Friday, June 13, 2014

Oh My Medela!

This is a mummy-mummy post so my sincere apologies to my male readers. You may want to skip this post!

Oh my Medela!

After six months of serving me very well, I started to see problems with the suction. I thought I did not place the connectors properly, or maybe my pumping position was wrong. So I would struggle to adjust the position while pumping and driving - definitely not safe and it made my normally stress-free, hands-free pumping sessions quite frustrating. Upon a closer inspection, I finally found the root cause of the problem.

Yes, I tore both of the breastshields, hence the pump could not maintain suction!

Medela Freestyle comes equipped with the M sized (24mm) breastshields.

Medela Freestyle users would know that the older Medela pumps were sold with the Soft-Fit breastshields, but those breastshields were discontinued a few years back. A friend mentioned that the breastshield replacements (called the Personal Fit) were hard and uncomfortable. So since I bought my pump back in 2010, it still came with those Soft-Fit ones and I took care of them very well. I made sure they were properly cleaned but never sterilized or submerged in hot water as I didn't want them to warp. But alas, they tore. And what bad timing - as I was scheduled for a business trip to Miri the very next day. (Typing this post in a hotel in Miri!)

I did not have any other choice but to rush to find a replacement. I could have simply bought them at Mothercare but since it wasn't a like for like replacement, I wanted advice from the experts. So I googled for the nearest Medela Service Centre in the area. Two locations came up - one in Bangsar and the other in Ampang. Although the one in Bangsar was closer to the office, I decided to head to the one in Ampang (behind De Palma Hotel) as I was more familiar with the area and access to parking. (I grew up in Ampang, remember?) And boy, was it a good choice to head to Ampang. Firstly, the Bangsar service centre has relocated to a different location in Petaling Jaya (closer to the industrial area and harder to locate). Secondly, parking was a breeze (well at least for me) and last but not least, I received valuable advice from the lady who was manning the centre.

Picture from http://iemazmil.blogspot.com/
She started by asking whether the M size Soft-Fit breastshields were comfortable for me. Apparently, since Soft-Fit was made from latex, it was softer on the nipples and could still accommodate ill-fitted sizes. However, since the Personal Fit ones were made from hard plastic, if the breast shields are too small, they may cause painful abrasion. And since I busted my Soft-Fit breastshields so quickly, I suspected that I may need a bigger size.

Breast shield fitting.

From the Medela website: Note that your nipple should move freely and easily and should not rub against the sides of the tunnel. If the breastshield fits tightly, your nipple will rub against the sides of the tunnel with each vacuum movement of the pump. After several pumpings, you may notice that the outside of the nipple (rather than the nipple tip) is tender or sore.

I requested to test both the M (24mm) and L (27mm) size. There is a small room at the back of the centre where you could do a test pump because it is almost impossible to tell which size breastshield is the best fit without watching the nipple movement during pumping. We did a full 20-minute pump, and as expected - I needed a bigger size! It was quite a revealing moment though, as I discovered that with suitable fitted breastshields, I was able to express more milk as I was able to empty the breasts properly.

She also checked my pump and the suction. Suction was still good, but there was black dust gathering at the back of the unit which was not caused by the battery but rather the motor. She said that there was a case where the black dust contaminated the pumped milk so she recommended that I change the motor. I nearly balked at the price! The quote was about RM1300++ whereas a brand new Medela Freestyle can be purchased (cheapest) at RM1700++. It was quite frustrating, especially since I had only used the pump for only 6 months, and since I purchased it in the US, the guarantee did not cover Malaysia. According to her, if I had bought the pump in 2010 from a Malaysia Medela supplier, they would actually only start calculating the guarantee from the date of birth of the baby, in this case for Ian would be six months thus the motor would still be within the guarantee period (of six months).

Black dust at the back of the pump. Don't be fooled though, the outside of the pump looks absolutely brand new!

I also inquired about their trade in program - you can trade in your breast pump for a specified price and use it to offset your new pump. Unfortunately the program is for breast pumps that were purchased in Malaysia. She could probably still accept if the pump came with a three-pin head, but since mine came with a two-pin US adapter, she could not make an exception.

The Soft-Fit versus the Personal-Fit.
Can you see the size difference?

