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Breastfeeding is a fantastic journey if you choose to travel that road. But it also puts a great deal of pressure on moms, especially when they’re returning to work, juggling other children, or just trying to have some time for themselves.
Breast pumps offer breastfeeding moms the opportunity to continue breastfeeding in spite of any of these issues. But finding the right pump for you can often be a bit of trial and error.
We’ve been looking at two of the popular Medela pumps the Freestyle vs Pump In Style. We’ve looked at their features, pros, cons, and also what they do best.
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|Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with Tote||PrimeEligible||Buy Now|
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Table of Contents
Differences Between Medela Freestyle vs Pump In Style
Although both these pumps are designed to be used super portable while you are on the go and away from home they still have some differences that may affect your choice.
- The freestyle offers the option of hands-free use so you can get on with other things while pumping.
- The freestyle is also fully rechargeable while away from home and offers up to 2 hours of pumping on a full charge, while the Pump in Style comes with a battery pack but it does require charging with a traditional outlet.
- The Pump in Style is available in three different bag choices such as a backpack, tote, or the metro bag. The Freestyle is only available in the metro bag.
- The Pump In Style has noticeable stronger suction than that of the Freestyle.
- The Pump In Style has a considerably lower price tag than the Freestyle.
Review of Medela Freestyle
This is one of Medela’s portable pumps that come with rechargeable batteries. It is a complete system that comes with two bottles and two different sized breast shields that can be used simultaneously.
It is the perfect pump for those moms looking for fantastic portability along with quick and effective pumping sessions.
The Freestyle comes with a small cooler bag and ice pack designed to keep two bottles at the perfect temperature to preserve your breast milk while you are out and about.
The motor is lightweight and has a rechargeable battery so no need to worry about finding an outlet when you need to pump. It has a super easy to read digital display with a backlight, timer, and memory so you can keep a record of what you pump each session.
The Medela Freestyle is a solid choice when it comes to breast pumps and is suitable no matter what your needs, pumping at work, or pumping so you can have some time to yourself and someone else can take over the feeds.
It can be used as often as you want without any drawbacks at all. The Freestyle is now being fazed out as it has been replaced by the Freestyle Flex.
Features of Freestyle
- Can pump handsfree when used with the Easy Expression bustier, which is sold separately.
- Backlit digital display that comes with a timer and a memory button.
- Comes with two sizes of breast shields.
What The Freestyle Does Better
- The Freestyle is lighter making it easier to carry around and more portable. It is small enough to take into the office in your purse or in its very own carry case.
- Quieter than the Pump in Style – This may not be a deciding factor for many moms but if you are returning to the office and wish to continue pumping while not drawing attention to it then the Freestyle is a good option.
- Added features – The Freestyle comes with a digital display with a memory function, timer, and backlight. It also offers a hands-free option with a specialty bustier that is sold separately, it offers busy moms the chance to get other things done while still pumping at the same time.
Pros of the Freestyle
- It is a small pump that can easily fit in your pocket, making it super portable.
- It comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts around 2-3 hours when fully charged.
- It has a timer so you know exactly how long you have been pumping for. You can then automatically track your total pumping time in the handy Medela app.
- Easy to clean as only has two parts
- It comes with a backflow protector, so no milk in the tubing.
Cons of the Freestyle
- The price is not budget-friendly at all.
- It is quite new and replacement parts are hard to come by.
Review of the Pump In Style
The Pump In Style is also a portable and very effective double breast pump. It comes complete with a carry bag so you can keep all those accessories in one place and also has a cool bag and ice pack for keeping those bottles of breast milk cool until you get home.
Medela Pump In Style has very strong suction and is considerably lower in price than the Freestyle which you think would make this the winner hands down.
But unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of this great little pump is that it does not come with a rechargeable battery.
The battery pack takes 8 AA batteries which can be a costly expense depending of course on how frequently it is used. The Pump In Style does come with a power adaptor but this can take away from its portability.
The Pump In Style is by far the breast pump with the stronger suction and if you are going to be using it more at home than out and about then it is going to be the best option.
