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#1
Old 02-22-2005, 02:03 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 33,496
Anyone have experience with Medela's Symphony breastpump?

I'm renting one from the hospital and it's pretty great. The only thing I can't figure out is how to charge the battery so that I can use it occasionally without plugging it in. The lactation consultant said it will hold a several hour charge, but whenever I try to run it without the cords connected, it beeps at me and tells me the battery is low. Yet I've been leaving it plugged in all the time between pumpings. Obviously, there's something I'm missing here.

One time, I got a message saying "Charging" instead of the usual "Mains", but I can't figure out how I did it, nor replicate it.

I can't find a link to ask on Medela's own website, and the directions there don't cover this. Because it's a rental, I don't have the full instruction booklet, just an abbreviated one. But I'm pretty sure at least one Doper (Thinks2Much?) works for Medela, so I'm hoping I can get an answer here. Thanks!
#2
Old 02-22-2005, 11:23 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 33,496
*bump* for the daytime crowd.

(Teach me to post an OP at 1 in the morning!)
#3
Old 02-22-2005, 11:38 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Here, I'll bump it up for you again
I used the Symphony when Baby Dax was in the NICU, but always used it in the hospital, so I don't know about charging it. Is there a lactation center in the hospital or at least a lactation nurse on staff you can call to ask? I bet you could call Medela directly, too. They were super helpful when I once had to call them. Good luck!
#4
Old 02-22-2005, 11:57 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 20,327
Symphony breast pump

The unit looks to be microprocessor controlled vacuum pump. The motor powering it likely pulls some serious amperage relative to the capacity of the batteries. The rechargeable batteries are probably refusing to hold a charge because they have been cycled too many times at too high a current. I'd ask the hospital to replace the battery pack.
#5
Old 02-22-2005, 04:13 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Suburb of Chicago
Posts: 684
Sorry I didn't see this thread sooner - Yes, I do work for Medela, however, I don't know off the top of my head how to answer your question. I have forwarded your question to my friend in customer service. I'll email you what they reply.
#6
Old 02-22-2005, 05:20 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
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Thanks so much!
#7
Old 02-22-2005, 08:04 PM
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(sigh) Every time I am reading the thread titles, I get all excited when I see this thread out of the corner of my eye. I read "Medela's Syndrome" instead of "Medela's Symphony" and think that I'm about to learn about a gruesome new disease.
#8
Old 02-22-2005, 08:07 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Suburb of Chicago
Posts: 684
No one in customer service had heard of the problem, so we have forwarded it to the technical guy. He had already left for the day by the time we tried, but I should have an answer for you in the morning.
#9
Old 02-23-2005, 02:45 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot
I'm renting one from the hospital and it's pretty great. The only thing I can't figure out is how to charge the battery so that I can use it occasionally without plugging it in. The lactation consultant said it will hold a several hour charge, but whenever I try to run it without the cords connected, it beeps at me and tells me the battery is low. Yet I've been leaving it plugged in all the time between pumpings. Obviously, there's something I'm missing here.

One time, I got a message saying "Charging" instead of the usual "Mains", but I can't figure out how I did it, nor replicate it.

I can't find a link to ask on Medela's own website, and the directions there don't cover this. Because it's a rental, I don't have the full instruction booklet, just an abbreviated one. But I'm pretty sure at least one Doper (Thinks2Much?) works for Medela, so I'm hoping I can get an answer here. Thanks!

Ooh! Oooh! Me me me!

I am Queen of Breastpumps and weird breast stuff!

First off, I loooooved the Symphony. Except that it only worked on fast mode for me, and the slow/long suck mode didn't do anything. So I had to restart the damn thing over and over. Eventually, it was discovered that I have mutant breasts . The Little Sucker= Symphony, FYI.

Anyway, battery charging for the Symphony....
1. The battery must charge 12 hours straight in order to be fully charged. This means using it midway through will set you back considerably in charging time.
2. Full charge only equals 60 min of pumping (which is likely a generous estimate)

I'd need to play around with yours to be sure, but I suspect your battery is crapped out and needs replacement. I would swap your machine for another at wherever you rented yours from. In the meantime, I'd use it plugged in, if possible, and consider a car adaptor kit to use with car cigarette lighter.

BTW, is your insurance covering your rental? They should since you have a preemie. If not, ask your pediatrician to write a "prescription" for the symphony and they should cover it.

Once your milk gets going, the Pump In Style (original, not advanced) is truly worth it's weight in gold. I had a preemie, trouble establishing supply, then had medical problems that meant my supply became literally nil for a few weeks. And yet, my PIS got me relactating and up to a good amount without having me have to rent the hospital grade again. I take it in the car with the cigarette lighhter attachment, the cooling area really keeps milk as cold as the fridge for *hours*, it is reliable and adjustable and I cannot say enough good things about it.

Meanwhile, the hospital grade model known as the "classic" is a 40lb Fat Bastard and should be banished from the earth.

Anyway, if you want any more advice with building supply, especially with challenges such as a preemie, feel free to email me (email is in my profile). I've been there myself. I suggest Mother's Milk Tea from Traditional Medicinals and milk thistle capsules.

Good luck- you are doing a great job! You are already making MORE than she needs right now- go you!
#10
Old 02-23-2005, 03:03 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinks2Much
Sorry I didn't see this thread sooner - Yes, I do work for Medela, however, I don't know off the top of my head how to answer your question. I have forwarded your question to my friend in customer service. I'll email you what they reply.
[Brief Hijack]

So I need to call Medela tomorrow because my PIS (original, not advanced) is slightly psychotic. I bought it Jan 4th, but I haven't been able to call because my kid was in and out of the hospital since then. It has been slightly psychotic since day 1.

