Extremely lightweight and portable. Offers 2-phase pumping. Built-in rechargeable battery and hands-free functionality. Includes memory feature to recall latest pump settings. Carrying bag included.
Open-system design. Weaker suction than average.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Medela Freestyle is a good option for moms-on-the-go. The pump’s open-system design is only a minor concern because in practice, Freestyle operates like a closed-system, with membranes that prevent condensation from becoming trapped inside the unit. The biggest downside to the pump is that it is not as efficient as larger models, but the Freestyle’s small size, 2 phase expression, and built-in battery make it a highly convenient option.
Performance - 4/5
The Medela Freestyle uses 2-phase pumping to mimic a baby’s natural nursing behavior. Phase one stimulates the breast’s letdown reflex through a rapid, gentle suction and phase two uses a strong and slower suction to maintain milk flow. The pump offers nine different levels of strength in both the letdown and expression phases. In our testing we found the pump to be below average in its maximum suction strength and some women complain the Freestyle doesn’t sustain as strong and steady a milk flow as standard-sized pumps.
Portability - 4.5/5
The Freestyle is one of the smallest, most portable breast pumps available. At less than one pound, the pump can fit into the palm of your hand and any carrying bag.
The Freestyle features a built-in rechargeable battery, offering the convenience of pumping without being plugged into an outlet. The battery can last up to 3 hours on a single charge, making it a more efficient cordless option than pumps that use external batteries which need to be replaced frequently. The pump also includes a clip for moms to attach the Freestyle to their clothing, however in practice the pump is probably too bulky to use this feature for hands-free pumping.
Features and Accessories - 4.5/5
The Freestyle features an easy-to-read backlit display and a digital interface to control the pump’s settings. It also has a built-in timer to track pumping sessions and a memory feature which replicates your most recently used setting.
The pump comes with two different sets of flanges, or breast shields. One is a standard 24mm set, and the other is a larger, 27mm set. The included breast shields will fit most moms, but Medela also sells 3 additional sizes (21mm, 30mm, 36mm) that can be purchased separately if needed. Breast shield size is determined by mom’s nipple size and most moms only discover which size is best for them once they’ve started pumping.
The Freestyle also includes a well-made carrying tote, cooler, ice pack, and extra collection bottles. Medela is a well-known brand and can easily be found online, in specialty stores, and in most large retailers.
The pump is covered under an industry standard 1 year warranty and accessories are covered under an industry-standard 90-day warranty.
Acoustics - 4/5
The Freestyle is about average in its noise output. Click the link to listen to the pump on its mid-level settings in both the letdown phase and expression phase.
What it sounds like
Noise level: Average