Features of the In Style
- Built-in bottle holders to avoid spills and losing any of that precious liquid gold.
- Comes with a contoured ice pack to fit around bottles snugly in the included cooler bag.
- Easy to operate knob for finding perfect settings.
- One-touch letdown button
What The Pump In Style Does Better
- Cost – If you don’t have medical insurance that will cover the cost of a breast pump, the fact that the Pump In Style is more budget-friendly could be a huge benefit.
- Does a more thorough job – For any moms who are worried about pumping affecting the quantity of milk that they produce then they may want to opt for the Pump In Style as it offers a better suction that leads to a better milk output overall.
- Ease of use – The Pump In Style is easier to use and although it does not have the LCD features that the Freestyle does if you are less of a techy then the Pump In Style will be the better option for you.
Pros of the In Style
- The price point is budget-friendly and for that price, you get a quality pump that is really effective.
- Parts are easy to find because it is a super popular pump.
Cons of the In Style
- It can be very loud
- It is a bit on the large side and awkward to transport.
- The battery pack is not rechargeable
Medela Freestyle vs Pump In Style – The Winner is…
Despite the higher price tag, the Freestyle is the more well-rounded pump and if you can afford the price tag of the Freestyle then personally I would get it.
If not, then the Pump In Style will offer a more budget-friendly option that is still super effective and portable.
Both of these pumps are effective, portable, and powerful pumps and if you intend to do any serious pumping then either is going to be a fantastic investment.
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Is the Medela Freestyle Flex a hospital grade pump?
Although this is a very effective pump with some great features, it doesn’t have a motor that is as strong as a hospital-grade pump.
What is included in Medela Freestyle?
In the box, you will receive 1 freestyle pump. 1 lithium-ion battery, 1 AC adapter, 1 double pumping kit that includes 2 breast shield bodies, membranes, and back caps plus 1 set of tubing.
What is included in the Pump In Style?
In the box, you’ll receive 1 pump in a style breast pump, 4 5oz bottles with lids, 2 x 21mm personal fit flex breast shields, 2 x 24mm personal fit flex breast shields, 1 complete tubing, 1 cooler, 1 cooling element, 1 microfiber bag, 1 battery pack (8AA batteries not included) and 1 power adaptor.
Can I pump hands-free with the Pump In Style breast pump?
You can pump hands-free with the easy expression Bustier that is sold separately.
How To Choose The Best Breast Pump For You
The first question that you need to ask yourself is why do I need a breast pump? It could be because you are returning to work and wish to continue expressing milk for your baby to consume while they are in the care of another person.
It may be so that you can express milk so your partner can help out with the feeding process and that you can get a break. There are also a lot of other reasons why moms need a breast pump.
So how do you know which one is the best for you, here is a quick guide:
Manual or Electric pump
Manual pumps do not require any batteries, you simply use it by pumping it with your hand. While electric pumps require a power source, this can be mains electric or battery.
You can expect to pay from around $35 up for a good manual pump while electric pumps can easily cost in excess of $100+.
Manual pumps are going to be smaller and more compact and can be used anywhere as they do not require a power source. Although there are some super portable electric pumps available on the market.
When using a manual pump you can expect to spend around 30+ minutes on each pumping session compared to around 10-15 minutes with an electric pump.
You will be able to have a hands free option with an electric pump usually by purchasing a specialty bra. There is not an option of hands-free when using a manual pump for obvious reasons.
Double or single
Most electric pumps come as a double pump which means that they pump both breasts at the same time, saving you time at every pumping session. Manual pumps are only available as a single pump so they only pump each individual breast at a time.
These are a few of the main points that you will need to decide on before making your breast pump purchase. You will need to decide which are important to you and which ones you can live without.
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The Final Thought
Breastfeeding is a fantastic opportunity for mothers but it also comes with huge expectations and social pressure.
There are many reasons why a mother may choose not to breastfeed, decide to breastfeed, or even decide to exclusively pump her milk.
Both these pumps offer moms the portability and effectiveness to continue on whichever feeding journey they have chosen no matter whether they’re staying at home moms, working in the office, or even working from home. Happy Pumping!