Breast Pump Comparison & Review: Medela Pump In Style, Medela Freestyle & Freemie Liberty

I am a mom of 4 that has always worked full time. The effectiveness and efficiency of my breast pump makes a huge difference in my life the first 6-12 month post baby. Over the course of the last 7 years, I have used a Medela Pump In Style, Medela Freestyle, and Freemie Liberty. I have used all of them in the past few weeks. I should also note that I have a cup size that ranges from DD-G depending on proximity to birth, so others with a different build may not have the same experience!

As I was sitting in my hotel room last week pumping, I decided to jot down some thoughts I had about each of the 3 I have in case it might be helpful for someone else. So…here’s what I think:

Medela Pump In Style

Pros:

  • Great suction – I get the most milk and the quickest
  • Dependable
  • Easy to use
  • Parts are easy to get (Walmart carries them)

Cons:

  • Not a closed system – water/milk can get into the tubing (this is annoying and you have to make sure they dry otherwise mold can develop in the tubes)
  • Requires an outlet – it is the least convenient because you can not pump everywhere
  • Bag is big – the bag the pump comes in is bulky, which can be a pain. However, it does have space to keep all of the pumping supplies, milk bags, breast pads, bottles and ice pack, so that is actually nice too!

Medela Freestyle

Pros:

  • Portable!!! You can charge it and pump anywhere, no outlet required
  • Pretty good suction – not quite as quick and powerful as the Pump In Style, but still good enough that I could use this pump exclusively
  • Closed system – so you don’t have the pesky water getting in the tubes problem
  • Parts are easy to assemble
  • Machine is small – you can easily toss it in a book bag 

Cons:

  • Not handsfree (at least for me) – it was advertised as if you could pump while doing dishes or laundry, but I found it did not get me empty if I tried to use it handsfree
  • Parts are a little less easy to find
  • Suction was not quite as effective as the Pump In Style

Freemie Liberty

Pros:

  • Handsfree & quiet – I literally, on multiple occasions, pumped in public and no one knew (I did make use of sweaters to do this)
  • Machine is small – you can easily toss it in a book bag

Cons:

  • Unreliable – I could get decent suction, but it was very finicky even when I followed all of the advice and troubleshooting provided by the company
  • Suction was not as good as either Medela product even when it was working
  • Parts are very expensive and must be ordered online
  • The design is flawed – it’s difficult to make sure the nipple is attached correctly because it’s hard to see through the plastic

Summary

With each pregnancy, my Medela Pump In Style has been a staple…I keep coming back to it for my everyday, dependable pump. The other two I have used for their portability features, but don’t like to depend on them. I get slightly less milk, but I think the Freestyle could work as my everyday pump as well. I would not recommend the Freemie despite all of the awards it touts (that’s what sold me!).

These are just my opinions and experiences, of course, so take from it what you will! 😊 And happy pumping!

 

 

 

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