“Overall, the Freestyle pump is a high quality pump that I would recommend to anyone who needs a handsfree and light pump, but who will mostly be pumping in private.” – Chich
Pros: Small, compact and light. Let-down mode is very effective. Breast shields and other parts are easy to clean. Nice, discrete shoulder bag.
Cons: Difficult to see if milk is being expressed. Low-pitched awkward noise. Too many parts.
When I got the Medela Freestyle Pump, it seemed like the perfect solution to my pumping needs. I was looking for a highly portable and effective pump that I could use daily at home and on the go.
I have a 7 month old who I am trying to nurse whenever possible although I am a full time working mom. Up until I got the Medela Freestyle Pump, I had been using the Medela Pump In Style most of the time and Avent Isis Manual Pump when I needed a portable solution. I was hoping that the Medela FreeStyle Pump would be a pump I could use for everything. What I found was a pump that met my needs perfectly except for a few minor drawbacks.
The Medela Freestyle scores big points for portability, easy of use, and effective pumping. I really like that the breast shields are comfortable and the suction is strong and can be adjusted. The hands-free pumping also worked surprisingly well as long as I kept a good posture (this is an added bonus because I should be working on my posture anyway). And, even though I had never thought that fast spurts of suction could actually spur let-down, it actually did for me, so the fast letdown mode that the pump starts with was nice.
One of the best things about the pump is how easy the parts are to clean. Yes, there are lots of parts in total, but the ones that need to be cleaned after each pumping session is manageable. Unlike the Pump In Style that has a small valve that can get easily misplaced, this pump’s parts are all easy to handle and are not easily lost.
I was particularly excited that the Freestyle comes in a nice, non-descript shoulder bag and the pump itself is a very small box that is not much bigger or heavier than my over-stuffed wallet. It even comes with a battery for added portability.
However, the Medela Freestyle Pump is like most other breast pumps – there are an overwhelming number of parts which is a negative for travel. The first time you use it, expect to spend a good amount of time with the instruction manual. As a previous Medela Pump In Style user, I also found some features that I wish Medela had incorporated into designing the Freestyle. My biggest issue with the pump is that I couldn’t see if I was expressing anything because that’s where the connection point between the breast shield and the part that holds the tubing and bottle lies. At the end of the pumping session, when I was still expressing a small amount of milk, I couldn’t tell by feel or sight what was happening. Several times, I’ve stopped the pump a little early. This is a small compromise for a breast pump that is so easy to clean.
My other issue with this pump is that while it is quieter than my Medela Pump in Style, the sound that it makes is an awkward low-pitched noise that my husband mistook for flatulence. It seems minor, but it was enough that when it came time for me to attend an all-day conference where I would be pumping in the bathroom, I decided to opt for my Avent manual pump which is almost silent. My idea that the Freestyle pump would be the pump of choice for all situations was out the window.
Overall, the Freestyle pump is a high quality pump that I would recommend to anyone who needs a handsfree and light pump, but who will mostly be pumping in private. Between the Freestyle and the Pump In Style, I would recommend the Freestyle for anyone who pumps frequently and does not plan on getting a lot of extra breast shields and valves since the cleaning is so much easier.
Now that I’ve used so many different pumps, I don’t think there’s a perfect one for every situation. But, these pumps are expensive, so I would encourage nursing moms to figure out what is most important to them and be prepared to make a few sacrifices on the small things.
“Note: This article contains affiliate amazon links.”
*This complimentary product was received from the manufacturer to be reviewed by Trekaroo. I received no other compensation, and was not required to express any particular point of view. These opinions are entirely my own.
updated: July 29 2010 by LiLing Pang