Best Hand-Held Breast Pump: Review of the Motif Duo

Best-Hand-Held-Breast-Pump-Review-of-the-Motif-Duo

(Note: I was given a Motif Duo to try free of charge. This review is based on my personal experience with that product and all opinions are my own. Please see our complete affiliate disclosure here for more information! Thank you for supporting The Pumping Mommy!)

As a working and pumping mom, one of the more inconvenient parts of trying to breastfeed was lugging my pump to and from work.

If you have read any of my reviews of various pump bags that I have used, then you probably already know that I used to carry like a hundred bags to work every day…

I had one for my pump, one for my milk, one for my lunch, one for my laptop, and my purse.

Heaven forbid I wanted to bring my coffee mug or something… It was a nightmare.

At the time I was using the Medela Pump in Style.

I had the version that was built into a pump bag-looking thing but really it just looked like a medical bag that was, to be honest, embarrassing to carry around because it was so ugly. (Their bags have gotten a lot cuter over the years)

At that time, Medela really was the only pump worth buying if you wanted to pump for any significant time. But it was far from small or portable!

I often wished I had a pump that would fit into my purse, making my life easier and condense all my bags into one!

So when I was sent the Motif Duo to try, I was curious to see if this pump was worth buying.

It certainly seemed like a great concept – small, rechargeable, easy to carry around, great for on-the-go, etc.

So did I think the Motif Duo held up to be one of the best hand-held breast pumps?

Best-Hand-Held-Breast-Pump-Review-of-the-Motif-Duo

Best Hand-Held Breast Pump: Review of the Motif Duo

Meet the Motif Duo

I was sent the Motif Duo by Aeroflow Breastpumps. Being a pumping mom, I am always excited about new breast pumps!

When I first opened my Motif Duo, I was immediately thrilled by the size of it! It weighs less than a pound and is about the same size as my iPhone.

This hand-held pump does pack a good punch, however, with an impressive max suction of 270 mmHg per Motif’s site. That outdoes the Medela Pump in Style which boasts a max suction of 250 mmHg. Impressive.

Features of the Motif Duo

Best-Hand-Held-Breast-Pump-Review-of-the-Motif-Duo

  • Single or Double Pump
  • Light-weight (weighs less than a pound)
  • 10 different Massage and Expression levels for max customization
  • Memory Mode to automatically follow your preferred pump settings
  • Backlit LCD screen
  • Auto shutoff after 30 minutes to save battery
  • Closed System
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Quiet pump motor
  • Features three settings: Massage, Expression, and Memory Mode
  • Wide-mouth collection bottles
  • Display features a timer

How to Put the Motif Together

This video details the parts of the Motif Duo.

I personally found this pump to be extremely easy to put together and not at all intimidating.

One thing I will point out is that the tubing is very difficult to push into place when connecting it to the pump and the collection kit. You really have to push hard to get a good fit.


What I Thought of the Motif Duo

There are a lot of things I liked about this pump! But mostly it made me excited for all working moms and moms on-the-go.

I would have loved to own a pump like the Motif Duo during my time in corporate America.

Making the decision to breastfeed while working, exclusively pump, or any other combo of pumping is not easy! We need pumps that fit our lifestyle and make things easier on us.

The Motif Duo has a lot going for it that will help make this a good fit for a working mom or any other mom who does a lot of pumping:

  • Size (it’s small)
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • It’s fairly quiet
  • Strong suction for max milk

What I Liked About the Motif Duo

1 – Portability

Using this pump on-the-go is super simple since it is has a built-in rechargeable battery and is very small.

I took this pump with me on a road trip and it literally fit into my purse.

I did take my pump bag with me for the added cooler and storage for the pump parts but I was able to keep the pump bag in the back and my pump upfront with me in just my purse.

If you travel or are on the go a lot, this pump is a great option to consider!

2 – Easy to Use

Switching from Massage to Expression modes is as easy as pushing a button. It really doesn’t get easier than that!

I say it a lot when talking about using your pump, but you really need to take the time to learn how to properly use your pump to achieve the most milk output.

Pumps like the Medela Pump in Style, Ameda Finesse, Ameda Purely Yours, etc have dials that you have to manually move to get the proper speed and suction strength.

Best-Hand-Held-Breast-Pump-Review-of-the-Motif-Duo

The idea behind being able to control speed and suction is to mimic your baby.

Fast speed with low suction mimics your baby when you first put them to the breast. They are hungry and frantically sucking.

Once your milk lets down, your baby will be taking deep sucks at a slower speed.

A benefit of having a pump like the Motif Duo is that these settings are already built in for you in the Massage and Expression modes.

