Medela is a highly reliable brand when it comes to breast pumps. Moms love their pumps for their excellent features and reasonable prices. There are many different versions of the Medela breast pump, but the two most popular ones we will discuss here are the Medela Freestyle and the Medela Pump in Style.
The Similarities Between the Two Breast Pumps
The Medela freestyle flex breast pump and the Medela pump in style are easy to carry and can be used even more conveniently.
They both use straightforward systems for first-timers which makes the act of pumping very simple and comfortable. They become a much easier system for second-time mothers. They know all the tips and tricks and can easily use them even when they are at work.
Medela gives a cooler bag with both the products and bottles and the space to carry over two bottles when you are not at home. They are both perfect for breast pumping on the go in a very efficient manner.
They are both double electric pumps that can work on a single battery pack, making them easier to use than manual breast pumps. Although there are several similarities, there are many more differences that each of them carries.
So, to make the right decision between the two, we comprised an in-depth Medela Freestyle vs. Pump in Style breast pump review.
Medela Freestyle Breast Pump
The Medela breast pump is designed for moms that need to pump more than a few times a day. The breast pump is perfect for working moms who have to leave their babies to a nanny or a daycare center.
The machine is made keeping in mind the on-the-go life of mothers and their requirements. This is why the pump is made to be easy to carry, comes with multiple bags in its package, and is silent so that you can take it anywhere with you and pump without a hassle.
Additionally, you can use this double electric breast pump to pump both breasts together. This pumping method, combined with the excellent suction power, helps stimulate a better milk supply and saves time. You can even feed the baby on one side and pump on the other.
The lithium-ion battery pack that comes with the breast pump is rechargeable so that you can simply use it anywhere without having to go through the hassle of hand pumps. You get a power adaptor among all the other pump parts, too, so your parenting journey is as comfortable as possible.
Features of the Medela Freestyle Flex Pump
The Medela breast pump has many different features, and we have reviewed the few that parents find most important below.
The double electric freestyle flex pump is made to be highly portable. For that reason, it comes with a microfiber bag that works as a cooling bag where you can store the freshly pumped milk and carry it without the risk of spoiling. The bag is designed to fit all the additional accessories easily and can be carried in a lightweight pack.
The Medela freestyle flex breast pump comes with several accessories that help the nursing mom pump breast milk. The cooler bag is the main feature that can fit up to two bottles. It also comes with an ice pack that can fit inside the bag, so it keeps your breast milk supply fresh to feed your baby any time, anywhere. The cooling element in this pumping kit is one of the most significant upsides that this breast pump brand has to offer.
The option of upgrading with the Flex breast shields helps moms get a better milk flow and an increased supply.
The Freestyle comes with two bottles that can fit the breast for pumping both sides at once. It is proved that this pumping method saves time and also helps moms get more breast milk during nursing.
The Freestyle comes with a programmable system that is small and can even fit in your diaper bag. The digital screen allows you to follow the timer to avoid pumping more than necessary or watching the clock all the time.
The screen is also equipped with a backlight to help you pump in the dark without resetting the system. The pump has a memory button and allows you to set your pumping rhythm and speed. You can save all rhythms that suit you in the memory function. This way, you save time by not having to readjust the settings at each pumping.
2-phase Expression Technology
The Medela Freestyle uses a 2-phase expression technology that mimics the rhythmic sucking of babies, which makes it easier to express. It also makes the pump more comfortable and safe to use. The pumping begins with a soft sucking rhythm for a massaging effect which then eases as the milk starts to flow. You can also easily set the vacuum once the milk begins to flow for a smoother experience.
The simple design allows you to sterilize the pump quickly and conveniently. The simple separation of the pump allows the user to clean the system without any problems. The system also runs on a rechargeable battery that can last up to 3 hours on each charge.
You charge it once with the AC adapter and don’t have to worry about the cables or a power outlet anymore. The mother can also use the pump without having to hold on to it for a long time. The hand-free system comes with bottle holders that make it much easier than the others.
- The rechargeable battery pack makes it very convenient to use on the go.
- The power adaptor charge is quick, and the battery lasts up to 3 hours.
- The one-touch letdown button lets your body know when to release breast milk.
- A hands-free setup allows the system to be more convenient.
- The breast pump is lightweight and compact hence easy to carry.
- 2-phase technology allows a more natural rhythm.
- Moms can save personalized settings in the memory system.
- Compatible with the PersonalFit Flex Breast Shields, which the brand claims to extract 11.8% more milk.
- The suction is not enough for large breasts.
- There is no backflow stopping option or overflow protection.
What Customer Say About Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump
“I love this pump, and I wish I would’ve had it during my earlier pregnancies. I could do common household chores while pumping with the specialty bra, and it did not feel like I had wasted any time. The only concern I had is the price which is a little too high, and the fact that the spare parts are not easily available, so you have to be careful with them.“
- Verified Customer
Medela Pump in Style
The Medela Pump in Style is not much different from the previous one when comparing their basic elements. However, they have a few differences we will discuss. The quality and durability is a very trusted aspect of this breast pump brand. This pump has relatively more expensive than the Freestyle, but it has many different attributes that make it worth the price difference.
