on July 27, 2010
I've been using the freemie for about 3 weeks now and never want to go back to the typical "horns and bottle". I work outside the home 5 days a week and I use this every day. This is the third child I've pumped for and I wish they had this when I had my first. Now I only use my "horns" when I'm at home and don't want to clean/dirty my freemie!
**edit - After about 2.5 months, I still like to use the freemie while driving and prefer it when I pump (in my car) because it is concealable. But I do bring along my typical horns because sometimes I just don't have the time to fiddle with it. And I wonder if I need more suction (like from the horns) to keep my supply up.
Totally recommend it!
* Much more concealable than horns - i pump in my car so this is a huge plus. The freemie is noticable against my smallish chest but I don't think most people would notice right away.
* More discrete when attaching them. I can't do it nearly as well as the video. I need to pull my shirt/bra away and actually hold & aim my breast at the hole.
* I can easily drive/work while pumping. Super big plus for me.
*Pumped in the airport (not in the bathroom!!!) at a table. I usually can't pump in the bathroom because I'm embarrassed. In the open with the freemie, I was fearful of someone calling me a terrorist, but I tried to be descrete with the tubes and the pump noise. It was fabulous. I could never have done that with typical horns.
* Same price as a good handsfree pumping bra/bustier and set of horns. If they were cheaper I would want two sets, though.
* Easily secures into my bras.
* Long tube.
* Customer service is awesome! I had trouble with it the one day and the owner tried troubleshooting right away. He wanted to see me happy and the freemie working.
* Created by the owners of the company. Supports a small business!
*The valve. I have almost daily struggles keeping it flat. Sometimes I think I have it flat but find out after putting the freemie on that it isn't. It's a pain to have to put in and out of my bra to see if there is suction or not.
*I feel like I have to fiddle with it for it to work. It takes me on average 2 or 3 tries on one side during my first pump of the day (I refridgerate it between uses). As much as I think the valve is flat, the tube is inserted, or something else I don't always get suction on the first try. And when I'm pressed for time it makes me very flustered. I usually think at that point that I'll go back to horns, but once it works then I love it.
*It feels like a prototype version (but maybe that's the engineer in my trying to tweek the freemie). There are great features on the freemie (finger holds, flat bottom) but there are other ones that could be ironed out in the future (they don't affect the useablity) [valve, tubing not seating well, nooks and crankies to clean, rough edges on parts (annoying when my hands are wet and I'm trying to pull apart the pieces)]
*I have to crank the suction on my pump up to the max when using this. I'm afraid my supply might suffer because the suction isn't strong enough.
*I still don't pump in my shared cubical because of the pump noise - but that is no fault of the freemie.
on March 12, 2014
Based in the older reviews it appears the Freemie has changed a bit. Therefore, I felt a more recent reviw would help prospective buyers. I am not familiar with the older models but can make a few assumptions based on what I've read.
First off, I hesitated to buy this product for a few reasons:
1) Concern that the cups would be too large to fit in my bras (they boast an 8-oz capacity now)
2) Decrease in milk supply (others have claimed this happened, though with no reason given)
3) Inability to perform compressions
So far I have experienced none of these issues.
1) The cups are not as big as I anticipated, and fit great in my medium nursing bras. Sure, it looks odd and I definitely would not wear them out, but they allow me to pump in front of family and friends when I would otherwise retreat to another room every 2-3 hours.
2) I may have dropped about 4 ounces per day after the switch, but I also brought my baby home from the NICU and began pumping to coincide with her feeds, so I also am missing a pump or two a day. I still produce 1200-1300ml/day.
3) I can still massage with no problem. The clearance is equivalent to what I experienced with the Medela horns. In fact, I had clogged ducts on three occasions with my Medela setup. I have used the Freemie for 2 weeks or so with complete breast emptying each time.
Now, this product is still not without cons.
1) The cup is opaque, and while you can see the level of the milk and learn the appx volume, it is impossible to visualize your milk coming out. I have held a mirror up to the side to view it and it is stilk hard to see. The condensation that occurs also compounds the visualization problem.
