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When you think of breast pumps, the Medela brand is no doubt one that comes to your mind. Not only is it a trusted brand for breastfeeding moms everywhere, but it also has such a variety of breast pump options that it makes it almost impossible to go with any other brand on the market.
With both the Medela Freestyle and Medela Pump In Style breast pumps, you’re getting portable pumps that can be used with ease in almost any situation, even if you’re new parents who might be unsure of breast pumping in the first place.
Both pumps come with the handy cooler bag meant to keep up to two bottles of milk fresh while you’re away from home, but there are still differences to make it a toss-up of sorts between both of these Medela breast pump options.
Since they’re both designed to help you pump while you’re on the go and both are double breast pumps with battery packs, it might be hard to see the difference between the Medela Freestyle vs Pump In Style at first, but they are definitely two totally separate breast pumps.
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First Pump: Medela Freestyle
Most solid breast pumps are portable and have rechargeable batteries, but the Medela Freestyle takes that to the next level easily.
With two bottles and two different suction cups that can be used simultaneously, the breast pump is perfect for moms who need to pump quickly or take their pump with them to pump while away from home in order to save their supply for later.
And to do this, the Medela Freestyle comes with a small cooler bag and ice pack that’s designed to fit two bottles perfectly in order to keep your breast milk as fresh as possible until you’re home.
The lightweight motor of the Medela Freestyle has a rechargeable battery, which is a plus for those times when it’s virtually impossible to plug your breast pump in anywhere. It also has an easy-to-read digital display with a backlight, timer, and memory in order to record your different pumps per day.
Whether you need a breast pump at work to pump throughout the day or you simply want to wean your baby to strictly bottle feeding, the Medela Freestyle is a pretty solid choice as far as breast pumps go that can be used as frequently as needed.
Features of the Freestyle
- How It’s Portable: With the microfiber carry bag designed to fit all of the accompanying accessories, the Medela Freestyle is totally portable.
- Medela Accessories: It comes with a small cooler bag that fits up to two bottles comfortably after you’ve pumped and even features an ice pack insert.
- Batteries: Instead of requiring new batteries every couple of months or batteries you have to purchase separately, the Medela Freestyle comes with a rechargeable battery to keep your pump working while you aren’t at home.
- Price: Check its price on Amazon!
- Where To Buy: You can find the breast pump on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store at Target or Walmart. Be sure to check with a store like Aeroflow here to see if your existing insurance covers a pump.
- With the rechargeable battery, the Medela Freestyle is totally portable.
- It has a simple hands-free setup that makes pumping a lot less stressful throughout the day.
- The pump is compact enough to carry in its bag along with any other purse or diaper bag you have with you.
- The suction of the Medela Pump In Style is a bit stronger.
- The hands-free option while pumping might be more difficult with larger breasts.
- Tubing for the Medela Freestyle isn’t sold in stores, so if you don’t have it with you while out, you won’t be able to successfully pump.
“WOW!! I love the fact that this is hands-free. I have the ability to change a dirty diaper while pumping. Definitely worth the investment. I bought the bustier to go with this and that is how I pump.” – Treasure84 on Amazon
“I love the convenience of this pump. I started with a hand-me-down Medela Pump in Style Advanced, which worked well for me, but was heavy and bulky. I love the portability of the Freestyle… especially not having to be plugged into an outlet to use! Highly recommend!” – MWT on Amazon.
“Very easy to put together and use without looking at the instructions. I love the two sucking patterns and the 1-9 speeds. I am able to double my output in half the time with this pump versus my brand new Ameda purely yours pump.” – N, Bennett on Amazon.
Next Pump: Medela Pump In Style
As to be expected, there aren’t very many differences between the Medela Freestyle and the Medela Pump In Style breast pumps and their overall design is very similar, but there are of course different qualities that the different pumps have.
Any Medela breast pump is likely going to have the handy bag to carry the pump and accessories in, as well as the small cooler bag, but where the Medela Pump In Style differs a bit is in its strong suction and a noticeably lower price too.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a convenient rechargeable battery pack, though, which can be a hassle, but at the end of the day, what matters the most is getting from the product what you feel is most important to you.