It has a bag to help you carry it around anywhere, and you can enjoy the double-breasted option to pump the milk. The power source is through a power adapter cable which allows in creating sufficient and controlled rhythms.
Features of the Medela Pump in Style Advanced
The Medela pump in style also has a travel bag that can help you fit up to two bottles and an icepack in it. The bag makes it easier for the mother to carry the pump and use it almost anywhere. The compact size is a considerable benefit that further helps carry the breast pump without having storage troubles during trips.
For this Medela pump, the company adds a few accessories that come in handy. A bag that helps carry the whole equipment easily is with almost every Medela pump. You can also have four bottles that come with this product.
The bottles come with lids so that you can easily store milk for a long time. The pump also comes with three additional bags: the Metro bag, Backback, and on-the-go Tote bag. The bags keep it safe and secured, and each one is stylish and hides the pump well.
The Medela Pump in Style Advanced comes with a power source of a power adapter. However, you can buy your AA batteries and use the machine unplugged as well.
It may not provide equal suction like when it is plugged in, but this allows you to use the machine anywhere, including your home and in the car.
The pump is designed to work on both breasts at once. This feature helps in stimulating the flow and saves a lot of time. It is worth mentioning that its suction power stays the same when the tubing is on both breasts or one.
There are also four bottles included with lids that help the users store the pumped milk in them.
The device is not a digital programming device, yet you will have a few sets to adjust according to your comfort. The button on the programmer allows you to adjust the speed of your choice for comfort and better expression.
2-phase Expression Technology
This Medela pump also has a two-phase expression technology that creates a rhythm similar to the baby’s suction. This feature helps in becoming more comfortable and helps in producing more milk in less time.
You can use the machine hands-free while working and while moving around as well. The machine fits into the palm of your hands, which further helps you with a more convenient and time-saving pumping process.
- The hands-free option saves moms time and allows them to be with their babies while pumping.
- The programming is a simple adjusting system.
- The machine has a double-breasted usage which stimulates better milk flow.
- The battery power source and power adapter source provide great portability.
- It does not have a memory system to save settings.
- The battery dies very quickly.
What Customers Say About Medela Pump in Style
“I used it for my premature baby that I could not nurse directly. This machine worked wonders. The pumping pressure was perfect and was very convenient, being portable as well. I felt it was a little expensive, but overall I loved the product, and I would highly recommend it.”
- Verified Customer
Medela Freestyle vs. Pump in Style Features Comparison
Overall, with the pumps’ primary features listed, both offer high-quality pumping and a great experience. However, when compared side to side, we notice the difference in characteristics. One being the Medela not offering the advanced features like feeding styles and rhythms being saved in memory.
The Freestyle pump is unable to work on a power adapter but only operates on batteries. This is great for pumping on the go. However, Pump in Style offers a better suction power when compared to the Freestyle when plugged in.
The problem with not working on an AC adaptor is that you have to charge it every 3 hours, and this is less than ideal, especially if you are a mom at work or constantly on the go.
Both the machines do a great job on their portability and do a similar job in the additional accessories, making them both stand equal in this regard. However, with the Pump in Style, you receive four bottles instead of the two from the Freestyle pump.
The rhythmic movements of the pump are both pretty neat as they both tend to match the baby’s movements for a comfortable expression.
Which One Has the Least Cons?
Both these breast pumps have many pros, but they do have a few cons too. However, the question in this Medela Freestyle vs. Pump in Style is, which one has more weight in the cons area?
The Freestyle pump does not have many size options for the breasts, making the hand-free option a little null and void for plus-size women. The lack of back-flowing protection does not affect the milk until there is some backflow. Both of these are ignorable under specific circumstances.
The Pump in Style double electric pump does not have a programmable memory that can set with the desired setting, so instead of a click of a button, you will have to set the settings with each pumping. Also, when it runs on batteries, they die pretty fast, and you will have to have spares or get new ones if you are on the go.
Both of these cons hold almost equal weight. However, the Pump in Style’s battery problems may be a nuisance, primarily if you use it for long trips.
Bottom Line Winner
In the Medela Freestyle vs. Pump in Style comparison, the winner seems to be the Medela Freestyle pump. The machine is excellent to help the nursing moms who need to pump milk several times a day, even when traveling.
The additional accessories make the pump much more helpful than usual pumps can. Even though it only runs on batteries, this breast pumping system still provides excellent power and helps in portability and convenience. The digital option enhances the experience and helps in making it easier to use.
The machine is expensive, but it is much cheaper among the two and has better options to help with breastfeeding.
All in all, even though the Freestyle pump proves to be a much better choice, we have to keep in mind that not all breastfeeding experiences are the same. The system that works for one woman may not necessarily be perfect for another. Hence, when you go to the market to shop, choose your terms and make your comparison too.
Make sure to consider all factors that have been discussed and additional ones that work for you too. Don’t purchase before researching what works for you.