2) The valve, which I believe is redesigned, can be tricky to clean. I use the pipe cleaner brush from my Dr Browns bottles to wipe the inside, otherwise milk cakes in it and won't clear with just a soak and rinse.
3) You cannot lean forward much. With the Medela setup, leaning forward would potentially drop your cups off the horn due to gravity and weight, but if you held them you could pick things up, tend to baby in a rock n play, etc. I had to hold a paci for a bit the other day and found that milk backed into the tubing significantly. Oops.
The valve works as a one-way valve, which is great because some older reviews stated once the milk level rose past the valve it stopped providing suction. I rarely pump enough volume to experience this due to my frequency, but once I did, and I had no problems.
They are much more comfortable than horns, and also eliminate the eventual tugging down on breasts using a hands free bra. I would eventually have to support the other parts to keep them from trying to drag my nipples to the floor, The Freemies sit nicely on the breast and since they do not stick out 4 inches, they don't cause the same issues.
Overall I am very happy with the product. I use a Medela Pump in Style Advance and the tubing extensions actually give me more slack than the PISA did alone. I use it on 3-5 suction, which is fairly low, and empty my breasts in 15-20 minutes. The shape of the cup is rounded whereas the flange on the Medela would always dig into my breast tissue...much more comfy.
on June 14, 2014
I absolutely love this product, but there are a few minor hiccups with its use with my pump. I work in healthcare and can't stop what I'm doing every 2 hours while I'm at work to go sit in a private space, so this is a live-saver for maintaining my milk supply. I have a full review available on my blog at [...]
on May 4, 2015
I was very excited to get this pump with baby number 2 through my insurance. The reviews I read made me think it would solve most of my complaints about pumping, but it did not live up to the hype.
1. I could never get it to empty my breasts, I would leave them on for 40 minutes and only get 1-2 oz ounces per side which I know for some women is normal. Normal, for me, with my Medela was 3-4 oz per side in 15 min.
2. The cups were so large that I felt that with extended use my bra would be stretched out beyond usability.
3. The cups also didn't feel supported enough in my bra; as if I needed to hold them. If I closed the freemies cups inside my bra it felt uncomfortaby tight.
4. I couldn't get the suction right. Too low or too high, but not enough to pull the milk out.
5. More than one try usually needed to get it into the right position since it is difficult to see through the plastic.
1. I really liked the concept
2. It does stimulate the breast, so if amount expressed isn't your concern then it is fine.
3. The cups are comfortable.
4. It is quiet.
on July 3, 2014
I used a Medela Freestyle with my first child and for the first couple of months pumping with my second. I got the Freemie system (the whole thing -- there's no way to attach the cups to the Freestyle yet) when I realized it was covered by insurance and I wanted a more discrete option. so this is a comparison. Let's just stipulate that pumping pretty much stinks no matter what.
-Possible to be more discrete when it's set up. As others have said, once you have this set up, you can put a shirt on and more-or-less go about your business. It doesn't look exactly normal, but it's not indiscrete. I can imagine using the Freemie at an airport (would set up in the bathroom, then connect the tubes out in the waiting area no problem), in a semi-private office, or other location.
-Easier hands free set up than with other pumps, as you don't need additional accessories or special bras
-Any innovation in breast pumping seems good to me!
-Will certainly stretch out my bras over time--a bra that is too loose won't hold it in place, a bra that is tight enough to hold it will get stretched out.
-I HATE that I can't see how much milk is coming out while I pump. I usually pump until I've reached a certain volume. That is not feasible here, so I have to pump for a certain amount of time instead -- this is VERY frustrating for me, and means I basically won't use this regularly unless the Freestyle completely goes kaput. I've even tried drawing lines with a sharpie on the outside at appropriate volumes, but that only helps me a little.
-There's no timer on the unit. Fine if you're pumping near a device that has a stopwatch or a clock or whatever, somewhat annoying if you are in the car or reading or doing something else. Not a deal breaker, but irritating
-No let-down feature. There's just min/max suction on a dial. On my Freestyle, the fast initial pulls really do a good job of imitating my baby, so let down is more natural and far more comfortable.
-The funnel sizing is different from other brands. I've ordered a different size funnel, and I hope that helps, but since I can't see inside while it's working (see above) it's really hard to tell what the fit issues are.
