When I first started pumping my little one was 3 months old. I was headed back to work full time so for me pumping would be a regular activity. I started out using a standard pump, which required me to spend the entire 30 minutes or so holding the bottle. It was my first baby and I really hadn’t anticipated how pumping would go at work. Luckily, I have a flexible employer that allows me to take the time I need to pump. However, since returning to work, I’ve often been faced with very busy days that require me to work through pumping sessions. I’ve always wanted a more convenient option – one that doesn’t involve trying to juggle a laptop and a bottle. So I’m super happy to have the opportunity to try out the hands-free Freemie from NUK. It’s a great solution for working moms, but it’s also perfect for any mom that wants to multi-task and needs a more convenient resource. If you read our post on NUK Simply Natural Bottles, Freemie is part of that line of products designed to encourage natural feeding and the mom/baby bond.
How NUK Simply Natural Freemie Cups Work
Before I go into my experience with Freemie, it’s important to understand how it works. Everyone has their own idea of comfort when it comes to pumping, so make sure Freemie is right for you. In order to use Freemie, you will need a compatible breast pump that isn’t included with this kit. I already had one on hand, so it was a breeze connecting the two. Compatible pumps include Medela, NUK, and Hygeia. If you have different pump brand, no worries. They also sell connection kits for various other brands.
So to use Freemie, it’s 3 basic steps: connect/place, pump, and pour. You connect your pump to the hands free cups and place the cups in your bra. Then you go about your day while pumping. And when you’re finished, pour the milk from the cups to a bottle or storage bag. It sounded pretty simple to me, so I was anxious to see if it actually worked that easy.
Convenient and Discreet
This is what I like most about Freemie. I used the cups at work and brought my laptop so I could get some things done. I used it in a private room, but the cups are discreet enough that you could use it in public and people would never know (well, except that your chest might look a bit more… full). I travel frequently and think it’s perfect for traveling. You can literally use it anywhere and not feel weird about it.
It’s also an excellent way to multi-task. I was pumping about four times a day for half an hour each session. That’s two hours out of every day that I wasn’t able to get things done. With Freemie, I find myself much more productive.
Quick and Easy
One of the biggest questions I had before using Freemie was “Is this going to take forever to set up and completely defeat the purpose of it being convenient?”. The first time, yes, it will take a few extra minutes to figure it out. But once you get the hang of it, setting it up only takes a few extra seconds. You don’t need to worry about adding extra time to your routine for set up. It’s also not complicated to connect. There are only a couple pieces that snap into your existing pump.
NUK makes it very simple for you to use, which is great when you are pumping multiple times a day and don’t have a lot of extra time.
Comfort is another big one when it comes to choosing pump accessories. If you are pumping frequently, you’re going to want to be comfortable. Otherwise, I’ve found the repeated use to be quiet unpleasant. Freemie is made from polypropylene, which is kind of in between soft and hard. My one critique is that I would have liked it better if the material were more like a silicone, but I also don’t know that it would be feasible with this type of material. The material is still comfortable, but also durable enough to stay put without any assistance, which is really the whole point! It also has that consistent natural feel that all NUK Simply Natural products have.
When I’m pumping at work, I typically have a set amount of time to work with. Usually I’m trying to squeeze a session in between meetings. Even if you are using Freemie outside the work place, you don’t want to spend tons of time pumping. There are two cups so if you have a double pump, you can do both sides at once, which makes the process faster. Each cup holds 8 oz. of milk so it’s plenty big and doesn’t require pouring some out mid-pump. I’ve also found that I feel less stressed while pumping because I’m multi-tasking and not worried about everything I need to get done. I’ve noticed the ability to relax has increased the amount of milk I get.
There isn’t much I would change about Freemie. As I mentioned, I would have loved a pliable, silicone type material, but understand it probably is only good in theory and not practice. It also requires that you plug into your existing pump. My existing pump is fairly heavy to lug around, making it difficult to use in some situations. I do think it’s the best solution on the market. There are a lot of hands-free pumping bras, which I don’t find to work as well as Freemie because they aren’t discreet without the special cups. This solution works totally fine for pumping at home or work, and even traveling. I would love to see a battery powered, compact product to work alongside this to make travel even easier.
After a great experience with Freemie, I would highly recommend to moms looking for a more convenient alternative to standard pumping. It truly allows you to get some time back in your day, which is so helpful when taking care of a little one.You can buy Freemie at both Walmart and Target. At $60 it’s a relatively inexpensive add-on to improve your pumping experience. And if you love the Simply Natural line from NUK, you can also purchase the matching bottles at both Walmart and Target.
This post was sponsored by NUK as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.