(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!)
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
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
- 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
I would have loved to own a pump like the Motif Duo during my time in corporate America.
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)
- 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.
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
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.
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 “-“
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).
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.
Want to buy a Motif Duo, Amazon seems to have the best price currently. Click here for more info!
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