Would it still be under warranty? Sadly, I cannot find this info on the site.

If not, I'd still be happy with it, as even psychotic, it works darn good. In a nutshell, it works better & faster on car adaptor than when plugged in (we have ruled out outlet malfuntcion). The motor also sounds like it is straining a lot, and it isn't as fast or, uh, sucky, as the floor model at the hospital clinic where I bought it.
[/end hijack]
#11
Old 02-23-2005, 06:43 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 33,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkleberry
*snip*
Anyway, battery charging for the Symphony....
1. The battery must charge 12 hours straight in order to be fully charged. This means using it midway through will set you back considerably in charging time.
2. Full charge only equals 60 min of pumping (which is likely a generous estimate)
AH! That may indeed be the problem, seeing as the most I ever leave the poor Sucky Thing alone is three and a half overnight. Other than that, I'm pumping every two hours for 20 minutes, so it's only sitting for 100 minutes without being harrassed. (Um...this may be a bit of a design flaw, no? How on earth would you NOT pump for 12 hours if you're using a hospital grade pump - the pump women only use if they have to pump all the time?)
Quote:
BTW, is your insurance covering your rental? They should since you have a preemie. If not, ask your pediatrician to write a "prescription" for the symphony and they should cover it.
I've got a letter of medical neccesity from the neonatal unit at the hospital. Just have to get around to downloading the proper forms and submitting all the paperwork - in my copius spare time.
Quote:
Once your milk gets going, the Pump In Style (original, not advanced) is truly worth it's weight in gold.
Oh, good! We rented The Sucky Thing from the hospital for $75 for a month. While I'm sure that's reasonable, it's also more than we can pay regularly, especially not knowing for sure that Blue Cross will reimburse us. We're really pinching pennies with me not working right now.

My tentative plan is to pump with The Sucky Thing for the month, and then accept my friend's offer of her never-used Pump in Style to keep pumping after that.
Quote:
I suggest Mother's Milk Tea from Traditional Medicinals and milk thistle capsules.
Good suggestions. I take milk thistle caps regularly, just because it's such a good liver cleanser and my liver's "challenged" simply by living in an urban environment. Some of my herbalist friends and I made a tea while I was still in the hospital. It's quite a complicated formula, full of both galactagogues (milk-builders) and generally gentle nourishing and strengthening herbs. It's got:
Nettles leaf (Urtica dioica)
Oat Straw (Avena sativa)
Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus)
Fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis)
Blessed Thistle herb (Cnicus benedictus)
Alfalfa leaf (Medicago sativa)
Milk Thistle seed (Silybum marianum)
Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)
Fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)

(I argued that milk thistle seed in a tea is useless, as it hardly extracts in water, but I was overruled by zealous herbalists. It's a ugly scene when herbalists go wild. )
#12
Old 02-23-2005, 09:17 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Suburb of Chicago
Posts: 684
Symphony Help

Just cutting and pasting the answer directly:

The display will read "Charging" when the batteries are drawing a charge. It should read "Mains" when it is no longer in charging mode.

Facing the pump starting from left to right, the buttons are: On/Off, Vacuum Control Knob and the Let down
You can run a Battery Check to get an idea if the batteries are in good condition by:

Charge the pump for 12 hours or until the display reads "Mains"
After charge, turn pump on
Go to service menu by pushing the "On" button again while turning the Vacuum Control Knob.
Keep turning the Vacuum control knob until you get "Hres" (hour reset) then press the "let down" button and reset it to 0
Let the pump run until the batteries are drained and the display reads "Battery Flat" - Keep in mind the pump is programmed to shut down after 30 minutes to save battery life - it will need to be restarted.
Once the batteries are completely drained (Battery flat) Plug in to a wall outlet. Go back to the "Hres" . There should be a time indication. that should tell you how long the batteries are good for ( around 60 minutes

If the battery indicator is significantly lower than 60 minutes, you will need new batteries, if not Power Supply is not charging batteries. In an extreme case the Main board may not be reading either correctly.
#13
Old 02-23-2005, 09:22 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Suburb of Chicago
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkleberry
[Brief Hijack]

So I need to call Medela tomorrow because my PIS (original, not advanced) is slightly psychotic. I bought it Jan 4th, but I haven't been able to call because my kid was in and out of the hospital since then. It has been slightly psychotic since day 1.

Would it still be under warranty? Sadly, I cannot find this info on the site.

If not, I'd still be happy with it, as even psychotic, it works darn good. In a nutshell, it works better & faster on car adaptor than when plugged in (we have ruled out outlet malfuntcion). The motor also sounds like it is straining a lot, and it isn't as fast or, uh, sucky, as the floor model at the hospital clinic where I bought it.
[/end hijack]
Pump in Styles have a one year warranty on the mechanics, so yes, you should be able to get a replacement. Call customer service at 1-800-435-8316 and they should take care of it for you. You shouldn't receive any kind of hassle - we don't have too many quality issues, so we bend over backward if you have trouble.
#14
Old 02-26-2005, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinks2Much
Pump in Styles have a one year warranty on the mechanics, so yes, you should be able to get a replacement. Call customer service at 1-800-435-8316 and they should take care of it for you. You shouldn't receive any kind of hassle - we don't have too many quality issues, so we bend over backward if you have trouble.
I called them and had them listen to my machine over the phone. They are Fed Exing me a new one! Oh my Og! That's incredible.

Medela rocks.
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