bags simply too loose?

I can't test this since I only have the one bottle now. Can I just get extra bottles at Babies R Us or Target?

Sorry if this seems like a dumb Q :)


1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

I had this problem, and it was the membranes (one was torn)- the white flap as someone else described it.



answers from Dallas on

I think you don't have enough suction because you're using a bag intead of a bottle. The shield can be attached to most regular baby bottles, but not the wide necked ones. When I used to pump, I used to pump directly to the bottles that I used to feed my baby. I would try that first before going out to buy extra medela bottles. And yes, you can get those at Target or BRU.

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Gerber work. Also, make sure all your hoses and valves are attached. If the valves aren't flat or if they have been used or abused, then you won't get suction. I used my PISA many times with just bags. I think it's the set up, not the bag.



answers from State College on

Depending on when you bought the pump you may also want to double check it was not part of the recall if you have not already. I think it effected the motor.



answers from Chicago on

I always used the gerber smaller bottles and they worked great. You can also buy medella bottles, they just cost a bit more.



answers from Dallas on

Definitely replace the white membranes! They're the culprit 99% of the time.


answers from Dallas on

Having the bottles will definately help the suction issue. Also check the little white things (membrane) that fit onto the yellow things (valves) that plug onto the connector, if this membrane is missing, or even ill fitted you will have little or no suction. Also make sure that the little yellow valve is plugged in tight. If you find the bottle and all the valves and membranes are all on tight, then it may be a true suction problem. I did hear of a recall on the Medela because they lost suction while pumping or lost power completely. I would do a search for Medela recalls. Good luck! Also, yes Target sells replacement bottles, however most bottles have a standard neck size (unless you have the wide mouth kind) so just screw on a regular baby bottle until you can get replacements.



answers from Dallas on

With my first child I had a suction problem. I didn't realize you're supposed to take the white flaps off the yellow tabs when you wash the parts. Problem solved. I hope your solution is as easy as that!

Back then I called Madela and they helped me over the phone to troubleshoot the issue. I was really impressed!



answers from Chattanooga on

I was able to use normal bottles with my pump in style. But they do sell replacements.


answers from Rochester on

You can buy Medela bottles. I have about 20 of them. I can't imagine having got through pumping with only 2!

First, make sure the face plate (where the dials are) is snapped on tight, otherwise there won't be good suction. I seriously thought mine was broken, and just wanted to cry because I wouldn't be able to get another, until my husband just pushed on the plate and I heard a loud click and then it worked.

The bags may not be making good suction, I don't know...never used them. I liked the bottles, because they were so convenient. I'm pretty sure most brands of bottles will work...I had other brands (Evenflo, maybe?) and they fit, too.


answers from Chicago on

Check the white membranes and tubing -- those are the standard culprits unless there is something wrong with your motor. The bags versus bottles has nothing to do with it. As an FYI -- taller evenflo BPA free plastic opaque colored bottles will also screw on the bottom of the medela pump pieces. It made my life a lot easier once my last little one started taking bigger bottles-- I would pump into 1 big bottle, 1 little and then pour both into the big bottle and save the little bottle in the fridge for the next pumping session. I would end up taking home 3 big bottles at the end of the day.



answers from Dallas on

Ditto on the white membranes and checking the face plate. Also, the white membranes need to be replaced every couple of months depending on how much you pump. You can get them at Target, Babies R Us or at a Mother's Gift inside of Texas Health Resources Plano (along with all the other parts).



answers from Dallas on

Ditto the white flaps AND check the tubing. If there is even a pinhole it will loose suction.
The suction is not dervied from the bag/bottle so that does not play into the factor of suction (I have been so tired I didn't have bag or bottle and when I looked down, had a wet lap - LOL!)
However if you are looking for bottles run of the mill old-style bottles are interchangable with the medela brand.
I was pumping more than the bottles could hold and mentioned it to my LC who told me just to use a regular old bottle to screw in there:)
Good luck!!



answers from New York on

yes, get the bottle.... check out awesome website



answers from Chicago on

You can definitely get extra bottles at Babies or Target-they both have them and aren't very expensive.

I also used the bags on occassion but don't remember having issues with the suction. Maybe you can test by trying the bottle first (on only one side) and then switching to the bag but using the same side of the pump? That should let you know if the bag is too loose. FWIW, I don't know what bags you are using but I found the Medela ones to be a little tricky to use so it's possible it might just be loose.

Good luck.



answers from Denver on

Bottles do not effect performance, so doesn't matter if you use a bottle or bag. And any standard size bottle will work-doesn't have to be Medela. As one other person said, check your faceplate. Lay your pump down on it's back. Take the yellow squarish faceplate off, then snap it on again. Then, check your membranes. Those are the little white things that go down into the bottle. These are the heart and soul of your pump. Take the white membrane and yellow valve off and apart. Inspect for cracks or tears. If there is a crack or tear, your pump won't work. If everything looks good, put back together and try again. As a last resort, call Medela in the morning.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions