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As an exclusive pumper breastfeeding my twin boys, pumping is basically my life. I did a lot of research into what electric breast pump was best for exclusive pumping since I’m hooked to the thing for 3.5+ hours per day, so it has to do its job well. While I did decide to originally go with the Spectra S1, I found a need for a secondary pump. The Spectra is great, but I also wanted a portable breast pump that wasn’t the size and shape of a bowling ball. The Motif Duo fits that description and it has some wonderful features.
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1. It’s an All-Inclusive Package
I am very impressed with everything that is included with the Motif Duo. It is the perfect breast pump to order through your insurance because this package comes with everything a first time mom would need! One of the nice perks you will find are three flange sizes: 21mm, 24mm, & 27mm. Considering flange size is a major factor in milk output, I think it is great to have all 3 sizes to try with your pump. I love that the pump includes duckbill valves. When I switched from the plastic valve and silicone membrane to a duckbill valve, my milk output increased. They make a noticeable difference in suction. Another great extra is the carrying bag that is included with the Motif Duo. It’s nothing special, just an open black bag with a pocket, but it is the perfect size for the portable breast pump and accessories. Below is a list of what comes in the box.
- Double/Single Electric Breast Pump
- Backflow Protectors
- Duckbill valves
- Bottles with caps, lids and nipples
- 21mm, 24mm & 27mm flanges
- Carrying bag
2. It’s Portability and Small Size
Initially, I was drawn to the Motif Duo’s small size and portability. I’m not your typical mom-on-the-go looking for a portable breast pump. I’m a stay-at-home mom and an exclusive pumper. With 10 month old twins and a toddler, I cannot be attached to the wall to pump. Having the option to be mobile was an absolute must. With a 2.5 hour battery charge, I can get through three 45-minute pump sessions without needing to plug it in. Most people pump for shorter times, (the pump will automatically shut off after 30 minutes,) but this is what I need to completely empty. I also do not notice much of a dip in the vacuum power as the battery drains.
I usually need to be hands free when pumping so I will use a pumping bra, (either Lactamed or The Supermom – see my full review here,) and hook up my Duo flanges. Weighing in under one pound, the breast pump is so small, I usually tuck it into the waistband of my pants. I could also carry it in the bag that comes with it, but the pants option usually works for me. This enables me to have full use of my hands and I can basically do most of my daily tasks while pumping. Yes, I can even pick up and carry babies around! The only change I would make to this pump is adding a belt clip to the back – that would make it perfect!
3. Easy to Clean
Who likes cleaning breast pump parts? It’s not glamorous, but it’s part of the job description. I love how easy the Motif Duo flanges are to clean. They are 2-piece flanges and they have nice large tubes that the milk flows through. It is so easy to get a small brush through the whole thing and scrub every surface that touches milk. Other flanges I have used have small areas where breast milk gets stuck and no matter how hard you try, it won’t come out. Motif makes this part very easy for us! I will also mention that the 2 part flanges are great if you need two different sizes. Since the breast pump comes with three different sets, you are sure to find the perfect fit!
4. Closed Pump System
When you’re looking into buying a breast pump, you will see some are closed system and some are open system. You might notice a price difference, but after using both, I would not get another open system electric breast pump. The closed system prevents any milk from getting back into the tubing and pump system through backflow protectors. The Duo’s backflow protectors are three pieces: two pieces of plastic with a silicone piece in the middle. They attach to the flange on one side and the tubing on the other. Open systems would just have the tubing attach directly to the flanges. I like how the Motif Duo backflow protectors turn and click closed. I also love the way they are positioned on top of the flange keeping the setup very compact and it seems like less liquid actually gets to them that way.
5. Memory Mode
What really makes the Duo stand out next to its competitors is the memory feature. It has two pumping modes – massage for stimulating the letdown reflex with fast, lighter vacuum pumps and expression for the slower, higher vacuum pumps. With this portable breast pump, (and most other pumps,) you can manually change between these two settings by pressing the buttons. The Memory feature allows you to save a program you create that automatically toggles between massage and expression mode when you need it.
Generally, you use massage mode for the first couple of minutes and then switch to massage mode when milk starts flowing. The issue is, I’m not always paying attention during my breast pump sessions to switch these modes back and forth. My pumping sessions are pretty similar – I use massage mode for the first two to three minutes before getting a letdown and then switch to expression mode. Around fifteen minutes I switch back to massage mode to try to stimulate another let down and back to expression mode again. I do this once more around thirty minutes when I turn the pump back on. My memory mode program is set to do that sequence so that I don’t have to worry about pressing the buttons!
What About the Power… Is it Strong Enough?
With 250 mmHg vacuum strength, the Motif Duo is comparable to the Spectra S1/S2… on paper. I did find the Duo to be quite powerful but a little different. I don’t require a super high vacuum, (I use a level 6 on the Spectra and that’s pushing it,) but I have the Motif Duo set at level 9. I think like I could go lower, but when the vacuum level is turned up, the speed of the pumping goes slower. I feel like I express better with slower speed so I have the vacuum set to the corresponding level.
I have heard of moms pumping at very high suction levels and I think if that is what you’re looking for, you won’t find it in the Motif Duo. However some people also like to pump on the faster speed/expression mode the entire time, so it definitely depends on if you are used to other settings on a pump you are already using.
The Bottom Line…
Overall, If you are looking for an effective, portable breast pump option, I recommend the Motif Duo. If you plan to pump occasionally, when you return to work or while you are nursing on one side, I can see this being a great pick! The only thing I would not recommend it for is a main pump for exclusive pumping. If that’s the route you are going, you may need an electric breast pump that is a little more customizable as far as speed and vacuum options. Although exclusive pumpers also find the need for more than one pump, and in that case, the Duo is perfect as a travel or portable breast pump if you are up and moving while pumping!
If this is an option you’re looking at through insurance, I highly recommend going through Aeroflow Breastpumps. I had a great experience as they took care of everything. All I had to do was give them my information. They contacted the doctor, got the prescription and filed the paperwork with my insurance company. It was so nice to not have to worry about any part of the process when you are expecting a baby! After baby gets here, they will also send you a monthly re-supply kit if your insurance covers it. Again, that process is as simple as them sending a text to ask if you need it!