I also purchased a Hands Free Breast Pump Bra from Simple Wishes (sold at the Medela service centre) for RM139. It claims to be a bra (it has straps and all that) but to me it is a very clever tube top with holes in it for you to stick your breast shields through. I just used it yesterday and it was quite comfortable and stable. I enjoyed the exhilarating freedom of being able to walk around the house while pumping and still being modestly covered! (Rumah tepi surau, hence have to be careful with what I wear! Prancing around topless is a big no no!)

Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bra. Comes in black and brown. I chose black.
Also comes with an extra panel (in case you need extra width) and straps that you can use like a normal bra or even like a halter top.

Anyway, I managed to squeeze a trip to the Mothercare sale before I left the Ampang area, as I wanted to get the Yoomi for Ian. Guess what? Both the Personal Fit and the Hands Free Breast Pump Bra were on 10% sale with an additional 10% for members. *grumble grumble*

Well, at least I had a one-to-one trial session to ensure that I bought the best fit. *ayat sedapkan hati*

Here are all the Medela Service Centre contact details, as of June 2014:

PJ Branch: 11, Jalan Tandang 51/205A, Seksyen 51, Petaling Jaya. 03-74516108/09 Updated as of Nov 2014: 03-77731989
Ampang Branch: Lot B2-G, Jalan Selaman 1, Dataran Palma, Off Jalan Ampang, Ampang. 03-42701128
Penang: 9-1-22, Taman Kheng Tian, Jalan Van Praagh, Pulau Pinang. 04-2827278
Johor: No. 35, Jalan Molek 2/1, Taman Molek, Johor Bahru. 07-3535988

17 comments:

  1. Salam dear. The phone number provided are invalid. Please help me. My medela motos is not working and i tried to contact medel but to no avail. My breast is too engorge now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maya, did some digging for you and this is the latest number for the PJ branch. 03-77731989. Address is still valid.

      Good luck with the engorgement :(

      Delete
  2. OMG... you just saved my life dearie.. been trying like crazy to find their contact number and addresses and even their international website gives invalid phone number! i am heading to ampang to get mine fixed..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I "saved your life" dear. Hehehe Good luck!

      Delete
  3. Salam dear... my soft fit breastshield pun dah koyak. Been searching for the replacement but as u said, it is quite impossible we know our size kalau tak cuba sendiri. Thanks for ur story. I'll go to Ampang branch to test the sizing. B4 this i use something like personalfit, it made frm hard plastic and it caused my breast melecet. Sampai demam2 dalam pantang. Hopefully i'll get it right, kalau tak..... nangis!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betul, the hard shields if ill-fitting will cause extreme melecet. I miss the soft shields! ;)

      Delete
  4. U saved my life too! Thanks for the contact numbers! The pj amd ampang numbers are still valid as of january 2016 😘

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww glad I 'saved' your life. You're welcome! Thanks for confirming that the numbers are still valid ;)

      Delete
  5. Thanks. U just save my life. My medela freestyle batery is still blinking after charging about 5-6 hrs. Since i purchased in the us (same like yours) i guess there is no guarantee in Malaysia so no point of going to medela service centre. But since the numbers are still valid i will call to give it a try ��.. Thanks again sis

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to help. You should really give the Medela Service Centre a try. The Ampang branch is especially helpful ;)

      Delete
  6. Hi liz, my sister bought the power pump six years ago and now it's having problem due to leakage which get into battery compartment. In this case, will they repair the pump or I have to buy a new set? Please advise. Want to try drop by to their place in Ampang.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, don't think I can say for sure. My best advise is to drop by any of the Medela outlets for their professional view. ;)

      Delete
  7. Hi,
    My freestyle has the black particles too. The customer service rep in S'pore told me that it could get into the milk.
    Did you find any black particles in your milk?

    Thanks
    Min

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, no I never had any black particles in my milk. Hope this helps! ;)

      Delete
  8. Hi, my pump is from US too. How did you use the adapter here? Do I need to buy a new 3 pin 240 step down to 120 V adapter? Tq

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I only used a socket adapter, not a converter. It worked fine for my Medela. Hope this helps.

      Delete
  9. hi, my pump seen like very low suction, could you please share ur JB location as i wish to let u advice the condition.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you in advance for leaving a comment. ;) All comments are moderated. Liz

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