Are you looking for a more portable breast pump? Here’s a complete Medela Freestyle Flex review, including the pros and cons, what bottles you can use with it, and figuring out replacement parts.
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What is the Medela Freestyle Flex?
Medela offers quite a few different breast pumps – hospital grade (the Symphony), double electric for pumping at work (the Pump in Style Advanced, Max Flow, and Sonata), single electric (the Swing), and manual (the Harmony).
The Freestyle Flex is Medela’s portable breast pump offering – it’s small, lightweight, and has a rechargeable battery so that you’re not tied to an outlet.
Medela also sells the Freestyle breast pump, which is the precursor to the Freestyle Flex.
What are the pros of the Flex?
The advantages of using the Medela Freestyle Flex include:
- As mentioned above, the Flex is small, compact, lightweight, and has a rechargeable battery, so you can easily move around while you pump (with a hands-free pumping bra) or pump on the go.
- The Freestyle Flex is a closed system pump, so milk doesn’t get into the tubing or the motor.
- It has a backlight, which makes pumping at night easier (you can see what you’re doing without turning on the lights and waking up all the way).
- The Flex connects to an app, which allows you to automatically track your sessions. (It doesn’t track the amount pumped, but does track the start, end, and total pumping times.)
- It has a timer, which was super helpful for me for making sure I got my pumping time in.
- The pump parts are easy to clean.
- It’s not silent, but it’s a quieter pump.
- The charge lasts for 2+ hours.
What are the cons of the Freestyle Flex?
There are a few disadvantages to the Flex:
- The price point is higher than other portable pumps (with the exception of wearable, hands-free pumps).
- Some pumps, such as the Spectra S1/S2 or Motif Luna, allow you to adjust the cycle speed (how frequently the pump pulls) in addition to the vacuum strength (how hard the pump pulls). The Freestyle Flex only allows you to adjust vacuum strength.
- The pump parts are unique to the Flex, which means it’s not easy to get replacement parts in stores in an emergency (because fewer people use the parts, they are less likely to be stocked).
Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump Accessories
The pump parts used by the Freestyle Flex are unique to this pump. Moms who have used this pump mostly like them quite a bit, because:
- They are easy to clean,
- They come with PersonalFix Flex breast shields, but are compatible with many different flanges, and
- They include a backflow protector in the connector to keep milk from getting into the tubing.
However, these pump parts do have a few disadvantages – first, as noted above, replacements can be difficult to find in stores. (This is usually only a problem in emergencies; because of this, I’d recommend having extras on hand).
The other major issue is that the membranes are not currently sold separately from the connector, so if you need to replace just the membranes, you have to buy the entire connector. The cost of this can add up.
What bottles are compatible with the Flex?
The Medela Freestyle Flex (and all Medela pumps) use narrow-mouth bottles.
Other examples of narrow-mouth bottles that are generally compatible with the Medela pumps are Dr. Brown’s and Evenflow.
If your baby takes wide-mouth bottles, you may be able to pump directly into them with an adapter like this one.
What are the differences between the Freestyle Flex and the Medela Pump in Style?
A few of the differences between the Freestyle Flex and Medela’s other popular pump (the Pump in Style with Max Flow) include:
- The Freestyle Flex has a rechargeable battery, which makes pumping on the go easier.
- The Max Flow is bigger.
- The Max Flow doesn’t have a timer.
Medela Freestyle Flex Review: Bottom Line
The Flex is a fantastic portable pump option! It would be one of my top choices if you aren’t interested in a wearable pump (or if they are out of your price range), especially if you need gentler suction.
(You may be able to get a Flex free or discounted through insurance. Check out your eligibility here.)
Have you used this pump? Tell us your Medela Freestyle Flex review in the comments!