Freemie Breast Cups: A Review
The Freemie Breast Cups are wearable accessory for the Freemie breast pumps, or to any pump! But how do they measure up to other wearable/portable pumps?? This review will cover how the Freemie Cups work, how to set them up, how to clean them, how to pour out your milk as well as the pros and the cons of these pumps. This will be everything you need to know about the Freemie Cups!
(This post was originally a video. Check it out, here!)
Closed and Open Freemie Cups
You don’t even have to use your Freemie cups with a Freemie pump! These cups are compatible with a lot of tubing systems from other pumps as well. You can use your Spectra, Medela or whatever pump you got from your insurance company with Freemie Cups.
Check out this video (linked below!) for how to hack the Freemie cups to fit with a Spectra pump. This video also compares the Freemie Cups/Pump with the Spectra. It’s a side by side comparison with both sides connected to show you the difference of these pumps in real time.
To use this hack on the Spectra, you need the closed system Freemie Cups because the Spectra is a closed system pump. It needs a backflow protector which is actually built in the closed Freemie Breast Cups that you order.
Freemie Cup Parts
- First, you have the cup. That is the part that collects the milk.
- Next, you have the breast funnel which is like the flange part of the normal pump. These funnels come in different sizes like normal flanges.
- Then, you have the valve base and the barrier. (If you are using the open system pump, like with the Medela, your cups won’t have the backflow barrier. It will have a part to attach right to the flange.) These cups also uses the duckbill style valve, similar to a Spectra pump. They are not interchangeable, but they are similar.
- Finally, you can assemble all these pieces. As you get all these parts put together the cup attaches easily. It has a little arrow on the top showing you where to line it up with the hole. Just snap it together.
The markings on the cup says it will hold 8 ounces which is a lot more than a regular bottle, although I wouldn’t always trust that measurement. I would pour it into a bottle and measure it that way.
Pros of the Freemie Cups
#1 Pro: You can be Hands Free!
The #1 pro is that you can be totally free hands pumping! The cups go right into your bra and you will have tubing that is connected to your pump.
If you are using the cups with a pump that is not mobile, you are going to be stuck to a table or desk, but your hands are totally free which is awesome.
When you use a portable pump like a Freemie pump or another portable pump, you can just hook it up, clip it on your pants and wander. Totally hands free! That’s pretty cool.
#2 Freemie Cups are Inexpensive!
The Freemie Cups are actually way more affordable than say a Willow pump. The Willow is also a hands free pump but the motor is actually attached to the bottom of the cup. (The Willow has no tubing and is super cool, but around $300-400) The Freemie Cups are under 100 dollars!
#3 You can Use the Freemie Cups while You Commute!
A big pro of the Freemie Cups is that it just saves you a ton of hassle, especially if you are commuting or working while you pump.
A lot of the women that use these and love them use them while they are driving. It is super awkward to have regular flanges sticking out while driving or riding in a car. These cups solve that problem. It is a very discrete way to pump. No one will notice, because you can pull your shirt right down over these.
***A suggestion for you: try not to work while you pump. You won’t get as good of an output. Try to take a break, relax and maybe look at pictures of your baby while pumping so that you can get that milk to flow. This is especially if you are struggling to produce enough milk.***
#4 There is No Need for a Pumping Bra!
Another pro is that there is no need for a pumping bra. Because the Freemie Breast Cups attach straight to your breast, you don’t have to worry about keeping them connected to the pump.
#5 The Freemie Breast Cups are Discreet
Now granted, it will look like you have a large breast on the side you are pumping, but if you were to wear loose fitting clothing and plan for it, you could totally be fine. No one would even notice.
You could definitely run the tubing under your shirt so that the tubing comes out the bottom. That will help with the discreteness. A lot of women also have the tubing come out the top and hook into the pump. Either way is just fine.
#6 The Cups don’t Spill Easily
The cups are easy to set down and don’t spill! There is a flat part on one side so when you are done pumping, you can take it out and set it on the table while you get everything unhooked and such.
Cons of the Freemie Breast Cups
#1 Con: There is a lot of Tubing to Deal with Here
If you want to double pump, you need to get a connector and then another tubing to connect with the pump. You could definitely get used to it, but it is a lot of tubing.
When using a Spectra with the closed system Freemie Cups, you can ditch the connector and just hook the second tubing right into the second port, so that eliminates some tubing. But, if you are using the open system with a Medela, you will need to use the connector and all the extra tubing.
#2 It is Hard to Position the Freemie Cups
Another big con I hear from moms often is that it is hard to see inside the cup to make sure your nipple is in the right spot.
In the closed system, you have that backflow protector right in the way of where you need to see your nipple’s position.
With the open system cup, that protector isn’t there, but the plastic that the cups are made of is just hard to see through. It looks cloudy and when you start pumping it gets even cloudier because of the condensation.
Many moms say that it gets better with practice and it doesn’t take very long before you can feel whether or not that is working right. But, it is a con.
#3 Your Position while Pumping is Limited
The position of the Freemie Cups in your bra is important, and has to be done just so.
On the top of the Freemie Cup you have a hole that is for the tubing and then you have a pour spout hole.
That pour spout whole is open the whole time, so if you put that in sideways, milk will pour out the hole.
Same idea about your position while you pump. You need to be straight upright, not forward and not lying down. So you are limited a bit on positioning. Please don’t bend over after pumping because it will spill.
#4 Freemie Cups are Not Dishwasher Safe
Freemie Cups are not dishwasher safe, but they are pretty easy to clean by hand washing.
There are four different parts to clean (five if you have a closed system). You could get away with rinsing them with warm water right after use and cleaning them with soapy water every few times after pumping.
#5 The Freemie Cups don’t Measure Output Accurately
It’s a little tricky to get an accurate level of milk inside the container of the Freemie Cup. But, if you hold the cup upright and steady, it’s accurate enough. Remember, you can always pour your milk into a cup to see exactly how much you pumped.
#6 You Don’t Need a Pumping Bra, but you Probably DO Need a New Bra
Bra fit is important with the Freemie Cups. You don’t want a really stretched out bra. You will want that cup held up nice and tight against the breast. Most mother use a a nursing bra that they can unclip at the strap, place the Cup in and line it up on the nipple and reclip the strap into place. (Make sure the hole is right at the top. At this point you would attach the tubing to the Cup, hook it to the pump and away you go.
My last statement about these Freemie Cups is that I have found from my research that these Freemie Cups are not as effective as a regular pump. I’m not sure if it is the way the flange is shaped or the position of the nipple in the cup, but it doesn’t see to be quite as effective for many moms. But it is a great option if you are commuting, working, traveling or need hands free at home for some reason.