What You Need to Know About Multi-User Breast Pumps for Your Lactation Spaces
As more companies are expanding breastfeeding support with parent-friendly policies in the workplace, many are choosing to place a hospital-grade Symphony PLUS® multi-user breast pump in their lactation spaces for use by pumping employees. The Symphony breast pump is a great way to help mothers provide the life-giving benefits of human milk, and an important signal that your workplace is truly breastfeeding-friendly.
What is the Symphony PLUS® Breast Pump?
The Symphony PLUS® Breast Pump is a hospital-grade (multi-user) pump, which means it is a powerful and efficient pump that was designed, and received FDA approval, to be used by multiple moms. The Symphony breast pump comes from Medela, the breast pump brand most recommended by doctors, chosen first by moms, and used in most hospitals in the U.S.
The Symphony breast pump is a “closed-system” machine—meaning barriers are in place to prevent milk and any other fluids from entering the motor. The pump is also designed to be easily cleaned between use, with a smooth outer case. These features reduce contamination risk, and makes the product safe for multiple users (even during a pandemic!) The pump also has a powerful motor designed to last for much longer than a personal-use pump, so it can support many more hours of use.
What are the benefits of offering a multi-user pump in the workplace?
Giving women who choose to pump access to a multi-user breast pump makes it much more convenient for them to continue providing their baby breast milk when they return to work. Having a pump in the workplace removes the burden for women to remember to pack a personal use pump, with all the necessary parts, every morning before work, and take it all home again in the evening each day. When surveyed, 57% of women said they would drive all the way back home to retrieve a forgotten pump or part!² From a productivity standpoint, this isn’t good for business or for the employee. By keeping a multi-user breast pump onsite, pumping employees can feel confident they will have what they need to pump whenever they are in the workplace, and at the end of the day all they need to take home is their expressed milk.
How do employees use the multi-user pump?
Each employee who will use the pump must have their own Symphony breast pump “kit” (tubes, bottles, membranes, and breast shields) which attaches to the multi-user breast pump. The pump kit is separate from the pump itself, and protects the pump from overflow with a specially designed membrane, making the multi-user pump a safe and sanitary option for employers and moms. Many employers purchase the personal Symphony kit for all breast milk pumping employees as part of their lactation support policy, and others direct them to where the employee can purchase their own Symphony kit. In either approach, the pumping employee can simply leave her kit at the workplace (in her desk, locker, or other appropriate place) for use each day that she is at work.
Should you offer personal-use pumps for sharing, instead of a multi-user pump?
The answer is definitely NO. You do not want to provide personal-use pumps, made for a single user, in your lactation space that supports multiple pumping employees. The Symphony breast pump is designed to be a multi-user pump, having been specifically developed for safe and effective use by multiple individuals. An employer should not risk the liability for potential issues that could arise from offering a shared personal-use pump in the workplace.
Is the Symphony PLUS® Breast Pump easy to maintain?
Yes, it is easy to place and maintain a Symphony breast pump in your lactation space. We have put together these guidelines for cleaning the Symphony breast pump, so employers can feel assured that employees will be using a correctly cleaned and sanitized pump in their lactation spaces. In addition, you can place this poster with simple instructions to remind moms to clean the pump and room before and after each pumping session. We have also created guidelines on how to ensure a lactation space is clean in a post-COVID world, including cleaning the pump and pumping space regularly.
Contact us today to learn more about the Symphony PLUS® hospital-grade breast pump for your working, breastfeeding employees.
1. IQVIA ProVoice Survey; September 2019 – August 2020. Medela 2018 U.S. Breast Milk Feeding Report. Medela 2017 Managed Markets Pulse Study.
2. Data collected in a January 2020 study of 2,068 working moms by Medela, Mamava and Milk Stork.