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I received this pump in exchange for an honest, freemie liberty review of what I thought of it and how it worked for me. This doesn’t affect my review in any way. I always give my honest opinion of every product I review. When my last son was born, I purchased an older version of the Freemie (the Freemie Collection Cups) at full price from Amazon. You can read my review of those here. The Freemie Liberty is the latest pump from Freemie and it’s quite different from the Collection Cups. Below is my experience with it.
This past July we welcomed our first little girl into our family. We were all so excited to meet her and every day with her has been a blessing.
Once she was born, I really wanted to pump as much as possible to build up a good supply of breastmilk. However, with our growing family now at 5 kids, I wasn’t sure how I’d juggle pumping, caring for a newborn and taking care of my four older boys at the same time.
If you’ve ever pumped before, you know it takes a lot of time! On top of that, if you’re using a regular pump, you have to find a private place to undress every time you need to pump. Because of this, I’ve never liked pumping. (To be honest, I hated it!) You have to sit there for up to 20 minutes and you can’t do anything but hold the breast shields in place. I don’t like leaving my newborn and the rest of my kids alone every time I have to pump. It just doesn’t work. You can’t leave 5 kids alone for 20+ minutes every 2-3 hours!
With the Freemie Liberty, you don’t have to. It’s a discreet, battery-operated, hands-free pump that you can use just about anywhere. With the Freemie Liberty, I pump while I’m working, driving, preparing dinner, going for a walk, and so much more. I didn’t realize how much I needed this pump until I had it!
How Does the Freemie Liberty Work?
The Freemie is designed to give you more freedom in pumping. Instead of breast shields that need to be held in place, the Freemie is a set of collection cups that can be placed inside your nursing bra.
Once the cups are correctly positioned, the tubes can be connected from the cups to the pump. As shown below, you don’t have to take your shirt off while you pump. You just slip the cups into your bra, turn the pump on, and your hands are free to do whatever you want while you pump.
The original Freemie cups are an attachment that can be used with Medela, Spectra, Ameda pumps and more. These cups are great, but, for me, the biggest downside was I always had to be within 3-4 feet of an outlet depending on how long the tubing and pump cord is.
The Freemie Liberty is different because it’s a whole new pump. It’s powered with a rechargeable battery and is small enough to be held in the palm of your hand. It has a clip on the back that can be clipped to your pants so you can go anywhere while you pump.
I’ll admit, I was a little worried when I first started using the Liberty.
I’ve tried quite a few pumps and all of them, except my Medela, were either extremely painful or didn’t have enough suction to pull my milk out. I worried the Liberty would be the same.
Because of this, I used my Medela pump with the original Freemie collection cups for the first week after my daughter was born. I wanted to compare the two pumps to see which worked best. After that first week, I started using the Freemie Liberty.
How Does the Freemie Liberty Compare to Other Pumps
The first thing I noticed when I used this pump is it’s incredibly quiet! The Liberty is designed with noise reduction technology and it is by far the quietest pump I’ve ever used.
I also found that the Freemie Liberty pulls out just as much milk as my Medela pump does.
Initially, I planned on only using the Liberty when I needed to be up and around, but, after a week of using it, I put my Medela away.
The Freemie Liberty is so easy & convenient to use. Because it works just as good as my Medela, I’ve been using it exclusively since my daughter was a week old.
On average, I pump anywhere from 5 to 8 times a day with the Liberty. That’s 2-3 hours every day spent pumping. 2-3 hours that I now get to spend doing whatever I want while I pump. If it’s time for dinner, I can prepare it and make sure all my boys are fed. If I have errands I have to run or groceries that need to be picked up, I bring a clean bottle and pump in the car. Once I get wherever I’m going, I dump the milk from the cups into the bottle and it’s ready for my daughter’s next feeding.
I planned on being home the first couple weeks after my daughter was born, but with 5 kids, life is really busy! In just the first three weeks after she was born, I found myself pumping in the car more than half a dozen times.
I can’t get over just how easy and convenient the Freemie Liberty is compared to how pumping was in the past. With my other kids, I always had to schedule errands around feeding/pumping times. If I was going to be gone for more than 3 hours, I had to bring my huge pumping bag and all my supplies then find a place where I could pump privately. To say the least, it was extremely stressful!
Many times, I was unable to find a place to pump and I’d get home hours later with my chest aching because my breasts were full of milk. Pumping in that state is painful! 🙁 It can also have a negative impact on your milk supply if it happens too often.
