Breastfeeding & Pumping, Newborn Care

After Four Kids, I Finally Found a Pump I Love that’s Convenient!

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best breast pump

With four kids, I’ve had quite a few opportunities to try out different breast pumps. It wasn’t until my fourth son was born when I found what I’d call the best breast pump for working moms. Honestly, I’d say it’s the best breast pump for moms period!

Whether you’re a stay at home or a working mom, you won’t find another pump that is more convenient and easy to use.

To show you how it compares to other pumps, let me tell you how pumping/breastfeeding went with my first three kids.

With My First Son, I Never Got Breastfeeding or Pumping Down

When it comes to breastfeeding and pumping, I’ve had results all over the map.

My first son refused to breastfeed and screamed every time I tried.

After over a week of this, I gave up and decided I’d have to pump instead. I hadn’t researched pumps at all and knew nothing about what to look for in a pump.

Feeling out of place, I stopped at Walmart picked up two cheap pumps, a manual one, and an automatic one. My hope was that at least one of them would be a good one.

I got home and tried the manual pump first. It was so painful to use, I cried. And it got little to no milk out.

Next, I tried the automatic one and, to my relief, it worked. It started pulling my milk out.

However, after 15 minutes I had less than an ounce total.

I’d never pumped before, but I knew I should be getting way more than a single ounce!

The next two weeks I switched back and forth from nursing to pumping. My son still refused to breastfeed most feedings and I found myself always on edge.

I dreaded every time I’d have to feed him and hoped it’d be one of the rare sessions he ate well.

By the time he was three weeks old, my milk supply was practically gone.

Partially due to the incredible stress I felt every time I fed him. Partially because my body had no idea how much to make.

My son went back and forth so many times between eating great and refusing to eat, my body had no idea how much to make.

Also, the pump I’d bought was a nightmare. I’d never managed to get more than two ounces total with it.

I felt like a failure, but I put him on homemade formula at three weeks old.

With My Second Son, I Couldn’t Breastfeed and Hated Pumping!

When my second son was born he actually breastfed great…with one little problem.

If he ever got more than 1-1.5 ounces at a time without being burped, he’d throw it all up.

I tried feeding him for shorter time periods, but a couple times a day, he’d throw up everything he ate.

After this went on for a week or two, I decided I would only pump and feed him from a bottle.

I needed some way to make sure he wasn’t getting too much at a time.

A good friend of mine loaned me her Medela pump and it actually worked great!

It pulled up to three ounces from each side per session. (That was a lot for me, I’ve never been able to produce a lot of milk like some others have)

By that point, my son was eating almost everything I got. It took a while to feed him. He could only eat an ounce at a time, but he’d get fussy if he didn’t eat it all.

I wasn’t able to build up a supply in my freezer like I’d hoped. That also meant I couldn’t premake a bottle when it was time to feed him.

When it got close to my son’s feeding time, I’d have to lay him down while I pumped.

I’d pump for 15-20 minutes and often hear him start crying because it was time to eat and he was hungry.

I felt helpless. When I was pumping, I couldn’t do anything else. I had to sit there, hold the shields in place, and listen to him cry.

To be honest, I hated it, but there was no other way I could feed my son. By the time he got his bottle, he was often shaking and extremely upset.

Not really what I’d envisioned when I thought of breastfeeding/nursing my baby. Again it was very stressful and my supply ran out by the time he was three months old.

My Third Son was Almost Exclusively Breastfed, I Still Hated Pumping

When my third son was born, feeding him was completely opposite from what I’d experienced the first two times.

He knew how to breastfeed from day one and never threw up while he was eating.

For the first time in my life, I enjoyed breastfeeding.

That time around, I’d purchased my own Medela pump because the one I’d borrowed before had worked great! (Even if I hated using it because I couldn’t do anything else while I did).

However, since my third son breastfed so well, I hardly ever used the pump.

Occasionally, I used it when I planned to take him somewhere I didn’t feel comfortable nursing him.

Every once in a while I also used it for a couple minutes after he was done eating. I hoped doing so would encourage my body to produce more milk that I could save up.

This probably would have worked to increase my supply but, I never did it consistently. I hated being incapacitated while I pumped. I hated having to sit there for up to twenty minutes and do absolutely nothing but hold the shields in place.

Eventually, I quit pumping and just breastfed him every time he needed to eat. I really really enjoyed being able to feed him! Unlike the first two times, my supply never ran out.

