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Medela Freestyle Review: Double Electric Breast Pump
The Medela Freestyle is fantastically portable and when I first started researching which breast pump I wanted to use daily in the office, I was sure this was the one for me. However, once I explored pump options a bit more, I decided against the Freestyle and went with the Ameda Purely Yours pump instead. This Medela Freestyle review explains the pros and cons of this highly portable breast pump.
I chose the Ameda Purely Yours over the Freestyle because portability wasn’t a top priority for me and I wanted a pump that was a closed system. However, anyone who needs a lightweight and portable pump should seriously consider the Medela Freestyle. Just look how tiny the motor is! Plus, it runs off of a rechargeable battery so you can move around some as you pump.
What’s in the Box?
The Medela Freestyle is usually sold in a bundle with a tote bag and cooler bag, which makes it a good value because the cooler bag in particular is very convenient for transporting expressed milk. The pump always comes with two different breastshield/flange sizes, so most women are ensured a great fit for pumping. (Medela also has other flange sizes available for purchase separately).
The following contents are for the bundle with the tote and cooler bag.
- 1 Freestyle pump motor
- 1 rechargeable lithium ion battery
- 1 AC adaptor/charger
- 1 Double pumping kit – includes: 2 breastshield bodies (where the flange is inserted), 2 membranes, 2 back caps, 2 pieces of tubing
- 4 5oz/150mL breast milk bottles and lids
- 1 set of 24mm flanges/ breastshields
- 1 set of 27mm flanges/ breastshields
- 1 Microfiber tote bag for pump and parts
- 1 Medela cooler bag with ice pack
- Instruction manual
Medela Freestyle Review:
Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump Pros:
- Ultra portable – small, lightweight, and even has a belt clip
- Rechargeable battery – can run for up to 3 hours once fully charged, so daily charging is generally unnecessary
- Backlit digital display – this is the only Medela pump with a digital display. It includes a timer, shows you the suction level, and battery level.
- Like most double electric pumps, it can also be used for single pumping
- Replacement/ additional parts are easy to come by – Medela is widely available in stores and online
- Good suction – some pumps seem to have weaker suction while on battery power. Since the Freestyle is designed to be used on-the-go, the suction is excellent while on battery.
Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump Cons:
- Not a closed system – this means the tubing is susceptible to moisture or milk backflow, which makes it more difficult to clean. Also means the pump cannot be used by more than one person.
- A bit loud – for such a small pump it makes a bigger noise than you’d expect and it would be difficult to, say, pump while on a conference call. It is also a little loud if you’re trying to watch tv and pump.
- Cannot adjust speed and suction separately – this can make it more difficult to mimic your baby’s nursing pattern and can make pumping slower. This is a big thing for me – I want to be able to set the suction and speed exactly to my liking – with this pump when I was at the suction speed I wanted, the suction strength was too high so it was uncomfortable. I had to pump at a lower strength (and higher speed) which made milk expression slower for me.
Should you buy the Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump?
Overall, the Freestyle is a reliable and very portable pump, but it may not be ideal for moms pumping in an office setting due to noise. My personal preference is always for pumps that allow you to adjust speed and suction separately, so that is another reason I would not choose the Freestyle for myself. However, the portability is amazing and if you’ll be pumping in a lot of different environments or simply want to get some housework done while pumping, this is the pump for you!
If you are looking for a robust pump for daily use, you might also want to consider the Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced, the Ameda Purely Yours, or the Spectra S1. The Ameda and Spectra pumps are closed systems, which means they are more hygienic and easier to clean, although slightly larger and less portable.