View Full Version : Pump in Style vs Freestyle
05-10-2011, 02:35 PM
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this--if it's not, tell me where to go, and I will repost elsewhere!
My daughter is eight months old, and I've been a working mom since she was three months old. When I was pregnant, a friend of mine who was done having kids gave me her Medela Pump in Style, and I've been using it daily since I went back to work.
But, plans change, and my friend just had her second baby! I am of course thrilled for her, and she of course wants her breastpump back!
(Note: my doctor said it was fine to use a used pump, as long as I got new breastshields and tubes, which I did.)
So now I have to buy a new one for myself. The question is, do I buy another Pump in Style, or do I spring for a Freestyle?
Here's the dilemma. I'm definitely planning on breastfeeding my daughter at least until a year, possibly longer depending on her interest. So I have minimum four months left to pump at work. I definitely want to have another baby, but nothing is certain, of course.
I really don't love having my hands tied up when I pump at work, so it would definitely be nice to have the Freestyle, and we can afford the extra money. But is it worth it for the short time I have left? And also, are there any disadvantages of the Freestyle, that make it less useful/enjoyable to use than the Pump in Style?
Thanks for any help!
05-11-2011, 10:38 AM
I'd looked at the Freestyle, but have heard that its built-in hands-free adaptation doesn't play nice if you've got a larger bust. I've got a slightly larger bust (DDD/E/F cup) and the Freestyle also wasn't out for all that long before I registered, so I didn't end up registering for it.
I highly recommend getting a hands-free bra (I use the Simple Wishes hands-free bustier myself; it works so well, I can even drive while pumping!) regardless of which pump you choose.
I use my PISA and have been happy with it so far (back-to-work when DD was 8 wks old; been back for 1 year; DD is still nursing & I've been OK to drop my at-work pump most days) but I also use the hands-free bra, which I've had since DD was born. She was unable to nurse when she was born due to medical issues, so I was an EP-er for her first week and change. That hands-free bra saved my butt!
If I had it to do over again, I think I'd opt for the Freestyle. (And I may upgrade it if my PISA craps out on me before DD is done nursing. At 14 months, she still nurses a couple times a day.)
05-11-2011, 10:50 AM
I've only had the Freestyle, which I loved b/c it was tiny and portable and just easy (and am planning to use it again for DS). My understanding is that the strength of it is the same as the PIS, and I had no complaints - I pumped 3x/day for 5 days/week at work from when DD was 5 mos until around 14 months when I started reducing pumping sessions. I didn't bother with its hands free system though, just bought one of the hands-fee bras PP mentioned.
05-11-2011, 11:16 AM
I have the PISA and I just bought a pumping bra. Or you can make one out of an old sports bra. Hands free for less money.
05-11-2011, 12:30 PM
I've exclusively pumped since about 2 weeks after DS was born. He had latch issues that just couldn't be overcome. I started with a PISA after 3 months of a hospital grade pump and used it from months 3-6. It worked great but it was a lot to schlep the backpack around when we'd leave the house. Month 6 I got the Freestyle and I've been using it ever since. It works just as well as the PISA for me but it's so much easier to take with me when I go places.
I saw a thread on a bargain shopping website that said Target is clearancing out their Freestyle's right now. They are marked down to about $190. Might be worth checking out if you have a Target nearby. That's how I got mine in Febuary for $95.
I agree about getting a hands free bra or making one. I didn't like the Simple Wishes bustier and prefer the Medela/Easy Expressions halter style bra. I've never used the hands free set up that comes with the Freestyle, I just use the hands free bras I was already using.
05-11-2011, 12:54 PM
I would definitely get the freestyle. I used it with both DD and it was awesome. Extremely strong pump. The best part is that after I was done with it i sold it for $200 on Craigslist!
05-11-2011, 01:04 PM
Another option is the Ameda Purely Yours pump, which you can get for about $150. I've used a PIS and I like the Ameda just as much if not more.
