Tips for Troubleshooting Your Medela Breast Pump

October 11, 2012

We know how much moms rely on their pumps to provide breast milk and we can’t imagine the frustration a mom must feel when her pump isn’t working properly. We never want you to feel helpless if you encounter problems late at night or when you’re unable to reach out to Customer Service.

So if you’re ever in a pinch, please use these Medela troubleshooting tips to help. Here are some frequently asked questions about troubleshooting your breast pump. Please share any additional questions you have in a reply/comment at the bottom of this post.

My pump is losing suction.
If you are experiencing low suction, first check the valves and membranes:

  1. Separate the membranes from the valves
  2. Inspect the valves and membranes for damage, including cracks, chips, holes or tears.
  3. If a part is damaged, discontinue use and purchase or order a replacement.
  4. Wash the valve and membrane using warm, soapy water. Allow parts to dry completely before reassembling.
  5. Reassemble your pump, ensuring that each piece fits snugly and lies flat.

Then, check the breast shields and connectors to make sure there are no cracks. Also, make sure they attach securely.

Clean the tubing and faceplate if there is any sign of condensation and/or milk. (Faceplate instructions only apply to Pump In Style Advanced models).

  1. Begin by turning off your breast pump and removing it from the power source.
  2. Remove tubing without wiggling or pulling at an angle.
  3. Rinse tubing in cool water to remove any breast milk residue.
  4. Wash tubing in warm soapy water, rinse in cool water and hang to dry thoroughly.
  5. Snap off the faceplate using the thumb tab and soak in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes.
  6. Clean with a soft brush or dish cloth and allow it to dry completely.
  7. Wipe diaphragm with a clean damp cloth (no soap).
  8. Then, locate the 3 connection points on the reverse side of the faceplate and reconnect the faceplate back to the pump.

Finally, inspect these connection points to ensure they’re attached securely:

  1. Tubing adapter to breast shield connector
  2. Tubing end to faceplate port
  3. Faceplate to backplate

Once you’ve completed these steps, turn on your pump and check the suction.

There’s condensation in my tubing.
If you notice moisture in your tubing, leave your tubing attached with the pump still running while you store your breast milk after you’re finished pumping.

This will allow any condensation that has formed from the natural results of humidity to dry in the tubing.

Milk in tubing.
If milk accidentally gets in tubing, turn off the pump and remove it from the power source (Faceplate instructions only apply to Pump In Style Advanced models.)

  1. Remove tubing without wiggling or pulling at an angle.
  2. Wash tubing in warm soapy water and hang to dry thoroughly
  3. Snap off the faceplate using the thumb tab and soak in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes.
  4. Clean with a soft brush or dish cloth and allow it to dry fully
  5. Wipe diaphragm clean with a damp cloth (no soap).

If you still experience problems, please reach out to Medela Customer Service. They’re happy to help and will do their best to come up with the best solution possible. Also, refer to your instruction manual for more details.

1,156 thoughts on “Tips for Troubleshooting Your Medela Breast Pump

  1. I purchased a swing maxi from a UK website a number of days ago (I’m based in Ireland). I’ve tried to double pump numerous times but there is no suction on one side. There’s also a high pitched squeel noise from the pump itself. I’ve emailed the contact address given for Ireland on Medelas website but I haven’t received a response.

  2. I’m using the pump in style and here lately it just doesn’t feel like the suction is as strong. I’ve had the pump since June 2017, received brand new through my insurance. Not entirely sure who I should be contacting, you or my insurance. I’ve changed the membranes numerous times and it helps for about a week, then goes right back to doing the same thing.

    • Hi, Laura. You can start with our Customer Service team at 877-633-3522. They can help you troubleshoot the breast pump, and will let you know if you need to go back to your insurance company regarding any product issues.

      • I am hiring a symphony pump from the hospital. One side of the pump is very weak and doesn’t have the same suction. It is not the membrane as I don’t use the same part each time and it never works on one side. I’ve already replaced the tubes once and it’s done it again. Please advise what I should do? I need a fast solution as my contact not available at hospital and I need to express to feed my baby.

        • Hi, Helen. Please reach out to our Customer Service team at 877-633-3522. They can help you walk through some troubleshooting steps to figure out if there are any issues with the breast pump.

    • Hi, Robin. Common causes of milk backing up into tubing are 1. Heavy Let-down, 2. Leaning forward or lying down while pumping, 3. Improper cleaning of the valves and membranes, and 4. overfilling the bottles past the designated oz. markings. Check on these first, and if you are still having an issue, our Customer Service team can help you at 877-633-3522.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment validation by @