Review: The Medela Freestyle Experience

For more than a year now, I’ve been drooling looking at the Medela Freestyle Breastpump. I’m a gadget freak, as you know, so anything that is high tech and would make life for the Lazy Mama easier is on the top of my list. Every now and then I would visit the Medela Freestyle website admiring the breastpump. (Now that I’ve said that, I can see how sad that looks!) I already have the Medela Swing since I gave birth to Jack Jack (he’s now 15 months!) and I stay at home with him so the idea of purchasing an electric double breastpump is not that feasible for us.

Last month, I accepted a job offer to work full-time at home. And what do you think is the next thing I did? You guessed that right! I had a friend (Thanks, Tina!) order the Medela Freestyle for me (This is the cheapest option, so there). You’d feel robbed if you will purchase this from local malls. I have the following reasons why I chose the Medela Freestyle:

  • Lightweight
  • Rechargeable batteries – meaning no wires! Wuhu!
  • Double pump
  • Timer
  • Auto volt
  • 2 Phase Expression technology
  • Hands-free and mobility option
  • Memory for the pumping strength

Medela_Freestyle_In_Hand_Size

This is how it fits in my hand.

The Breastpump motor along with the rechargeable battery is so light. I believe it was less than a pound from their site. This is a real plus because I remember carrying my Medela Swing around with 4 AA batteries and it’s breaking my shoulders. The next day, I used the pump without it’s hands free option. The pump strength is pretty much like the Medela Swing. Only that it is a double pump and is lighter. I was able to pump both breasts using only one hand. I can clip both pumps under my arm and work with the other. I was able to pump around 6-7 oz. of milk in just 20 minutes. This just doesn’t happen with the Medela Swing since it is a single breastpump. I remembered pumping for an hour in a mall’s parking lot when I went out with Big J. Well, of course I wouldn’t know it was only 20 minutes if it weren’t for the timer! I’m quite a freak with the exact time so imagine me looking at the clock for the nth time while pumping.

Tip: The timer can be reset at anytime simply by pressing down and holding the let-down button for 3 seconds. Cool, huh?!

Medela_Freestyle_Swing_Comparison_Side_by_Side

The Medela Freestyle and Medela Swing compared side-by-side.

I purchased my Swing via an online seller (again, it’s the cheapest price I can get). This means that the adaptor would need to be plugged into 110 volts. And so, I bought the littlest transformer I could find in the market which is still heavy! I have once accidentally plugged it into 220 volts for a second but never turned it on. Now, imagine pure bliss when I found out that the Medela Freestyle’s power cord charger does not need the transformer. No more worries of frying the pump motor.

The 2 Phase Expression technology is the same feature that I loved about the Medela Swing. It basically mimics the baby’s suckling pattern. You can switch back to the stimulation phase anytime you wish to have another let-down.

I didn’t use the hands free kit right away because I thought it wouldn’t be compatible with my current nursing bras. But it fits ALL my nursing bras – even the ones from tiangge’s. I do not own any nursing bra from Medela, BTW.

“Look Ma, no hands!”

When I used the hands free kit, I used the small hands-free straps (yellow) without a doubt but I think it isn’t small enough for me that the straps needed to go across each other in my front to get a more secure fit. The hands free option really isn’t my first favorite feature for purchasing the Freestyle because I was planning on creating a hands free kit of my own. But when I tried using the hands free kit, it is just amazing. I can walk around the house while pumping! It took me around 10 minutes setup the first time I used the hands-free kit. The next setups only took me only 5-7 minutes.

I do not mind adjusting the pumping strength every time I pump but the Memory button is just a great idea! You can change this setting with just a moment of pressing the Memory button.

Cleaning, as any other Medela breastpump, is easy because there’s just 4 parts of the pump excluding the bottle. For a double pump, that would be 8 parts. The parts also got a bit bigger compared to PISA and Swing. That makes the parts harder to lose; however, this would also take so much space in the sterilizer. Drying time would also take a bit longer compared to the Swing because of some parts that you can’t reach to wipe so you’d have to put it on a rack.

Medela_Freestyle_Pump_Parts_Sterilizer

This is how full my Chicco Sterilizer is with only the pump parts loaded.