My son never acted like he wasn’t getting enough and I was able to nurse him as long as I wanted.

He was breastfed the longest, but my pump was only used a handful of times.

My Last Round Of Breastfeeding, I Finally Found a Pump I Loved!

A couple months before my last son was born, a friend of mine showed me a pump she found that she absolutely loved.

She’d had twins the year before and was still pumping when they were eight months old.

I couldn’t believe it, I’d never lasted half that long pumping for one kid. How in the world was she still pumping for twins?!

When I asked her about it, she said was still pumping because she’d found an option that was completely hands-free. She could do just about anything while she was pumping.

At that time, she was back at work. She told me about a time she’d actually been in her office pumping while she worked and another co-worker walked in to talk to her for a couple minutes. During the whole conversation, her coworker didn’t realize she was pumping while they talked.

Amazed, I asked her what she used and she showed me her Freemie Collection Cups.

freemie pump

The Freemie is a pumping attachment that has adapters to make so it can be used with almost any pump. It works with Medela, Ameda, Avent Pumps and more.

The collection cups sit in your bra and the tubing connects to your pump, it really is completely hands-free. You can do just about anything while you pump.

It sounded like exactly what I’d been looking for, so I bought a pair to try out when my son was born.

I had him a month later and he too was breastfeeding great from day one.

Just like my third son, he never had a problem breastfeeding. Because of that, I wouldn’t even have tried to pump if it weren’t for the Freemies.

When he was just a couple days old, I tried them and, like my friend had said, they really were hands-free.

I could pump while I made dinner, washed dishes, and read to my older boys.

Some nights I’d pump during storytime for my older boys at the same time I was bottle-feeding my newborn.

It was just as convenient as my friend had said. After using the Freemie pump, I threw out all my breast pump shields.

There’s no way I was going to go back to pumping the way I used to after the freedom of using a Freemie pump!

To read more about the Freemie, see how it works, and decide if it’s the right option for you, see my review here.

It took four kids, but I’ve finally gotten the best of both worlds. With my last son, I was able to enjoy breastfeeding because he did so well and I also loved pumping!

Update: Freemie has recently released a new version of this pump.

The Freemie cups I used were attached to my Medela pump with the Freemie tubes.

It’s hands-free, but you can’t go any further from the pump then the length of the tubing. 

The new version is battery powered (with rechargeable batteries) so you can actually pump while you take the kids for a walk or while you go anywhere really.

You don’t have to find an outlet close to your kitchen counter, couch, desk, or wherever you’ll be pumping because it’s battery powered!

I haven’t tried the new version, but I think it looks amazing! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it these next couple months to see how other moms like it!

best hands free pump


How has pumping and breastfeeding gone for you? Have you tried the Freemie Pump? Do you have any questions for me?

Let me know by leaving a comment below! I do answer all of them!

-Julie

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14 thoughts on “After Four Kids, I Finally Found a Pump I Love that’s Convenient!

  1. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to have your baby throwing up every time you nurse him. It’s crazy how different each baby is!

    That pump definitely would have helped if you had it from the beginning! After my daughter was born, I guess I was just lucky. She breastfed just fine from the beginning.

    Knowing what you do, would you recommend pumping to young mothers?
    DorcasW

    1. I agree, if I’d had this pump, things would not have been as stressful when my second son was born.
      I might not have gotten more milk but at least I would have been able to take care of my son while I pumped.

      I would have been able to hold him and calm him down until his bottle was ready.

      After what I experienced with each of my kids, I’d say that all mothers (young or old) need to see what works best for them and their baby. If their baby is unable to nurse or their schedule doesn’t allow them to nurse, I would encourage them to try pumping a couple times to see how things go for them.
      Having the right supplies when you pump makes all the difference. I’d definitely recommend this pump to all mothers who are planning on, or even wondering, if they should pump for their baby.
      -Julie

  2. I have used Medela for four months only. I found it was quite good as it was automatic. I did not have enough milk supply thereafter and I had stopped. I breastfed my baby but also pumped as I was not able to breastfeed him at times as I was working. However, I was not able to pump as frequently as I would like to. It would have been good if I have known Freemie at that time. I may consider getting this when I have another baby.

