June is almost 6 months old, and I’ve been using the Medela Freestyle breast pump since June was 2 weeks old. I thought it was about time to share our story, and my review of the latest Medela pump – the Freestyle Flex. I’ve got the essentials in this blog post, but you can catch all of this and more in my video.
Check out June’s birth story
*Medela sponsored this post, but all thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make PMQ for two possible.
If you had told me I’d be posing for the internet with my mom bod on display, in our powder room, with an electric breast pump going, I’d have laughed at you. But hey, I have zero hang-ups about breastfeeding in public, so why should I have any about using my breast pump?
Why I use a breast pump
Really simple: I want the gift of space and time, while still being able to feed my daughter.
Long answer, in addition to breast feeding I wanted to create a stash of breastmilk, and I wanted Dan to be able to feed June on a daily basis. As mothers, we get the dedicated bonding and feeding time, but Dads miss out on it.
If I’m able to express enough for a bottle each day, Dan can feed her and they can share that bonding time. A breast pump allows me to achieve all of my goals, easily and effectively – and still breast feed.
When June was born, it became apparent that I would need a nipple shield in order to breastfeed her. This had an unanticipated effect: no nipple confusion between me and a bottle. Which meant that I could give June a bottle of breastmilk and she wouldn’t fight it, or prefer it over me.
I still use the nipple shield – she’s never latched without it – and we still breast feed during the day, but she also gets two bottles a day. It’s the best of both worlds.
Why we chose a Medela breast pump
We were initially using a hand silicone pump, but I was told by our lactation consultant that it would not be enough to sustain my supply if I wanted to continue expressing for a bottle. So we did some research.
The Medela models came out as the clear-cut victors in the breast pump world, and they offer amazing support to pumping and breast feeding moms. With a doctor’s note I was able to get 80% of the cost covered by our insurance.
Not only that, but all of the extra gear like the Calma bottle and nipple, extra bottles, milk bags, spare parts etc. could be bought locally (or online). That’s a HUGE plus for me given that I don’t live in a major urban centre.
The Medela Freestyle vs. The Freestyle Flex
We used the Freestyle for 5 months with zero issues. So when Medela offered me the Freestyle Flex to try out, I jumped at the opportunity! What’s not to love about a new and shinny version of a favourite.
We started with the Medela Freestyle. It was a fantastic option for us for the following reasons:
- long battery life
- easy to clean pump parts
- sustained suction
- double breast suction with the option of using one side at a time
- clip that easily attached to my pants or fit in a pocket
- flanges work with the Medela Easy Expression Bustier
- various suction intensities
The Freestyle Flex is the Freestyle with a few added bonuses:
- longer battery life (8 x 15 mins pumps or 4 x 30 mins pumps on a single charge)
- easier to clean pump parts – check the video to see how easily it comes apart
- more comfortable flanges with a better seal
- better shape with a wrist strap
- quieter suction action
What Breast Pumping means to our breastfeeding journey
It means freedom of choice. Because I worked so hard to start our stash of breastmilk, not only do we have a solid 8-10oz contribution to the stash every day, but I can easily make a bottle of breast milk for June when we have a babysitter come over.
It means I don’t have to worry about pumping extra if I want to go out – I just pump for the feeding session I missed – and I know she’s getting breast milk.
It also means extended bonding time for Dan and JB, they get an assured feed together every day.
And last but not least, if I want to stop breast feeding before the 12 month mark, I can continue pumping and know that June is still getting all the benefits of my breast milk.
Ultimately breast feeding and breast pumping are very personal choices, and this is the mix that worked best for us.