Most helpful critical review
39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Good if you need to be discrete, some major flaws.
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.