A Step-By-Step User Guide For Using The Medela Symphony Breast Pump

Discover how to get the best out the Medela Symphony double breast pump.

The Medela Symphony double breast pump is a hugely popular hospital grade, electric pump. 

Designed to support moms to initiate, boost and maintain their breast milk supply, the pump is popular because it's simple to use, it's quiet and it's efficient. 

The Medela Symphony has a unique initiation setting that is ideal for establishing milk production. It is proven to deliver significantly more milk than a standard programme. The Medela Symphony is also ideal for long-term and frequent pumping with a separate setting specific to this use.

The Medela Symphony closely mimics the sensation of breast-feeding a baby. The clever breast shield and suction features make pumping feel as natural and as close to a baby’s sucking motion as possible. 

Here are a few of the standout features of the Medela Symphony:

  • Helps you to trigger your milk supply
  • Designed to initiate the ‘let down’ faster than other pumps on the market
  • Supports the build up and maintenance of your milk supply
  • Protects sensitive breast tissue through the specifically engineered parts that are designed to be gentle
  • Helps to heal mastitis and can relieve painful symptoms of engorgement 
  • Works with inverted or flat nipples 
  • Simple and intuitive to use
  • Quiet operation, minimising noise disruption 

Rent The Medela Symphony Double Breast Pump

You can rent the Medela Symphony Grade Pump from our store. If you are in the Toronto & GTHA areas, we will pick it up and conveniently deliver it directly to your doorstep for free!  If you are outside of the GTA we can deliver it to you for as little as $20 each way.

What Are The Benefits of Using A Breast Pump?

There are many reasons why a women might choose to express her milk using an electric pump. Typically, moms choose to use a breast pump if they have been separated from their baby, if they are unable to breastfeed, or if the baby wont’ latch. Your nipples may be sore and need a break from breastfeeding so that they can heal. Daddy might want to enjoy the bonding moment that comes with providing a feed, so you pump it into a bottle for him. Or, it may be that mamma simply doesn't feel comfortable directly feeding but still wants the baby to have her milk. It is your body and your baby and the decision is entirely yours to make.

It is well documented that mom’s breast milk is the best source of vital nutrients, proteins, sugars, fats and vitamins for a baby. The Medela Symphony helps moms to ensure that their precious babies receive this nutrition immediately after they are born and beyond. 

Breast milk offers the baby enormous health benefits. Whether the baby gets the milk directly from the breast or from a bottle with expressed milk, the nutritional result is the same.

Breast milk:

  • Provides antibodies to fight viruses and bacteria
  • Lowers risk of asthma and allergies
  • Decreases the risk of respiratory illness, ear infections and digestive issues

Whatever your circumstances, by renting the Medela Symphony Hospital grade breast pump, you can continue to produce plenty of nutrient rich breast milk for your baby from the comfort of home.

Why Choose The Medela Symphony Double Breast Pump?

As we highlighted above, there are many standout features of the Medela Symphony breast pump that make it a great choice of electric pump. The most important being what the pump was specifically designed to do. The user has the option of pumping to initiate milk supply (to start the supply from scratch). To maintain your supply (to keep your milk supply up over longer periods). And, to build up your supply, (increase the amount that is being produced). 

The Medela Symphony is a good option for moms who need to start their milk production immediately after their baby is born. This is because of its clinically tested, research based suction patterns are proven to initiate milk production. The pump is also designed for frequent pumping, proven to boost milk supply within 30 days. The pump can also maintain milk supply in the long-term, for as long as mom chooses to keep going. There is no time limit on the rental period of the Medela Symphony.          

How The Medela Symphony Breast Pump Works

Watch our expert Maria as she demonstrates how to use the Medela Symphony breast pump, step-by-step.  


The first thing that you need to do to use the Medela Symphony breast pump is to put together the accessory kit and connect it to the pump. Click here for our step-by-step guide to unboxing the Medela Symphony breast pump and connecting the kit.

Once the kit is connected, place the shield over your breasts and you are ready to start pumping.

Step 1: Push the on button. This is the small yellow button that is on the front of the pump on the left hand side as you face it. When you start the pump it is very quiet, which is a great feature of the Medela Symphony (it does get a bit louder as you increase the suction levels). 

Step 2: Adjust the suction level. The large rotating dial that is on the front of the pump in the centre controls suction. Turning this dial gradually increases the suction pressure. The higher you turn the button, the greater the suction.  When you are increasing the suction level you are trying to determine your maximum level of comfort. This is the highest level of suction that you can manage that is still comfortable. 

It is important to understand and remember that no two pumping sessions are ever the same.

This is because:

  • Your levels of tiredness are different through the day and the night
  • The amount of milk in your breasts is different at different times of the day and night
  • What you have eaten and drank impacts the amount of milk that your body can make

To ensure that you are getting the most out of the machine each time that you pump, you should gradually turn up the suction level. Keep turning the level up until you can feel it very strongly. Once you have reached your maximum suction point, turn the suction dial back down by 1 notch. That should be the perfect suction level for you for that particular pumping session. It is also very important that you are not in any discomfort or pain. If it hurts then turn the level down a few notches until you are comfortable. Your body will not produce milk if you are in pain.   

The Medela Symphony Programmes 

To get the very best use out of the Medela Symphony, use the programme that is relevant to the stage you are at. The Initiation setting is for moms who are starting their milk supply. The maintain setting is for moms who are keeping up or boosting their milk production.

Quick Start Reference Guide: Every pump should come with an instructional quick start guidelines pamphlet in the box. If you are renting the pump from us at the New Mummy Company, then we will email it to you. However, if you don’t have a quick start guideline, they are available online. There is also a mini guideline for how to use the pump engraved onto the side of the machine itself.

Initiate Milk Supply With The Medela Symphony Breast Pump

Using The Initiate Setting: If you are a brand new mom your milk supply is typically very low (under 20mls). Use the Medela Symphony in the 'initiate' setting to start your milk supply and build it up.

Here's how:

Attach the breast shields and click the start button. The 'push initiate button' prompt will appear in the window, you should immediately push the initiation button. That tells the pump that you are starting your milk supply. Aim for between 20 - 30 minutes of pumping. Some women may need a little longer than this in the early days. Keep going until your breast feel like they are drained of milk. Once you are expressing over 20mls of milk, combined, with each pumping session, you can move on to the 'maintain' setting.

Maintain and Improve Milk Supply With The Medela Symphony Breast Pump 

The maintain setting is designed for moms who have already established their milk supply. At this stage you are using the pump to keep your milk supply up or to increase the volume that you can produce.

Here’s how:

Attach the breast shields and click the start button. The 'push initiate button' prompt will appear in the window, don’t push it. After a few seconds the prompt will disappear and the text ‘maintain is running’ will appear. Now you need to adjust the suction level by turning the central dial until you have achieved your maximum level of comfort. Plan for 20 to 30 minutes of pumping time.

And that's it. Easy, quiet and effective. Ready to rent a Medela Symphony double breast pump?

The Medela Symphony is a multi-user pump that is found in many hospitals across Canada. Here are the hospitals in the GTHA that use it:

  • Sunnybrook, Toronto 
  • Oakville Trafalgar
  • North York General
  • Guelph
  • Scarborough Health Network 
  • St Joseph's Hospital, Toronto
  • St Michael's Hospital, Toronto 

Most moms like the idea of using the same pump at home so that they can continue to conveniently express their milk long after leaving the hospital.

Make sure that you thoroughly clean your Medela Symphony after each use. Follow Maria's expert guide for cleaning your pump equipment here.