05-11-2011, 06:16 PM
I have a Pump In Style advanced from DD and when I had DS I bought a Freestyle so I could have one at home and one at work. I much prefer the PISA. Freestyle is more compact and lighter, but I feel like it is not as strong or reliable as the PISA. The Freestyle is much more finicky--I have to fiddle with the parts and snap and unsnap the adapter piece several times to make sure they are tight enough to generate suction. I have to turn the suction up to level 7 or 8 to get enough suction and I don't feel like I'm pumping as much as on the PISA. I don't like the soft breast flanges--I worry that they are breaking down and getting little cracks from being washed in our dishwasher (I'm to lazy to handwash everything). And lots of times when I start pumping, the milk backs up and doesn't go into the bottle if I forget to "unstick" the rubber flap first with my finger--and when I unscrew the bottle to do this and flip the flap, milk gets all over my pants. I ended up getting a return authorized by Medela because the suction was so weak--they replaced it under warranty. The new one is a little better, but I still like the PISA. Overall the Freestyle is pretty compact, but it's not like I'm walking around the office pumping, so portability is not as important as I thought. If I had to do it over again I would get another PISA.
I use the Easy Expressions Hands Free Bustier (I have the Simple Wishes one too, but I like the EE because it's simpler--only one zipper and easier to put on. I don't bother with the hands free strap system.
Hope this helps!
05-11-2011, 11:19 PM
Love, love, love my Freestyle. Used it for a year with DS and currently using it again (two years later) with DD. It was so convenient to pump at work, so easy to carry around in a large purse, so I didn't feel like I was walking around with a large sign around my neck saying "Breastmilk Pumper" all day long (like the PISA bag would have made me feel)!
It has been very reliable and I love the portability and hands-free convenience around the house or to the office.
05-12-2011, 12:04 AM
I went with the freestyle as well knowing that I would be pumping a ton and figuring anything that could possibly help make it easier would be worth it. I do like that it is small and easily packed in what ever bag I am taking with me to work. The hands free apparatus is completely useless, for me at least. Not sure if it's that I'm rather "well endowed" or what, but the whole strap set up just seems silly. I use the madela handsfree bustier, which is better, but requires frequent (at least once a week) washing in very hot water and a trip thru the dryer on extra high to re-shrink it...sigh.
I cannot comment on the PISA suction power vs. Freestyle.
I have a Freestyle, used it for about a year and it worked great for me. I started with BF problems, low supply, problems nursing, etc, so my LC recommended the hospital grade pump, Freestyle would not cut it for me to build up supply in the very beginning. I rented the Symphony for 5 months, which stayed at home and used Freestyle at work. Then I used exclusively Freestyle for additional 6 months of pumping (pumped until DS turned 11 months old).
I ended up getting Simple wishes bustier, much much better than the contraption that Freestyle comes with, so if you are planning to get it just for the hands-free mechanism, not worth it IMO.
this pump is worth is for the portability and battery life ten times over though. At least for me it was. I could walk around the apartment with it while pumping, I could pump in the car during our long car trips, airplane bathroom when flying and it just took so little space and packed easily. When I went to the lactation room (which was a hike to another building for me) I just took my regular purse and the pump+parts fit there easily.
the reason I didn't get the PISA is because the co-worker said the battery operation is a pain, you need to replace them all the time and plugging it into the outlet in the lactation room was a problem due to the layout of the outlets.
So, if you want awesome portability (if intending to travel, needing to carry around with you, etc), great battery life and don't have access to the electric outlet easily, get the freestyle. Otherwise, it may not make much difference I guess.
05-19-2011, 07:51 PM
I don't have anything to compare it to, but I love my freestyle. I used it for a year with DS 1 and now am on week 4 back at work with DS2 pumping 3 times per day (4 for a period of a couple months w/ DS1). I use the Bravado bras and the hands free kit that came w/ the pump and haven't had any issues w/ it. I can even get myself both hooked and unhooked while driving without issues. I have two complete sets of components that I rotate daily. I expect to have to replace horns and membranes midway through my year of pumping.
I'm about a 36DD while nursing and haven't had any issues with the hands free setup that comes w/ it. It took a little time to learn how to hook it all up, but now I'm a pro at it.
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