    1. I love Medela Pumps, I have one myself and they work great! However, pumping is so time-consuming and really difficult with a newborn and younger kids at home.
      To have a good supply, you need to be able to pump on a consistent schedule. This is an almost impossible task if you have more than just your newborn to take care of.

      What I loved most about the Freemie was, it’s so easy to use and you can use it just about anywhere. It’s completely hands-free so you can take care of your kids while you’re pumping!
      If you get a chance to try it, I know you’ll love it 🙂
      -Julie

  3. Hi Julie,
    Awesome article!

    I had breastfed my two kids when there were babies. And to be honest, I’ve never had the need of pumping milk since I was working from home. But my sister just gave birth a few months ago, and now she has to get back to work. She doesn’t know what type of breast pump to choose. The Freemie seems to be very practical. I will share this article with my sister. I am sure she will find it interesting!

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    1. I was able to work from home and just breastfeed one of my boys and I loved that! For your sister who is going back to work though, I think she’d love the Freemie. It is so uncomfortable having to find somewhere private that you can pump every couple hours at work and, while you do, your hands are full. You can’t do anything else.

      With the Freemie, my friend mentioned she could sit at her desk and work on anything she needed while she pumped. You could hear the pump if you listened for it, but her Medela pump was fairly quiet and most of her coworkers didn’t know she was using it.
      -Julie

  4. Wow. I’m sold. I will definitely be purchasing this for my baby due in July. Great review and very relatable with nursing problems. Thank you for turning your challenges into learning experiences for other Moms. Loved the details in the article because that was SO ME!

    1. Congratulations on your new baby 🙂 I hope you’ll love the Freemie much as I have! Pumping is so much easier with it!

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a review!
      -Julie

  5. So if I have a Medela pump right now, but I want to use the freebie pump for my next baby, do I buy the whole kit for the freemie? or only part of it? I am just not sure how they work cuz I’ve only used the kind where you get to sit and listen to this loud pump for 20 min (per side!). I am excited to be able to keep going on daily tasks this time instead of having to put everything aside and sit for ever each day. Just not quite sure how it works.

    1. Hi Kara,
      If you have a Medela right now you just need to get the Freemie attachment. There is a pump that can go with the Freemie but you shouldn’t need it if you already have a Medela.

      The Freemie can pump both sides at once. It’s a set of cups that can be slipped into your nursing bra and you attach the tubing to your pump. My review here goes into more detail about exactly how you use it. There’s also a great demonstration video here that shows you how to put the cups together, how the Freemie works, and how to put it away afterwards. The video is a little long because she actually starts the pump in the beginning and spends most of the video working while she pumps. It’s a great demonstration of the freedom you have with this pump 🙂

      -Julie

  6. I never actually knew breast feeding can be so hard sometimes! How does the breast pump estimate how much milk you can pump at a given time? Is there a significant price difference between automatic and manual breast pumps? Is there a risk of pain, increased tenderness, or other issues with the nipple?

    1. Neither did I! It seems simple enough but it really depends on the baby. Some do great with it and others just aren’t meant to be breastfed.
      There are things I could have done for my oldest son to help him relax and do well breastfeeding. However, I have no idea what I could have done differently for my second son.

      He couldn’t hold more than about an ounce in his stomach at a time without being burped or he threw up everything he ate.

      I’m so thankful I was able to breastfeed my last two kids and with the Freemie, it was so convenient! I didn’t have to find time in my day to include a 30 min pumping session every couple hours. When it was time to pump, I used the Freemie and kept doing whatever I was doing before.

      -Julie

  7. I nursed all four of my children, didn’t have a pump. Actually never thought they were useful… especially the primitive pumps used back in the 80’s and early 90’s. My daughter just gave birth a month ago and she refuses to breastfeed. My poor grand daughter is missing out on an excellent source of nutrition. I tried suggesting at least pump her milk out to give to the baby. I’ll share this article with her so she can see what her options are. 

    1. I love having the option to pump, but it sure isn’t easy with a newborn. Add older kids to the mix and it’s really stressful to have to find time to pump every couple hours!

      My favorite thing about the Freemie, is that I was able to hold my newborn, make dinner, wash dishes, or keep on doing what needed to be done at the moment while I was pumping.
      Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and there really are times when it isn’t the best option for mother or the baby.

      Pumping gives those mothers who aren’t prepared or can’t breastfeed another option and the Freemie makes so they don’t have to find a way to fit it into the hectic schedule of having a newborn!

      -Julie

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