Medela said that the hands free straps were designed to work with most top flap nursing bras though I find these to be true if I use the Universal bra clasp adapters. It is a bit small in size and I am not seeing this being sold separately anywhere. You will need to purchase the whole hands-free kit. Now that I’ve realized that, I’m scared if I break or lose this part.

Medela_Freestyle_Bra_Adapters_Universal

The Universal Bra Adapter.

I used to look at the tubing hose of my Medela Swing because it sometimes builds up moisture inside. Every time I finish pumping using the Swing, I leave it on for about 15  minutes for the moisture to dry. This moisture sometimes can be seen being pumped into the motor and I believe could damage it if pumping is not stopped. With the Freestyle, I didn’t see even a single droplet of moisture. Yey!

More tips:

Wear it under your jacket if you are in the office and you can continue pumping while working. Or use a lose shirt or top if anywhere without air conditioning.

Be careful moving if you are using the hands-free feature, because there are times I forget I am pumping. Also, the breastpump motor could come off the belt if you accidentally kink it high enough. I’m absolutely sure you do not want this to happen much more than spilling the milk. The hands-free kit is supposed to help you do “some” stuff while pumping not cartwheels. Still, I wish it could lock securely into the belt.

Make sure all the breastpump parts are completely dry as written in the User Guide. I didn’t realize it mattered until I noticed a whistling/hissing sound one time I just wiped the parts dry with a paper towel.

Check that all breastpump parts are snapped into place including the tubing hose. This is what I found affects the pumping strength of the Freestyle – or perhaps this should apply to any breastpump.

Oh, and the bag. How can I forget? The tote bag! Wow! It-is-so-nice! It isn’t the cutest thing but it’s so roomy. It’s got 5 pockets inside and 2 outside. This can also double as a diaper bag if you need to go out with the baby for a day. Perhaps, as a gym bag once baby grows.

I have been using it for two weeks now and the hands-free feature is my favorite. There are times it makes me sad when I look at the timer to see my time’s up. I wish I can pump longer – because time flies when you’re using this pump. I love my new toy!

UPDATE (December 22, 2009): Big J and I were doing grocery a while ago about to pay for them when I suddenly leaked! Jack Jack is with my Mom since 2 days ago and the last time I expressed was more than 24 hours ago. I kept holding off pumping the whole day because we were so busy since morning (I’m a bad example!). I went back to the parking lot to express. Hubby caught up with me after a while and I wasn’t finished pumping yet so I drove all the way back home (just about 15 minutes) with the pump still attached to me and still running! I was wondering before why the user guide says don’t use it while driving but now I know why. It is not safe! Because you will have to drive without the safety belt on. Not the pump’s belt, of course! The seat belt! Anyways, we got home safely. I’m glad I was able to drive without any mishaps.

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The Lazy Mama

I'm a WAHM, Struggling Wifey, Breastfeeding Advocate and Belly Dancer. The Lazy Mama always finds the easiest and most efficient ways to do mama stuff.

18 COMMENTS
  • Joanna
    Reply

    Hi Lazy Mama,

    As you have both models, SWING and Freestyle, I was wondering if can use the Freestyle tube in the SWING pump unit, so can get a double pump. I already have two sets of cups, valvule, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. The Lazy Mama
      Reply

      Hi Joanna!

      As far as I know, only the medela bottles can be interchangeable with breastpumps. Unfortunately, I have given away my Medela Swing to my SIL and there is no way I can try to fit the Freestyle tubing for the Swing pump motor now – We live in different cities. The Freestyle pump parts are completely diferent from the Swing’s. But I’m quite positive the tubing will fit – though I’m not 100% sure. Where are you located? Cause maybe the local medela moms can help you with that question. Am I right to assume you are trying to convert the Swing into a double pump? If that’s what you want, I guess it’s fine. Just keep in mind that the Swing was designed to be a single pump and the suction level might not be as strong as the Freestyle pump motor. Let me know what happens. Good luck!

  • Joanna
    Reply

    Yes, I am thinking, that can convert the Medela Swing in a double pump, as I know, Freestyle and Swing has the same motor capacity, so I think that if I can get a Freestyle tubing can use my Medela Swing as a double pump, but I am not shure if it will fit in.