If you’ve used another pump, this will be quite different for you. Because of that, I’ve put together some questions and answers to give you a better idea of how the Freemie Liberty works. If you have any questions that aren’t answered below, please leave me a comment letting me know!
Freemie Liberty Q & A
How Many Ounces Can Each Cup Hold?
Each collection cup holds up to 8 oz of milk. You can pump up to 16 oz total at a time before having to empty them.
Can this Be Used as a Single Sided Pump?
Yes, the Freemie Liberty can be used as a single sided pump or a double pump. There have been a few times where I’ve pumped on one side while my daughter nursed on the other.
How Long Does the Battery Last?
Before the first use, you need to fully charge the Freemie Liberty. This will take up to 4 hours. Once the battery indicator is at 100% it’s ready to use. The manual says the battery will last up to 2.5 hours without being charged. However, I found that after about 4-5 20 minute sessions it needed to be recharged again. Unless I’m out and about, I usually plug it in to charge after every use.
Can You Use the Pump While It’s Charging?
After the first full charge then yes, you can use this pump while it’s plugged in and charging.
What Size are the Funnels that Come with the Pump?
The Freemie Liberty has two funnel sizes 25mm and 28mm. If neither of these sizes are the fit you need, there are silicon inserts you can get that will give you a range from 16mm-28mm.
Is it Painful to Use?
This was another one of my biggest worries, but I found the Liberty to be just as comfortable as my Medela was. If you use it and find it’s painful, you should do the following
- Check to make sure you’re using the right funnel size. You may need one of the silicone inserts to get a proper fit.
- Start the pump at a low speed and low suction power until your milk starts coming out. Don’t start it at high settings.
Does the Freemie Liberty Get All Your Milk Out?
I have seen other reviews of this pump saying it doesn’t get all your milk out and you should plan on having a second pump as your primary one. However, I’ve been using the Freemie Liberty exclusively since my daughter was a week old and I haven’t had problems with this as long as I’m using the right funnel size. At first, I started out using the 28mm funnels. I noticed it wasn’t getting all my milk either. After reading through the manual, I tried the 25mm instead. They were a much better fit and I haven’t had a problem since I switched.
How Often Does the Freemie Liberty Need to Be Cleaned?
The collection cups should be sterilized before the first use. Afterwards, they need to be washed with soap and hot water after each use.
Can You Lie Down While Using It?
No, you need to be in an upright position while using the pump or the milk will spill out. I have seen some mothers that said they lie on their side while using it. This would probably work if you positioned the cups sideways. I haven’t tried it though. These cups are so much nicer than the original Freemie cups because they don’t spill as easily. I’ve yet to have an occasion where they’ve spilled.
Is This a Closed Pumping System or an Open One?
The original Freemie Cups are an open system but the Freemie Liberty is a closed system. This is better for you and your baby because it means there is a barrier between the pump and the milk collection kit that prevents contamination by bacteria, mold, and viruses.
Is the Liberty Compatible/Interchangeable with the Original Collection Cups?
No, it is not. The original cups are an open pumping system while these new cups were designed as a closed system. The tubes are a different size and the cups are a different design. I actually tried interchanging pieces from each but it doesn’t work.
Does Milk Ever Get Into the Tubing?
This happened 2-3 times with the original Freemie cups the entire time I was using them after my last son was born. However, it hasn’t happened once with the Freemie Liberty.
How Many Speed/Suction Settings Does This Pump Have?
There are 10 settings for suction and 10 settings for speed. 1 = Low Speed/Suction while 10 = High Speed/Suction
The pump can’t run at the max speed/suction setting. (It won’t pump milk at speed=10 and suction=10) I’ve found it works best at low-speed settings combined with high suction settings, but each mother will be different. To start with, I’d recommend starting at low speed/suction settings to see what works best and is most comfortable for you.
Is It Hard to Use the Freemie Liberty?
The first time I used the pump, it did take some figuring out. I had a hard time getting the cups to snap closed.
I recommend watching the short videos below to help you get started. The first will show you how to assemble the pump and the second will show you how to operate it.
There is also another great video from the CES show in 2018 that highlights some of the amazing benefits of the Freemie Liberty that you won’t get with other pumps.
How Much Does the Liberty Pump Cost?
This pump is just as expensive as other high-quality pumps. Freemie’s website and Amazon have it listed at $299. However, most insurance companies will provide a breast pump for you. I checked to make sure the Freemie Liberty is an option through insurance and it is.
