Symphony® Breastpump FAQs

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Cleaning / Sanitizing

  • Can the protective membrane be boiled?
    • Yes, the Symphony Protective Membrane can be boiled without harm.

  • How do I clean or sanitize my breastpump parts?
    • Before using for the first time, clean and sanitize kit parts: breastshields, breastshield connectors, white membranes, yellow valves, breastmilk bottles and lids.

      CAUTION: Take apart and wash all parts that come in contact with your breast and breastmilk immediately after use to avoid dry up of milk residues and to prevent growth of bacteria.
      CAUTION: Only use drinking quality-tap or bottled water for cleaning.
      CAUTION: Do not store wet or damp parts as mold may develop.

      Clean breastpump kit parts after each use.

      1.     Separate breastshields from breastshield connectors.
      2.     Twist and pull the yellow valves off of the breastshield connectors.
      3.     Remove the white membranes from the yellow valves.
      4.     Rinse in cool water all separated parts that came in contact with your breast and breastmilk in order to remove breastmilk residue.
      5.     Washing options: Wash in sink or dishwasher.
      a.     Washing in sink:
      ·   Soak all separated parts in warm soapy water for 5 minutes.
      ·   Clean with a clean dish-cloth or soft brush.
      ·   Rinse all separated parts with clear water.
      ·   Allow all parts to air dry in a clean area.
      ·   Store dry parts when not in use.
      b.    Washing in dishwasher:
      ·   Wash all separated parts on top rack of dishwasher.
      ·   Allow all breastpump parts to air dry in a clean area.
      ·   Store dry parts when not in use.
      Sanitize breastpump kit parts once daily.
      1.     Fill a pot with enough water to cover all parts.
      2.     Bring water to a boil.
      3.     Place parts in boiling water for 10 minutes.
      4.     Allow water to cool and gently remove parts from water with tongs.
      5.     Place parts on a clean surface and/or towel.
      ·         Allow parts to air dry
      ·         Store parts when not in use.
      ·         Do NOT store wet or damp parts.
      Or you may sanitize your kit parts by following the instructions on Medela’s Quick Clean™ Micro-Steam™ bag.

Misc. Questions & Answers

  • How much milk should I produce?
    • In the past it was thought that mothers needed to make more and more milk as their babies grew.  Scientists now know that a healthy milk supply remains fairly constant over the six (6) months of exclusive breastfeeding.  Your baby will take the amount he needs.

      During the early weeks, babies eat very frequently and grow very quickly.  By day 10-14, babies should regain any weight they lost after birth.  For the next few months babies will gain about an ½ ounce to 1 ounce a day. 

      Around three (3) to four (4) months, a breastfed baby’s rate of grown begins to slow down.  Your milk supply will continue to satisfy the baby until it is time to introduce solids at 6 months.

      Be the end of the first week of life, women who are breastfeeding one baby normally make between 19 to 30 ounces of milk each day.  Infants between one (1) and six (6) months of age normally drink an average of 19 to 30 ounces a day. 

      An average size “meal” for a baby is between three (3) to five (5) ounces of breastmilk.  Formula is harder to digest and less well absorbed.  Formula fed babies may need larger feeds.  Consult your healthcare professional for advice.

Product Usage

  • How long will the Symphony operate before it automatically shuts off?
    • The Symphony automatically shuts off after 30 minutes with both battery and electric operation.

  • What should I do if my milk is already flowing when I start pumping?
    • Use the individual setting and press the "let-down" button to directly use the expression mode.

  • What functions do the knobs perform on the Symphony?
    • The button all the way to the left is the on/off button. The knob in the center of the unit controls the suction and speed. The button all the way to the right is the "let down" button. This button interrupts the first phase (stimulation phase) so you can go right to the expression phase without waiting for the 2 minute stimulation phase to end.

  • How long can breastmilk be kept in a cooler carrier?
      • You can safely store your breastmilk for up to 10 hours* with Pump In Style Advanced and Freestyle breastpump cooler bags.   *When Ice pack is frozen solid.
      • Direct exposure to the sun, like leaving the cooler in a car, severely reduces the cooling effectiveness. 
      • Breastmilk is safe stored in a cooler at/or below 59 degrees for up to 24 hours.
      • The liquid inside the cooling elements is water with food grade dye.  The liquid is non-toxic.
      • Medela does not have recommendations for storing breastmilk with dry ice.  Consult a lactation consultant or healthcare provider for further information.


  • What does it mean when the Symphony reads, "invalid card?"
    • When the Symphony message reads, "invalid card" it could mean that the card in the pump is not the correct program card; the card could be damaged or the card is not inserted correctly.

      Unplug the pump and remove the card. Check the card to make sure it is the correct card and also check for damage. Replace if necessary. Make sure the card is inserted in the direction of the arrows and the arrows are visible.

      Plug in the pump and press the let-down button and the power button at the same time. Hold for several seconds and release. Try the pump again. If this does not correct the problem, the pump would need to be sent back the rental station for return to Medela.

  • Why does the cover pop off the Symphony pump while I'm pumping?
    • If the Symphony cover pops up while you are pumping, it may be due to an obstruction in the tubing.