While I wish I could breastfeed flesh-on-flesh all of the time, I work away from my baby sometimes (and have a desire to be away from my babies sometimes for fun things too!), so I pump. And pumping? Pumping is my least favorite thing about breastfeeding. But something has come along that has made me hate pumping a lot less, so out of a spirit of gratitude I want to tell you about it. I hope it helps you or someone you love as well!
Introducing, to many of you for the first time, the Freemie pump!
Now, before I get started, let me preface by saying the Freemie isn't perfect. It's not going to make pumping fun or sexy. But for me, it is a big step in the right direction!
I have an Ameda Purely Yours pump already, so I opted to just buy the Freemie collection cups, which connect to the pump I already own. So I cannot review the Freemie Freedom electric pump or the Equality manual pump. (Although it is worth noting this is the first double manual pump I've seen!)
But for the collection cups, here are some brief thoughts:
-Instead of dealing with flanges that connect to bottles, I have a flange built right into a milk reservoir. Smart! I then pour my milk directly from the collection cups into freezer bags. Less washing!
-These fit INSIDE my clothes, so I don't have to strip to pump. This is the biggest perk right now in my world. Now, as a disclaimer, they won't fit inside all of my bras/shirts, but if I unhook my pump clasps at the top of any of my nursing bras (thus far), they fit inside and rest on the bra. These have also worked in nursing camis for me. But if my shirt is tight, or I'm wearing a normal bra, these wouldn't work. Bonus: not freezing while pumping! I used to wrap a blanket around myself at times.
-I could feasibly wear these discreetly, though someone would have to not be looking very closely for them to not notice my awkwardly-shaped chest. But in some situations, these could be worn in public, especially if it's darker or you use a sweater to camouflage, and they could go unnoticed. As someone who has been walked in on while pumping, that would certainly be an improvement! These might also be handy for pumping on flights or in cars. I haven't tried that yet because travel for work hasn't picked up, but I'm pretty sure by the end of this breastfeeding journey, I'll have done it on a plane and a car. These could certainly be used while on a conference call, unlike normal pumping systems.
-I have been able to say goodbye to Pink Passion, what we jokingly named my pink hands free pumping bra. Come on, those things are horrible (but so useful).
-In terms of effectiveness, I haven't noticed any problems with the Freemie cups. As of now (with a 3 month old), they're working fine.
|The flange and collection cup taken apart, with my trust Ameda in the background.|
Now, is there room for improvement? Sure! Here are some tips, which Freemie says they're working on:
-Make the plastic see-through so that we can see what the heck is going on. At times it helps to reposition or assess which ducts are emptying.
-Add ounce markings to the cups so that when they are laid flat I know how much I pumped.
And this goes for all pumps, not just the Freemie: Can't we make a flange that isn't hard plastic? Something that feels a bit more like skin? It definitely seems like there's room for improvement here. I usually place flanges on my tummy for a minute to warm them up before beginning a pumping session because of how cold they are.
Now, to be clear: I wrote this review because I want more people to know about the Freemie. While it is perfectly fine to accept freebies (punny!) or compensation for blog reviews, I have not done so in this case. I wrote this simply because these collection cups have helped me not loathe pumping, and I believe more women will successfully breastfeed if pumping technology progresses beyond the machines we've been stuck with since 1988. (I just made that date up.) And the Freemie is a big step in that direction!
|Why I pump. Isn't she adorable?|