-The pump is HUGE in comparison to my Freestyle, which I know is small, but still! It's annoying to lug around and doesn't come with a storage or transport bag.
-It's really fussy to get set up correctly. Even when you've done it a few times, it's hard to know if it is all correct. And then you have to get it in your bra and turn it on to see if it's set up correctly...and if it's not, there are a lot of places where it could be incorrect. I really don't like the many different places tubes get plugged in without some sort of connector. And there's a different set of tubes if you are pumping only one side, instead of just a shut off valve. Seriously, a few good click valves on the tubes would really really help.
-While the hands free aspect is great because you don't need an additional accessory or bra to be hands free, you have slightly less freedom of movement as the cups really need to stay upright.
-It's not quiet. It's not incredibly loud for a pump, but it is hardly quiet. Anyone would be able to hear it. That may not matter since they can't see what's going on, but...it's not quiet.
All in all, if this is the only pump you'd ever used, you probably would get used to it and maybe even love it. Having been spoiled by the Freestyle, I'm kind of meh on it and will only use it very occasionally when I need the discretion.
on May 11, 2011
Great product. I am a physician, and running constantly around the hospital. I use the freemie on my commute and for a lunch time pumping session. This is my third child and the only one I've been able to keep my milk supply up when going back to work. Strongly recommend!
on July 30, 2011
I work as a home hospice nurse, which means I work out of my car and visit patients in their homes. I just recently returned to work, and I was having difficulty figuring out how to pump discreetly while on the road. I'm not even sure how I came across Freemies, but I did, and thought I'd give them a try. I ^LOVE^ them, but they do leave a bit to be desired (we're never happy, are we?).
**They are comfortable to wear and look fairly natural under clothes. They are much larger than I thought they would be, and I was worried because I'm large-chested, but they fit fine in my bra and they look ok from the outside.
**Discreet!! Besides putting them in, once they're in place they are very discreet. In my car I have both hands on the wheel, stuck in traffic, trucks right next to me with people looking down, and pumping away without the slightest worry of being *seen*. Except of course the tubes sticking out of my uniform but that doesn't bother me. I've even hooked up my pump to the battery pack and walked around while pumping.
**Work fine for larger breasts. I'm a 38G.
**It's SO EASY to nurse and pump at the same time! In fact, I'm doing just that--right this minute. Before my daughter would try to grab the bottle, the horn, etc...not to mention how awkward it was to get her to latch on and worry about the pump too. Now I just slip it in my bra and latch her onto the other side, and she doesn't know any different.
**THE VALVE!!!! DAO please fix this (I plan on writing them). The valves are stiff and it's sometimes hard to get them to lay flat. If they are not perfectly flat against the inner piece, you'll have no suction. You won't know this though until you've already set it up and placed it in your bra. Then when you have no suction, you have to take it out and take it apart to figure out why. Highly annoying when you've got limited time! Also, the valve is clear silicone (or whatever). This makes it hard to see when they fall out. Mine almost always fall out when I'm washing the Freemies, and I've almost lost one because it was hard to see. It would be nice if they made them out of a softer, colored material (like Medela).
**It spills easy. The flat bottom is nice, but if it's not on a flat surface after pumping (which mine are often not, since I'm in the car), the milk spills easily. The milk also gets up into the tube if you forget to remove the tubing before you set the Freemies down (I know the instructions mention this, but sometimes I'm in a hurry and forget). I don't always get to pour my milk right away into storage bags, so I have to constantly worry that a bump or quick brake is going to spill my milk.
**Sometimes I feel like I get great suction, and sometimes I feel like I have hardly any suction. I hate this, because it means I have to fiddle with them to get them to work. Taking them apart and putting them back together is no easy task when you're driving.
Overall I think these are great, though I think some kinks need to be worked out for them to get 5 stars. Pretty close, though!
on December 4, 2013
These really work and I highly recommend. I wish these were around when I was nursing my first son several years ago.
Note I only bought the Freemie cups and use them with my Medela Pump in Style (although I hear the pump is really good and quiet too ).
1) really works within the bra, so no need for awkward pumping bra.
