Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow: Important Connection and Safety Tips

Angela Groshner, MSN, RN, CCRN, IBCLC / February 2022

Supporting Moms With Their Personal Use Pump

Have you ever had a new mom bring in her personal use pump and had no idea how to support her in using it? Well, you are not alone! With so many pumps on the market, it’s impossible to know them all. Medela features an extensive line of personal use pumps that support the many unique needs of today’s moms. With a full portfolio to choose from, Medela offers a helpful Breast Pump Comparison Guide to better support moms as they explore our pump options and find one with the features and benefits they need to integrate pumping into their lifestyle while meeting their breastfeeding goals.  

As you’re supporting moms in the learning and use of their Medela personal use pump, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Each breast pump is uniquely designed with technology that is optimized for its specific parts, undergone rigorous testing, and engineered with the only parts cleared by the FDA to be used with the pump. Most breast pumps include all necessary accessories for use. This means that the accessories included are designed for use exclusively with that pump, making them compatible and safe while maximizing efficiency. Levels of milk back-up protection vary among different brands and designs, which makes it that much more important to use only the parts included with the pump.
  • In the event that secondary or replacement parts are needed, it is important to support moms in purchasing Medela Authentic Spare Parts versus off-brand products. This is to protect the integrity and performance of the pump. It is also essential to emphasize that the pump parts that come with their personal use pump are the only ones cleared by the FDA to be used with that specific pump. 

About the Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow

In the past, Medela Pump in Style® Advanced users may have found connectivity between this personal use pump and their hospital-grade (multi-user) Symphony® kit pump parts, as they shared the same PersonalFit™ connectors. These were often NICU moms who were pumping with the hospital-grade (multi-user), research-based Symphony® breast pump while at the hospital and then switching to their personal use pump when at home and on the go, though moms of term, well babies also occasionally use Symphony while in the hospital. The Symphony pump has a closed system membrane at the pump to block milk from entering the pump motor, as did Pump in Style Advanced. Due to the design of both Pump in Style Advanced and Symphony, this allowed for a safe connection of these parts.

While this used to be possible with the Pump in Style Advanced, that was not the case with all the other personal use pumps across our portfolio. New technologies in the Pump in Style with MaxFlow, Freestyle Flex, and Swing Maxi breast pumps all now share the same kit, which has been optimized for performance.

What's Essential to Know When Helping Moms With the Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow?

  • This pump features a closed system at the kit level and has new PersonalFit Flex™ connectors. This differs from the Pump in Style Advanced and Symphony, which have a closed system at the pump level.
  • Due to the design change, the PersonalFit connectors used with Symphony and Pump in Style Advanced are incompatible with Pump in Style with MaxFlow. 

The original Pump in Style with MaxFlow design had tubing that allowed for ongoing compatability, despite the change in level of protection among the pumps. Today, if a mom uses the PersonalFit connectors from her Symphony with her Pump in Style with MaxFlow, she is bypassing the closed system membrane and allowing milk to enter the pump, which may cause irreversible damage. 

Based on this important feedback from clinicians and lactation consultants around the country, Medela has designed a solution by modifying the tubing adaptors on our Pump in Style with MaxFlow to ensure it will not connect to the PersonalFit connectors used with Symphony. This prevents moms from unintentionally damaging their pumps, while receiving optimal performance and experience.

Understanding the Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow Pump Parts

So, what has Medela done to ensure that moms are using the correct pump parts with their breast pumps? 

  • Different Tubing Adaptor. The yellow tubing adaptor ends that insert into the Pump in Style with MaxFlow connector (and breast pump) were modified by adding an extension to the original connector. This extends its length, preventing moms from using the incorrect tubing and potentially damaging their pumps. 

    By adding length to the post, this change tells moms that the tubing is not compatible with the connector, as the tubing will not stay attached or sealed. Therefore, if a mom tries to insert her Pump in Style with MaxFlow tubing into the Symphony connector, it will now be too loose and/or small, preventing a seal.

As you continue to work with new moms navigating their unique lactation journeys, this change in design is aiming to improve the overall user experience with our Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow. If you encounter a mom who may have used the wrong connector or had milk back-up, be sure to direct her to the Medela Customer Service team for further assistance. Thank you for your continued support in helping us support breast milk feeding moms.

To learn more about these changes, see our FAQs