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