2) I no longer feel like a cow, and can (and do) have conversations while pumping.
3) MORE comfortable than any other cup I have used
4) seems to be equally effective as usual cups
5) despite what instructions say, it does work to knead breast to fully empty it (at least for me with size 38C)
6) makes it easy to feed baby on one side and pump the other.
1) silent failure mode : twice within the several weeks of using this, I have set something up incorrectly and no milk gets expressed -- and I didn't notice until after 15 minutes of "pumping"
2) because it doesn't work 100% of the time, it would be nice to easily check that nipple is moving well and milk is being expressed. This is not easy since the plastic is translucent instead of clear -- and so it's hard and awkward to look.
3) as another reviewer mentioned, this feels like a 1.0 product that could be improved with minor tweaks (clear plastic, better connection to tubing)
4) cannot recline at all while pumping
5) can't easily move around and lean over while pumping, or when interrupting pumping (eg to give baby diaper change, or swaddle)
6) leaks more than other cups when ending pumping session
Overall I recommend this highly. I have both systems (Medela and Freemie cups) and choose Freemie almost every night -- mainly so I don't have to deal with hassle of pumping bra and so I can simultaneously nurse and pump.
on May 14, 2010
I am a breastfeeding mommy and absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE This product! I use it when I am feeding Jack on one breast and pumping on the other. It is so simple and since it is a low-profile device, I have complete use of both my arms to hold my baby, burp him, cuddle with him, or whatever else I need to do - all while pumping.
Another great feature is that the Freemie allows you to pump under your clothes (so for instance, when my father-in-law comes into the living room while I am pumping - I dont have to be mortified any longer because I have both of my boobs hanging out!....Ladies, you know what I am talking about!)
Give it a try, you will not be disapointed!
on January 26, 2015
Keeping in mind that continuing to breastfeed/pump after returning to work always has a bit of an inconvenience factor included. The Freemie is everything I dreamt it would be. I have used this pump for just over 2 mths, since returning to work.This is my second child and I am able to continue breast feeding unlike with my first child when I used the medela. In both cases I worked for a small company that is not required to provide a private pumping area. With my first child I pumped in a bathroom using a medela. I had to leave my desk which meant a large decrease in work productivity and a lot of wasted time sitting in a bathroom. Not to mention and Very Loud machine.
With the Freemie I am able to pump in the car, in my cubicle at work (very little decrease in work productivity), at home with guests. I have even pumped at a friends house and it was completely discreet. I had a friend sitting right next to me and she could not hear the pump sitting in my backpack at our feet. The other nursing mothers are always intrigued and envious. I never thought I would be able to keep up my milk supply and pump this often after I returned to work. With the Freemie I have been able to continue breastfeeding a lot longer with my 2nd child. I wish this had been around with my first. Thank you for such an ingenious invention!
-Hands Free!!! With no special silly looking bra that you still can't cover up. (My personal opinion of course)
-Ability to continue work throughout the day with less interruption
-Much quieter than the other pumps I have used
-Does fit into my nursing bras, works best with ones that have under wire or are sports bras. I have not seen much stretching in my bras, however I am big chested so that could be a factor.
-Can pump anywhere with access to an outlet
-Ability to detach quickly if I need to go to a meeting
-I don't feel like a milk cow hooked up to a machine.
-Does need some readjusting after putting them on. Often need to put on in the restroom, this decreases the need to readjust later.
-No discreet bag to carry the pump in. I currently use a backpack, not a great fit but it works.
-I often go to the restroom to put the pumped milk in storage bags and rinse out the cups after each use. Would be nice to have a discreet case or bag to put cups and a storage bag in. Currently using a large 'Contents' makeup bag from Target. It works but took about two weeks to find something that fit right.
All in all this is wonderful and has made a huge leap in pumping technology offered to working mothers who still want to breastfeed.
UPDATE: Several months later and I still love it. One thing to note though. Occasionally there might be a back up when pumping and the 'filter' gets wet. The original kit comes with 2 filters. MY ADVICE is by more filters right away. I neglected to do so and of course (as only a mother can do) I am panicking about being able to pump without them till the new ones I just ordered arrive in the mail.