Breast Pump review: Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

Breast Pump review: Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

(Last updated: Nov 27, 2019 @ 3:52 pm)Breast Pump review: Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump. Let’s take a first look at this brand new Medela pump. In late November 2019, Medlea debuted a sequel to their original Freestyle pump—the Freestyle Flex, which weighs less than one pound and can be charged via the included USB.

The form factor and weight are one big difference here:

The Freestyle Flex is ten ounces and fits in a hand.

Breast Pump Review: Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

The Freestyle (original model) is 13 ounces and much chunkier.

Breast Pump review: Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump old Freestyle model was chunkier

Here are some other key differences and what’s new with the Flex:

• USB Charging. The new Freestyle Flex is charged via USB-C, a standard that is used by many newer mobile phones; the older model needs an A/C adapter. One caveat: you must use the special USB-C cable and charger to charge the Freestyle Flex.

• Closed system. Unlike other Medela pumps, the Freestyle Flex has a CLOSED system—this prevents breast milk from entering the tubes that attach to breast shields, keeping milk from potentially backing up into the pump. The older Freestyle does not have this feature (hence, it is an OPEN system). 

• App-enabled. The new Freestyle Flex connects via Bluetooth to the MyMedela app on your phone—you can use the app to track pumping sessions and customize the unit’s settings. The older Freestyle doesn’t have an companion app.

Battery. The smaller form factor for the Freestyle Flex does have one disadvantage: the battery only lasts up to 2 hours on one charge. The original Freestyle worked up to three hours per charge.

Price. The original Freestyle runs $324.99, while the new Freestyle Flex runs $324.99—which is rather pricey. We expect the new pump to come down in price over time. (The original Freestyle sold for about $325, but has been discounted in recent months).

• Insurance. As of this writing, the Freestyle Flex is just available at retail—beginning in January, the Freestyle Flex will also be available through insurance, exclusively through Aeroflow.

Black Friday deals on the Freestyle Flex

Medela is offering several deals on the Freestyle Flex for Black Friday 2019:

  • Amazon: Receive a Free 100 count Medela Breast Milk Storage Bags with purchase of Medela Freestyle Flex.
  • Target: Receive a $25 Gift Card with purchase of Medela Freestyle Flex (Offer valid thru 12/7).
  • Buy Buy Baby: Receive a $25 Gift Card with purchase of Medela Freestyle Flex.
    • Online: 11/29- 12/31/19
    • In Stores: 12/9 thru 12/31/19
  • Walmart.com: Receive a $25 Gift Card with purchase of Medela Freestyle Flex (11/29 – 12/7/19).

Our thoughts on the new Freestyle Flex

The Freestyle Flex is Medela’s first new pump in years and that’s a good thing—Medela has been getting the stuffing kicked out of it by rivals like Spectra, who have been undercutting Medela on price. Example: Spectra’s own handheld pump, the S9Plus runs $180—yep, that’s less than HALF the price of the new Freestyle Flex. 

Ok, the S9 Plus has received mixed review so far . . . so it is possible Medela has done a better job with this refresh (we will be updating this review once we have a chance to test the new pump; we will also gather reader feedback in coming weeks). 

Our current recommendation for breast pumps is the Spectra S2, which runs just $159.00 $138.00.  This pump also has a portable version with a rechargeable battery (the Spectra S1) for $199.99 $185.00—is it as lightweight as the new Freestyle Flex? No, at 3.3 lbs, no one would consider the S1 to be super lightweight. But at half the price, you might just put up with the bulkier, heavier unit.