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Hands-on Gear Review
Medela Breastmilk Review
Price: $6.33 List | $1.67 each (in 6-pack) from Amazon - 74% Off
Pros: Works w/ Medela breastpumps, easy to assemble
Cons: Nipple leaks, plastic, nipple, hard to clean
Bottom line: Leaky bottle w/ latching issues in our tests
The Medela Breastmilk bottle is a BPA free plastic bottle that works with Medela breast pumps and other accessories. And while we love that this simplistic bottle means a quick and seamless transfer from pump to storage to feeding baby, we don't really like the plastic container or the tendency it has to leak around the nipple and collar. This bottle might be good as a backup plan to your regular bottle lineup if you own a Medela pump, but otherwise we don't think it is the best option given the smaller collapsing nipple, the lack of air venting, and the more difficult to clean narrow neck. If the bottle had been made of glass or the nipple larger and more baby friendly the Medela might have performed better in our tests.
RELATED: Our complete review of baby bottles
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
Medela Breastmilk Bottle
The Medela Breastmilk bottle is made by Medela, a familiar brand for many parents, even new ones. The manufacturer is practically synonymous with breast feeding thanks to their impressive lineup of breast pumps and accessories that make breastfeeding and collecting and storing breastmilk easier. They offer products that can be used for pumping, storage, and feeding baby, including the Breastmilk bottle. The Breastmilk is compatible with all the Medela pumps, is dishwasher safe and BPA free, made of FDA food contact grade polypropylene. It comes with minimal parts making it easy to clean and it attaches directly to the pump for easy collection and storage without transfer that can result in losing milk.
While the bottle has few parts making cleaning easier and less time consuming, it also has a narrow neck design that makes fitting the brush into the bottle more difficult and increases the chances of parents needing an additional smaller cleaning brush on hand to get deep inside the bottle. The bottle design is also somewhat strange because it offers no venting (something very common in most modern bottles) and the milk had a tendency of getting stuck in the wide area below the nipple when baby was drinking.
The Medela also didn't score well for eco-health thanks to its plastic body (see our article on plastics). While we understand it is BPA free FDA food contact grade polypropylene it still isn't as inert as glass or stainless steel and we think glass offers potentially more benefits to baby because the nutrients in the breastmilk doesn't cling to the inside of the bottle like it can with plastics. In addition, this bottle is made in China, and we prefer those that are made in America or Europe.
convenience for storage or while travelling. We think it is better to invest in other options for your main go to bottle given the lower score of the Medela and the fact that it came in last place in our tests. With the potential of finding a similarly priced glass bottle that performs better and leaks less, the Medela becomes a less desirable option.
Other Versions and Accessories
Medela also offers the Medela Calma bottle, a breastfeeding exclusive bottle not intended for formula. We didn't test the Calma but the manufacturer claims that the bottle makes switching between the breast and bottle easier than ever before. The Calma is designed to use baby's natural feeding behavior by allowing milk flow only when baby is working and creates a vacuum to express the milk. This is similar to breastfeeding and Medela believes this helps in the transition and creating positive feeding habits.
This bottle would work well with our Best Value award winner for breast pumps the Medela Pump in Style Advanced and the hand held Medela Harmony Manual.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab Review Team
Most recent user review: July 1, 2016
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