Medela Pump in Style Backpack

Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump: Solutions For Reduced Suction

Do you own a Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump?  If so,  you may notice that your breast pump isn’t nearly as efficient at pumping milk as it used to be. Don’t worry 90% of the time, you can easily restore your breast pump back to its original condition quickly and easily.  I have listed a few common problems with reduced suction on Medela breast pump, try these solutions to fix any problems with your Medela Pump in Style Backpack, On the Go Tote,  or the Metro Bag breast pump.
Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only.  The opinions in this post are based upon my own experience. This post may contain affiliate links.


Check Your Tubing at the Faceplate Connectors

Ensure that the tubing is properly attached to the nozzles on the Medela Pump in Style Faceplate.  If the tubing is loose your breast pump might not be getting the proper amount of suction in order to work properly.  Try adjusting the tubing to ensure that it is properly attached to the faceplate.  Sometimes the tubing will come lose a little bit without you even realizing it.  This solved over 75% of suction issues that I had with my Medela Pump in Style breast pump.   I  used my breast pump several times during the day while at work.

Inspect Tubing

Carefully inspect the tubing for your medela breast pump and  make sure that there isn’t any visible cracks or holes.  If your tubing has visible cracks,  you will need to order replacement tubing.  I always kept an extra set of tubing in my breast pump bag, in care I had any problems with my tubing.  The tubing can’t be purchased at local retail stores including popular baby stores.  The only place that you can find replacement tubing by contacting Medela directly or by ordering it from my website below.  (I do make a small commission if your order products listed on this page).  If you don’t have replacement tubing for your breast pump on hand you will be unable to use your breast pump for a few days until you you can get your replacement tubing.

Inspect the Membranes

The membranes are the white plastic flaps.  They are attached to the breast pump valves.  The membranes are responsible for creating enough suction for expressing breast milk.  If the membranes are damaged in any way, it will cause your breast pump to lose suction.  You may also notice that you are only able to pump a fraction of the breast milk that you usually get from your breasts.  Inspect the membrane for tears.  If the membrane is torn you will need to replace it immediately.  In fact, Medela membranes should be replaced every few weeks.

Inspect the Valves

The valves are the yellow pieces that attach to the bottom of the flanges (the clear plastic pieces that look similar to a funnel).  The valves are pretty easy to damage, especially, when you trying to get the valves off so that you can wash them.  If your valve seems to be stuck, I found that twisting it helped me get the valves off the bottom of the flange easier.  There was several times that I accidentally cracked the bottom piece on the very tip of the valve.  When you attempt to use your breast pump with a cracked valve, even a small one, chances are you will notice that you are no longer able to pump nearly as much milk or you may notice that your pump suddenly makes a different sound (I had this happen and it sounded like their was air escaping).  A cracked valve will  cause the membrane not to function properly.  Replace the damaged valves immediately with replacement Medela Valves and Membranes kit.

Remove the Faceplate and Inspect Diaphragm

To check the diaphram on your Medela Breast Pump you will want to remove the tubing and AC adapter.  Then you will carefully pull the faceplate off.   Once the faceplace has been removed, then inspect the diaphragm (it is a white piece of rubber that moves back and forth when the motor is running).  Carefully check the diaphragm to make sure that it doesn’t have any visible  cracks, tears, or appears to be damaged.  If the diaphragm is damaged, please contact Medela directly for further support.

Medela Replacement Tubing Breast Shields and MembranesReplacement Tubing for Medela SwingReplacement Valves and Membranes Medela Swing

I hope you were able to figure out the problem for reduced suction in your Medela breast pump. 


7 responses to “Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump: Solutions For Reduced Suction”

  1. marissa Avatar

    What if everything is in tact but yet the pump seems to be not strong enough to pump milk

    1. Christy Avatar

      Have you tried replacing the white flaps? If not, I would suggest that first.

  2. Engela Avatar

    Hi…my daughter in law is struggling with her breastpump that doesn’t pump as well as it did still work but is not that effective…she did replace the white valves…what else can be the problem…please help!!

    1. Christy Avatar

      Did you check the rest of the suggestions that I mentioned?

  3. Clara Avatar

    I know I’m having suction issues b/c I used to own a medela pump previously and it worked fine. However my current one is BRAND NEW! What could be wrong? Checked everything!

    1. Christy Avatar

      Have you replaced the white flaps?

  4. Kathy Avatar

    Just two and half years back, I had a great trouble regarding this. I am in a full-time day job, so I had to leave my daughter to her granny. I used to leave a cup of my breast milk for her. I don’t know from where my husband collected that pumping machine, but that used to work just fine!

    Anyway, this article gonna surely help to so many moms.