You don’t have to do anything but push a button.

You can still increase or decrease the suction strength to fit your comfort level but the pump will automatically follow this pattern when you press the button.

This is key for pumping more milk!

3 – Memory Mode

I will explain this feature a little more below, but this is a stand-out feature of the Motif Duo, in my opinion.

If you were impressed by the Massage and Expression Modes, then the Memory Mode will really impress you.

As you start to pump more, you will realize that your body will probably follow the same pattern in most cases.

I know, for example, that once I start pumping, my milk will usually letdown within the first 2 minutes and after that flow slows, I will have a second letdown within several minutes. Every time.

The beauty of memory mode is that you can record your pump settings and replay that session each time you pump.

So you literally have to do nothing while pumping. It will automatically follow your recorded session switching from Massage to Expression and back for you.

If you pump a lot, this feature will change your pumping life!

4 – Strong Pump Motor = More Milk

How-to-build-a-freezer-stash-of-breast-milk

When the Motif Duo is fully charged or plugged into the wall, the pump strength is great.

I was able to pull down about the same amount of milk with the Motif Duo as I do when I pump with my Medela Pump in Style.

As I explained earlier, this is to be expected since the Motif Duo has a stronger pump suction than the Medela PISA.

It is impressive that the Motif Duo comes in at 270 mmHg given its size but I don’t believe it outperformed my PISA.

If you are a working and pumping mom or an exclusive pumper, you don’t need to be put off by the Motif’s size. This pump will be able to keep up!


Some Things I Disliked About the Motif Duo

1 – Breastshield 

The breastshield for the Motif Duo is a separate piece that is fitted into the milk collection kit.

Several brands have breastshields like this so that moms have the option to use a correct fitting breastshield and easily swap it out without having to buy the entire collection kit.

In theory, this works BUT I found the Mofit Duo’s breastshield doesn’t stay put and easily falls off.

This was most annoying when trying to position the breastshields when wearing my pumping bra. I kept dropping the milk collection kit because it would slip off.

I wish the fit was a little more snug (and I pushed it I there hard too).

2 – Pumping with Low Battery

This is to be expected with portable pumps but when the battery gets low, the suction strength goes with it.

I pumped when my Motif Duo was below 25% battery power and it was noticeably weaker. I then plugged it into the wall and the suction strength came back.

While the pump has a battery life of 2.5 hours, don’t expect the pump strength to remain at full power during all 2.5 hours.

3 – Short Power cord

I don’t know if I am the only one that gets annoyed by short power cords on any of my electronics but the Motif Duo’s cord is quite short to me.

The Nursing Mother’s Room at my office had a wonderful set up with couches and comfy chairs, etc but the plug was under an end table. This power cord would not have stretched far enough in that scenario.

I wish it was a little longer.


Using the Memory Mode

I wanted to touch on using the Memory Mode a little bit.

If you are going to get a pump with a digital display that features a setting like a memory mode, then invest the time to learn how to use it!

It really will make your life 10,000 times easier!

As I mentioned above, the Memory Mode is by far my favorite feature of the Motif Duo.

It wasn’t difficult to figure out how to record my preferred setting or to play it back.

The manual does a great job explaining step by step how to set that feature up. You can view that, here.

So I won’t go into detail on how to set the Memory Mode, but instead wanted to offer some quick tips to do when setting it up:

1 – Put the Pump into Massage Mode (icon is a HAND) and set the suction strength by using the “+” and “-“

Best-Hand-Held-Breast-Pump-Review-of-the-Motif-Duo

2 – Once you have it comfortable, THEN start the Memory Mode recording. If you start recording before getting it where you want it, then it will always start out in the wrong mode when you play the memory mode back.

I failed to do that the first time I recorded my session and imagine my surprise when my pump turned on with a suction strength of “9.” Yikes.

3 – Pump like you normally would for the full-time. Don’t record the Memory Mode if you don’t have time to pump for a full 20+ minutes or however long you typically pump.

4 – DON’T forget to save it! I got to the end of the pumping session and forgot to press the memory mode button again (per the directions) and it didn’t save (insert face-palm). 


Bottomline

Best-Hand-Held-Breast-Pump-Review-of-the-Motif-Duo

If you are looking for a hand-held breast pump that will not only work great on-the-go but won’t sacrifice pump strength, then the Motif Duo is something you should consider.

There are not very many breast pumps this small that perform as well on a battery. I was impressed with the Motif Duo and its ability to maintain its suction strength for as long as it did.

The size, the pump strength, and the technology in the settings of the Motif Duo all are reasons this pump is perfect for working mom or moms who want the option of a portable pump.

