With my first son, I almost didn’t purchase a breastpump. The price tag made me pause. Wasn’t I going to nurse my baby all the time? Fortunately, I gave in, purchased the Medela Pump In Style Backpack, and decided I’d keep it sealed until I *really* needed it. I figured I’d end up returning it.
Turns out, that Medela pump was a lifesaver, as we had a tongue-tied baby who was difficult to nurse for the first month or so. I absolutely needed to pump to “finger-feed” him, heal myself, and regulate my supply.
This time around, Medela sent me their Freestyle breastpump, and even though breastfeeding is going so much better, I’m happy to have it!
The Freestyle pump allows hands-free pumping without a special bra! Now, I was daunted by the hooks and straps when I first took them out (the whole set comes in a great carry bag!). But really, it’s easy – just watch the video on their website or follow these steps:
- The hands-free straps are Y-shaped. Hold them so they form an upside-down Y.
- Snap the attachment onto the bottle/funnel – just push until it clicks on.
- Attach the upside-down Y stem of the strap onto your nursing bra.
- Then take the hanging straps and clip them to the bottom of your bra to pull the bottle/funnel snugly against you.
- Plug in the pump tubing and turn on your pump!
The motor on this pump is superb, in fact, I thought it was quieter and more adjustable than my Pump In Style, and I really liked that pump! Now I haven’t tried another brand of breastpump yet besides Medela’s, but they are the only pump with 2-Phase Expression® technology. Since there are two distinct phases of how babies breastfeed, Medela pumps have a stimulation phase (to promote a let down), and an expression phase (to pump the milk faster, just like babies do!). From using Medela pumps for about two years now, I can say this two-phase feature is comfortable because there’s a gradual build up to the deeper suction.
So how well does the hands-free aspect work? Really well, in my opinion! Once you get the straps tightened correctly, you really are hands-free. Use the battery pack and tuck the pump motor into an elastic belt in your pump kit and walk all around (I’ve even seen videos of people driving or mowing the lawn while pumping… um, not for me, but the point is, it can be done!). With the battery, you can pump ANYWHERE, not just where there’s an outlet! Perfect for working or traveling moms (I’m thinking of camping trips!!).
Word to the wise. I could not properly use the hands-free feature while wearing a nursing tank top, as the bottom clips did not attach well to the tank itself; it works better with a nursing bra where you can clip onto the underside of the bra band.
The Medela Freestyle comes with everything you need for pumping – hands-free straps, pump and tubing, of course. You also get two sizes of funnels, four bottles with lids and one nipple, an ice pack and cooler for the bottles. And four clip attachments to accommodate different nursing bras for the hands-free feature. Plus, a rechargeable battery pack, elastic belt, and a roomy classic black carry bag!
And in case you’re wondering, I have tried the new Medela Calma bottle I featured a few months ago – it seems to work well for our son. The flow of milk goes really slow and only when he sucks, so he doesn’t get used to a fast-flowing bottle. He is a bit young yet, so we’re not using the bottle often as he’s still learning to nurse correctly.
Visit Medela to see their full line of breastpumps from double-electric to manual pumps – even rentals!
Did you use a breastpump while nursing? Tell me about your experience and whether you went with an electric / manual, or single / double.