All breastfeeding mamas have a love/hate relationship with their breast pumps. They are a necessity for most nursing moms, but strapping yourself into the typical electric pump is seriously time consuming and not very fun. Pumping is often the best option for working moms to keep their milk supply going while away from their babies or when traveling while breastfeeding. The new Willow breast pump is being billed as completely hands-free, but it’s still not released yet, and the price tag means not all moms will be able to scoop up that wearable gadget.
I’m a mama to two gorgeous breastfeeding twins, and I’ve been able to cut pumping down to only times when I’m away from my girls. When I registered for a writing conference, I knew that I would need to pump during the afternoon, since I’d be gone for most of the weekend. Instead of lugging all of my Medela Pump in Style Advanced gear, I took the opportunity to try out Freemie breast pump cups. Freemie cups promise to be hands-free and compatible with most commercial breast pumps. There’s also a complete electronic pump and a manual version as well.
My traditional pump gear is A LOT of stuff. In comparison, the Freemie consists of a plastic shell that holds the breast milk, a valve, two different sizes of breast funnel, and connecting tubes — which is a lot less to pack. When I got to the conference lactation room, I brought a nursing top and a sports bra and started setting up. I read through all the instructions, which seemed a bit intimidating at first, despite the relative simplicity of the equipment. But despite my initial concerns, since I’m not a pumping newbie, it didn’t take me long to get ready. The hardest challenge with the Freemie cup was being able to see if I had positioned the funnels correctly before I turned my pump on. With the pump running, I realized that my right breast wasn’t positioned correctly and had to adjust it. Once I fixed that, I was back in business.
I liked that the Freemie cups were less intrusive than traditional breast pump cups, which are definitely NOT concealable. It was still obvious that something was under my shirt, but it was nice to pump without having to use a nursing cover. The smaller size of the cups also made it easier to get things done. I wrote notes in a notebook and typed on my laptop without bumping into the cups. Another bonus is that each shell holds up to eight ounces of milk. Back in my early days of pumping, I pumped more than the five ounces that my Medela bottle could hold and had to scramble to switch out bottles, which resulted in spilt milk. As any breastfeeding mom knows, every drop counts! Once I was done pumping, it was pretty easy to remove the Freemie cups and pour my breast milk into a bottle for storage.
I think these Freemie cups would be great for working moms, anyone who is traveling, or moms who have a surplus of milk when they pump. If I could go back in time, I would’ve tried these out much sooner in my breastfeeding life!
Would you try these hands-free breast pump cups? Let us know @BritandCo.
(Photos via Freemie, Getty)