If you want to learn more about the Motif Duo and see if you qualify to receive one through your insurance, you can visit Aeroflow Breastpumps, here.

Want to buy a Motif Duo, Amazon seems to have the best price currently. Click here for more info!


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8 comments

  1. Ashley says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for the great review of the pump! I have already ordered this and have been using it but wasn’t really sure what the massage mode was until I read your article. Do you have a suggestion of how many minutes you should start with for the massage mode? Do you go right into expression mode for a certain amount of minutes before going back to the massage mode? I can’t really find any guidance on this. Thank You!!

    Thank You!

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Ashley,
      This is a great question! Every mom is going to be different here but let me give you some guidance.

      The purpose of massage mode is to promote your milk to let down just like your baby does when they first latch and are hungry. Massage mode is a faster speed and light suction (as a hungry baby would quickly suck to get the milk flowing). Most mothers experience a let down of their milk within the first 1-2 minutes in massage mode. Once your milk lets down, you then switch to Expression Mode (which is a slower speed and deeper suction).

      Again, every mom is different so this timeframe will vary. But the best way to go about this is to wait until you feel your milk letting down before switching modes. If you do not ever feel your milk letting down, that’s okay. Not all moms do. Then you will want to wait until your milk starts flowing, then switch modes.

      Some moms even have trouble achieving a let down while pumping. In this case, you can start in massage mode and switch to expression mode after about a 2 minute period of time to try to trigger the let down. If you still are not getting much, you can switch back to massage mode after another 2 minutes.

      You can learn more about Milk Let Downs and what the signs are, here!

      So, the rule of thumb is to start in Massage Mode stay in that mode until your milk lets down or 2 minutes, then switch to Expression Mode.

      Now, once you are in Expression Mode, you will want to stay there until your milk flow starts to slow. Your milk lets down in a series of waves. So once that flow slows, you will want to switch back to Massage Mode for another few minutes to promote a second let down. Repeat this pattern for the duration of your pumping session (at least 20 minutes).

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Emily says:

      Thank you for posting this! I am seriously considering ordering this pump through Aeroflow. So it is compatible with the Bravado Clip and Pump bra? Or is there another hands-free bra you would recommend? Also, did you need to buy extra bottles since it only comes with two? Have you found any other brands that are compatible?

      • Heather Grace says:

        It is compatible with the Clip and Pump Bra. It fits great! The Clip and Pump is my favorite pumping bra right now. It is amazing!

        The only thing to think about when it comes to the Clip and Pump is that you have to be wearing a nursing bra to use it since it clips into your existing nursing bra. I always wore nursing bras to work since I wanted to be able to have easier access for pumping. But I know plenty of moms who wear regular bras while working. The Clip and Pump would not work for them.

        If you wear a nursing bra daily, then def go with the Clip and Pump. If you don’t wear a nursing bra daily, then I suggest you going with the Simple Wishes pumping bra. It is a great pumping bra! You can read about it, here.

        As for the bottles, you should be able to pump into most wide-mouthed bottles with the Motif. I personally have only tried it with my Avent bottles and it worked fine. But you could prob try most brands. Motif does sell extra bottles if you decide to get more. It will include extra pump parts as well, which you will likely need in the future anyway. You can see that on Amazon, here.

        I hope you found this helpful! Let me know if I can help in any other way!

      • Laura Bogacki says:

        Thank you for the review! Can you walk around and pump with this model? It seems very similar to the Medela Freestyle minus the clip and price… thank you!!

        • Heather Grace says:

          Hi Laura,

          Yes, you could walk around and pump if you wanted too. And you are right that it is a similar size of the Medela Freestyle. The Freestyle is a much stronger pump though. There is no a clip for the Motif Duo so you would need to either hold it or put it in your pocket. Though it would need a rather large pocket. I have had success wearing a hoodie sweatshirt and putting the pump in the pocket of the hoodie. Hope that helps!

        • Kai says:

          Hi, I can’t seem to find the button to leave a comment so I’m using the ‘reply’ button
          Hope you can see this.. I noticed the pump design and features are very similar to Milk Genie which you have also done a raving review. How do they compare?

          • Heather Grace says:

            Hi Kai,
            Yes, the design is shockingly similar. They are very comparable as far as milk output, in my opinion. The Motif Duo does have the option to change up the frequency to 3 different levels. The Milk Genie does not have this function that I can see. So there are some subtle differences in the functionality. The Milk Genie is also unavailable at this time in the US. Overall, however, they are extremely similar in how they function and their strength.

            I hope that helps!

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