I'm an exclusively pumping mom. And I am proud of it. I wasn't proud of it because I felt guilty that I should be breastfeeding, until I discovered the Sonata, which led to me producing a lot of milk, which then led me to becoming a milk donor for preemies in the NICU.
I exclusively breastfed my first born, but complications with my second prevented me from breastfeeding him, so my other choice was to pump to provide him with the benefits of breastmilk. I originally used the Medela Freestyle pump, but was forced to buy a new pump when that one bit the dust about 3 weeks after my son was born. I was pumping in the hospital, what seemed like all the time, although it was only 8 times a day. I was pumping about 70ml which is what he needed at the time per feed.
When we got released from the hospital, I continued pumping, and slowly, the parts on my Freestyle pump started to go. When I started to look at replacing all the parts, it made more sense to just buy a new pump. I researched pumps to see which ones were the best, and decided on the Medela Sonata. Its a new pump to their line, and I'm so glad I made the change.
When I started using the Sonata, my milk production seemed to have increased. I went from producing 70ml (or ~2.5oz) to producing 100ml (~3oz) and the more I used the pump, I started producing anywhere between 150ml and 400ml (5-12oz). I now currently only pump 4 times a day (instead of 8), and produce about 8oz at every pump, or roughly 24-30oz per day. My 3 month old son can't eat enough, and before I knew it, our freezer was full. I ended up signing up to become a milk donor for BC Children's Hospital, where the milk goes to preemies in the NICU who need the benefits of breastmilk. I can't guarantee that my milk production is the result of the pump alone, but I can honestly say that I do not take any supplements for my milk production, and that my milk production seemed to have increased when I started using the Sonata pump. (Keep in mind though, its possible that my milk supply just gradually increased over time, but I attribute it to the pump).
The Sonata is extremely quiet, doesn't wake the baby when he's sleeping, and doesn't wake the husband either! The pump parts are simple to use and wash, and its easy to put together. Although it has a lot of tech-savvy functions, I don't use them, and just use it as a pump. It has bluetooth, and an app that you can download from the iTunes App Store, which keeps track of your baby's growth, your pumping schedule, sleep patterns, and other cool stuff.
The only downfall of the Sonata is that its not as portable as the other pumps that Medela offers. It can't be attached to your belt or pants while you walk around and do things. Although, personally, because I'm producing so much milk with this pump, I don't think I'd be able to walk around because the bottles will be too heavy since they're filled with milk. I have however, been able to pick up my baby and the pump and walk over from the bed to the change table to change him. Its easy to carry around because of the design of the pump, and if you need to pump while you're at work, in the car, or on an airplane, it wouldn't be an issue at all. It even comes with a really nice tote bag (which looks more like a purse) to carry the pump around in.
Here are the features of the Medela Sonata:
More milk in less time with 2-Phase Expression Technology when double pumping, compared to single pumping.
Consistent pumping sessions featuring hospital performance, inspired by Symphony®, in a personal-use breast pump.
Flexibility to choose from two clinically tested pumping rhythms for personalized comfort.
Quiet when you need it most for discreet pumping situations like on-the-go or late-night sessions
Although it has a hefty price tag (at US$399), its cheaper than buying formula for your little one over the next year. I paid full price for this pump on Amazon, and this review is based strictly on my opinions and experiences.