Is It Really Discreet? Can People Tell When You’re Using It?
A common complaint with the Freemie cups is they aren’t as discreet as they’re advertised to be. However, keep in mind the cups are big enough to fit 8 oz each (a full-sized baby bottle). If you’re wearing tight-fitting clothing then yes, the cups will be very noticeable. I usually wear loose fitting clothes if I have to go out while I’m using it. You can also use a light shawl or scarf so nobody will be able to tell you’re using it.
Freemie Liberty Bonuses You’ll Love
The Freemie Liberty has a shutoff timer so you can set it to turn off after a certain amount of time. I love this because instead of watching the clock, I can set it to run for 15-20 minutes. Once the time is up, it shuts off by itself.
3 Programmable Settings
While you’re pumping, you often want to use different pump settings. I like to start at very low speed/suction settings until my milk starts coming out. Once it does, I gradually increase the speed and/or suction power. The Freemie Liberty allows you to save 3 different speed/suction settings so that you can easily go from one phase to another without having to manually adjust the settings every time.
How to Get the Most out of Your Freemie
To get the most out of your Freemie Liberty, you need to carefully read through the manual. There are pictures and diagrams that illustrate how to properly use this pump. It is very well put together and easy to follow.
The manual walks you through assembling the pump, operating it, maintaining it, troubleshooting it if it isn’t working, and so much more.
What Would Make it Better
I don’t have many complaints about the Freemie Liberty. It is by far the most convenient pump I’ve ever used and really gives you the freedom you need to be a mother and still pump!
It did take a couple times for me to get the pump assembly down. When it isn’t put together properly the pump has no suction. I would love to have a pause button on the pump so I can pause the timer while I reassemble the pump. Instead, you have to turn it off, take it apart, reassemble it, then adjust the settings and timer back to where you want it. However, after the first day or two, I rarely assembled it or put it on wrong so I no longer needed the pause function as much as I thought I did.
Another thing that I think would be a great improvement is a customized pump bag to hold the pump. There is a small bag that comes with it, but it feels like an afterthought or something that was just thrown in there with it. It’s a very simple pouch that unzips to the bag shown below. I don’t think it gives the pump the protection it needs while being transported and I don’t like having everything thrown together in a jumbled mess.
It doesn’t really affect how well the pump works but, if you’re on the go, working, or pumping away from home a lot, you’re going to want a decent pumping bag.
The best I’ve found is this incredible pumping bag that allows you to store the pump in a side pocket and use the main storage area for a laptop or any other supplies you might need. Instead of hauling 2-3 bags around, you can fit everything into this beautifully designed pumping bag.
This is the First Time I’ve Been Able to Build up a Good Supply of Milk
I’ve never been someone that makes a lot of milk. I usually struggle to get enough to just keep my baby satisfied. With 3 of my 4 boys, I had to start supplementing my milk with formula as early as 3 weeks after they were born because I didn’t have enough milk.
That wouldn’t have been the case if I’d had this pump.
With the Freemie Liberty, I’ve been able to pump on a consistent 2 or 3-hour schedule to keep up my milk supply. I don’t have to do things around my pumping schedule. If I need to go somewhere, I bring my pump and pump when I need to. This alone has made a huge difference. I’ve also been able to focus a lot more on including things in my diet so that my body can make more milk. Instead of losing 2-3 hours a day to pump (then more after to feed my baby), I don’t have to find extra time to fit in pumping.
By the time my daughter was 3 weeks old, I had almost 200 ounces of breastmilk in my freezer. That may not be a lot for some moms, but for me, it’s a ton! In comparison, I’ve never managed to save more than 100 ounces the entire time I was pumping with any of my other kids. I’m still using the Freemie Liberty and saving more milk each week.
You’ll Never Go Back to Your Old Pump
After using the Freemie cups and the Freemie Liberty, I’ll never use another pump that requires me to sit and hold breast shields in place for the entire pumping session. In a couple years from now, I think all the big names in pump manufacturing (Medela, Ameda, Spectra, etc) will be making their own hands-free pumps. They’re going to have to because, after using the Freemie Liberty, no mother is going to want to use anything but a convenient, hands-free pump!
What do you think of the Freemie Liberty? Have you had a chance to use it? If you have any questions for me please let me know in a comment below! I’m still using this pump for my daughter and I would love to answer any questions you have about it.
Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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