    Can you tell me if the Freestyle tubing tips are the same size, diameter and lenght?, In that way I can compare them with the Swing tubing tips.

    By the way I am in Taipei.

    Thanks again

  • mamykiddy
    Reply

    เครื่องปั๊มนม อะไหล่ อุปกรณ์เสริมของแท้สำหรับเครื่องปั๊มนมทุก ชนิดทั้งในและต่างประเทศ ยาและวิตะมิน ของเล่น ของใช้สำหรับเด็ก พรีออเดอร์ USA จีน เกาหลี

    1. อะไหล่เครื่องปั๊มนม
    2. เครื่องปั๊มนม
    3. ของใช้สำหรับเด็ก

  • The Lazy Mama
    Reply

    Hi Joanna,

    Sorry for the late reply. I didn’t notice your update. I think it would be best to ask your Medela supplier. They should know whether the tubing has the same size. I haven’t heard it done before though but it’s a really great idea! All the best!

  • Top 10 Breastfeeding Tools « The Lazy Mama
    Reply

    […] feel the need to have a double breast pump. However, when I started working at home, I needed to express milk faster, more efficient and with my hands free so I bought the Medela Freestyle. I think I could have gotten away without any because I could hand […]

  • Dyan Cortez
    Reply

    Hi, hope I can ask for a favor. I own a Medela Freestyle and there’s something wrong with it. According to Medela Moms, the battery is busted. I’m looking for someone who own a Freestyle so I can really test if it’s the battery that’s defective before I buy a new one. It’s kinda expensive so I just wanna make sure that I’m buying the right part. Hope you can help me out. Thanks so much!

    1. The Lazy Mama
      Reply

      What is wrong with your Freestyle? How many years have you been using it? Normally, two years is the life for any rechargeable battery. Does it work when plugged in? If yes, then it is really the battery that is the problem.

      I’d be glad to make time to meet up with you so long as it is just near my location.

  • 4 Ways for Hands-free Pumping without the Medela Freestyle « The Lazy Mama
    Reply

    […] cannot say how much thankful I am to my Medela Freestyle for the hands-free pumping goodness it offers. But before I had Freestyle, my then breast pump was […]

  • Review: Ameda Purely Yours Experience « The Lazy Mama
    Reply

    […] had 3 breast pumps before: The Playtex Manual Breast Pump, the Medela Swing and the Medela Freestyle. Since I have stopped pumping before Jack Jack turned 2, I thought that was the end of my breast […]

  • Review: Ameda Purely Yours Experience – The Lazy Mama
    Reply

    […] had 3 breast pumps before: The Playtex Manual Breast Pump, the Medela Swing and the Medela Freestyle. Since I have stopped pumping before Jack Jack turned 2, I thought that was the end of my breast […]

  • 4 Ways to Hands-free Pumping without the Medela Freestyle – The Lazy Mama
    Reply

    […] cannot say how much thankful I am to my Medela Freestyle for the hands-free pumping goodness it offers. But before I had Freestyle, my then breast pump was […]

  • Top 10 Breastfeeding Tools – The Lazy Mama
    Reply

    […] feel the need to have a double breast pump. However, when I started working at home, I needed to express milk faster, more efficient and with my hands free so I bought the Medela Freestyle. I think I could have gotten away without any because I could hand […]

  • Buknay
    Reply

    Hi Lazy Mama! I am planning to buy a Medela Freestyle Breastpump. Can you please let me know where you ordered yours. Thank you in advance.

    1. The Lazy Mama
      Reply

      Hello Buknay! I got my Freestyle from a friend who ordered it for me from the US. At the time, it was the cheapest option I have. Hope this helps!

  • brooke
    Reply

    What country were you located? I will be moving to south Korea soon and read your comment about not needing a transformer? I was just curious if I would be able to charge my pump without a problem. Thanks!

    1. The Lazy Mama
      Reply

      Hi Brooke! Thanks for your comment. I’m in the Philippines. Normally, the Medela Freestyle’s got the autovolt adaptor. You can check yours if it can be plugged into 110-240V. This should be specified on it. Hope this helps!

  • Nabihah
    Reply

    Hi I’m trying to convert my swing to a double pump as well. I was wondering if Joanna who request for the freestyle and swing tube measurement can get back to me. Would really appreciate it

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