Disclosure: this article contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.
Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump Review
This pump is hugely popular and Medela is a very reputable brand. But still, there is no love lost between me and this pump. With its weight, lack of features, and outdated appearance, plus the fact it is an open system, this pump feels like it has fallen behind the times.
The Medela PISA does offer reliable performance, good suction (though not quite as high as Spectra or Ameda), excellent customer service, and easy access to additional or replacement parts. However, it is still not my first choice, because the pros do not outweigh the cons.
What’s in the box?
The Medela PISA is available with three different types of carry bags: the On-the-Go Tote, the Backpack and the Metro Bag. The pump is actually not built into the Metro Bag, so this is the best choice for you if you want the Medela PISA but don’t want to have to carry it around within the bulky Backpack or On-the-Go Tote.
Here is a list of everything that comes with the Medela Pump in Style Advanced with notes on the individual tote options at the bottom.
- 1 breast pump motor unit
- 2 24mm breastshields/ flanges
- A plastic connector piece that attaches the flange to the milk collection bottle
- 2 valves
- 2 membranes
- 2 pieces of tubing
- 1 AC adapter
- 1 battery pack (takes 8 AA batteries – batteries not included)
- 1 cooler bag and ice pack (holds 4 bottles)
- 4 milk collection bottles with lids (5oz/ 150mL size)
- Instructions and a breastfeeding Information Guide
On-the-go Tote Includes:
- Built-in bottle holders
- Tubing storage pocket: Help prevent spills and keeps tubing organized between pumping sessions
Metro Bag Includes:
- Removable pump in a separate bag
- Soft pouch to hold battery pack
- Work surface and mesh storage bags: For pumping and transport flexibility
Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump Pros:
- Multiple power supply options – Can be used with batteries, car charger, or plugged into a wall outlet
- Comes with a tote bag – this sounds like a pro but then you realize the pump is fixed inside the bag, so you do not have the flexibility of choosing a bag in a style you prefer to carry the pump around. I also find this annoying if I’m pumping in a small space – I have to find a position for the giant bag since the pump is inside, while with other pumps a tiny tabletop, airplane tray table, or even my lap will do.
- Comes with a cooler, ice pack, and additional bottles – This is great so you don’t need to source accessories separately and you’re ready to go for a full day of pumping with enough bottles to store all of the milk you express.
- Can use as a single pump if needed – This is a common feature in double electric pumps and can be useful if you want to pump one breast while feeding from the other, for example.
- Has a separate letdown function and expression function – This is convenient, but I would prefer a pump like Ameda Purely Yours or Spectra S1 which allows you to adjust speed and suction separately. As I mention in the cons, I don’t like how you can only adjust speed and suction together in this pump because I can’t get it to mimic exactly how my son nurses. For example, if I want slower speed, I find the suction is too high and it is uncomfortable for me.
- Big variety of accessories available – flanges ranging from XS to XL, short or longer tubes, extra bottles, replacement membranes – everything is readily available
Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump Cons:
- It is less hygienic because it is an open system – This means milk can potentially enter the tubing and even travel as far as the motor of your pump. This is not sanitary and also means you should never use someone else’s Medela PISA nor lend yours out. It also means more cleaning of tiny parts like the tubing and the membranes.
- Cannot adjust the speed and suction separately – For me, this makes it much harder to pump because I can’t get the pump to mimic how my son nurses. For example, if I want slower speed, I find the suction is too high and it is uncomfortable for me.
- Not as quiet as the Spectra S1 – It is a little noisy so it is not ideal for office settings or pumping near your sleeping child (or in front of the tv!)
- The system is heavy – the pump itself is just over 2 pounds, but since it is lodged in the bag it feels heavier and then of course the whole bag is really heavy when full. I prefer to leave my pump motor at work on weekdays, so then I had to use a separate bag for milk and pump parts and then on Friday’s going home I’d have an extra bag. It was an unnecessary inconvenience for me.
Should you buy the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump?
This is a powerful pump with excellent customer service, but it is very bulky, not hygienic (open system), and you cannot adjust the speed and suction separately. I think there are better (and smaller!) pumps available and would suggest choosing a brand such as Spectra or Ameda (or a different Medela model) over this pump.