The Medela Pump In Style is, like the Freestyle, a double breast pump though and for most parents, being able to double pump at once makes all the difference in the world, especially when on the go.
Without a rechargeable battery, you will need to use your own, but the 9 volt AC adaptor makes that much less of a hassle when it comes down to it. Overall, thanks to the positive sides of using the Medela Pump In Style, it’s another strong choice for a good portable breast pump.
Features of the Medela Pump-in-Style
- How It’s Portable: The breast pump not only comes with a black carrying bag to fit the pump and all of its accessories, but it also has separate pockets to keep everything organized each time you go out.
- Accessories: Like the Medela Freestyle, the Pump In Style has the cooler bag and ice pack insert, but it also comes with four separate bottles with lids.
- Batteries: Unless you plan to use the AC adaptor, you will need to provide your own eight AA batteries for the Medela Pump In Style.
- Price: Check its price on Amazon!
- Where To Buy: You can find the pump on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store at Target or Babies ‘R Us. ALSO, be sure to check with a company like Aeroflow here to see if you can get a FREE or discounted pump via insurance.
- The pump mimics a baby sucking, so getting enough milk out is a lot easier with the Medela Pump In Style.
- Pretty much everything has a place to stay in the tote bag while you’re pumping, meaning no awkward tubes or cords to get tangled up in.
- With the bottles, ie pack, and even AC adapter, there are a lot of little things that make the breast pump a good value.
- While pumping, the motor is relatively quiet.
- There is only one size breast shield that comes with the Medela Pump In Style and it may not be suitable for all women’s cup sizes (multiple breast shields would be better).
- The nipples that come with the bag are likely too fast for newborns to utilize once you fill the bottles.
- Needing more than a half dozen batteries right off the bat might be a deterrent for some.
“I bought this to replace the exact same pump that I used exclusively for a year for my first child and at work with my second. You can pump entirely in 10 minutes, easy to clean, durable, and easy to find replacement parts (sold everywhere). I wouldn’t have been able to breastfeed my girls without this sturdy pump!” – My Kids Mom on Amazon.
“If I would have to make a top list for the most important items I have ever bought for my baby, this pump would come first. Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, we hesitated before buying it. But it has been covered its cost multiple times ever since.” – Pavic on Amazon.
“As a working mum, I truly recommend this pump. It’s easy to carry, manage and keeps the bottles cold for at least 10 to 12 hours.” – Laura on Amazon.
The Verdict: Freestyle or Pump in Style?
Sometimes, the price is the deciding factor in picking the right brand or style of a baby item for your family. And in this case, the price certainly isn’t everything.
But between the Medela Freestyle vs the Medela Pump In Style, the more logical choice would probably be the Medela Pump In Style, which just so happens to also be the more affordable option.
With its strong suction and added bottles to fill up when you’re away from home, the positive aspects of the Medela Pump In Style definitely stack up against the competition.
With the Medela Freestyle and the Medela Pump In Style breast pumps, you really can’t go wrong either way. Being from the same brand, there are plenty of similarities to make the choice a difficult one.
But sometimes, even when both have qualities, not all parents will love, the good outweighs the not-so-good. With the Medela Pump In Style, that’s definitely the case and if you’re looking for a solid, portable, and long-lasting breast pump, that’s going to be the way to go.
FAQ’s About Medela Pumps
Answer: The Medela Freestyle double-breast pump can indeed be used hands-free while multitasking, but you will have to purchase a separate pumping bustier that does not come along in the package of the pump.
Answer: Yes. All Medela breast pumps are hospital grade with high suctioning power and massage option in order to promote better milk supply. Hospital-grade pumps are way more expensive than regular, so you will definitely know that you are purchasing one judging by the price.
Answer: In the first days before the milk comes, you should do more frequent sessions that will last 15 minutes for stimulation, and afterwards increase it to 30 minutes every few hours or when you notice that your breasts are feeling full.
If you plan on spending most of your time on the go/traveling… the more compact and lightweight, Freestyle is the best option available here. Otherwise, if you will primarily be pumping at home or in specific places each day… the more affordable and better choice is Pump in Style.