I have been meaning to write this post for quite sometime. Last 3 weeks I had to go to Singapore for work related and I left my breast pump which is Medala Freestyle at the office lactation room (which I have been using for almost 1 year now). Desperately, i bought a new Spectra M1. Actually I have been meaning to try this pump since the reviews are so good. Now that I have used Medela Freestyle and Spectra M1, I wish to do comparisons of these two. Please note this is my personal review and opinion and I am not being paid by any of these brands! (I wish I am!)
In terms of price, definitely Spectra M1 win by a huge gap! You can get Spectra M1 double pump packaged together with cooler bag etc. and local warranty for around RM499. Medela Freestyle is known for being an expensive breast pump. I got mine for RM1450 including bag, cooler bag, ice block, bottles and local warranty (which is important!). I would say if money is a bit tight for you, just stop right here and go for Spectra M1 :D
Both of the pumps have almost same size and weight.
Suction quality or level is an important aspect in choosing a breast pump. This is really up to individual on how close the pump can imitate your baby's suction/suckle. For me, Spectra M1 has a strong suction where it can produce let down earlier. Meaning it can empty my breast much quicker. Medela Freestyle in the other hand, takes longer time. There are feedback's from other moms who said Medela Freestyle somehow does not empty their breast. They would need to massage their breast to get to the last drop. I think getting the right size of breast shield is important as well since Medela Freestyle offers 3 different size of breast shield. So, in terms of suction quality I can't decide on the winner because to me both in the end empty my breast, therefore I am satisfied with both.
There are moms who pump at their work station or public places. I don't really care on the noise level since my office provide lactation room. Based on my observation, Medela Freestyle has a lower noise level than Spectra M1. I only have a video of Spectra M1, I will try to get a video of Medela Freestyle during my next pumping session :P
This without a doubt goes to Medela Freestyle!!I usually pump around 15-20mins, and if I accumulate the time of pumping, Medela Freestyle can go up to more than 5 hours. Where Spectra M1 can just last up to 1 hour of total pumping. If you are Exclusive Pumping (EP) mom, I would not recommend Spectra M1.
Maintenance of Parts
First of all my advice in taking care of all breast pumps is to keep the pump or the machine itself in a waterproof bag/plastic bag especially if you are keeping the pump together with your cooler bag. You will never know when your cooler bag will produce condensation which can affect the pump and the battery. In the aspect of washing the parts, Spectra M1 is easier (do not wash the tubing!!). Medela Freestyle has more loosen parts which you need to detach and attach upon washing. And there are also small holes you need to clean with small brush. The membrane also will need to be washed and if not dried properly, suction may be lower or not even work. Therefore, in this case, the winner goes to Spectra M1.
Medela Freestyle being more expensive of course comes with extra features, it has a screen showing time so that you know how long have you been pumping. This is handy to me as I usually get my second let down after 12 minutes. I need to make sure I wait for it. You can also set the memory on how long you want the stimulation mode and automatic change to normal mode. Where else for Spectra M1 you need to change it yourself.
Up to now, these are the only things/aspects I can think of in comparing pumps. Conclusion, if I have the money to invest, I would go for Medela Freestyle. If money is an issue I don't see any problem settling with Spectra M1.
Hope this personal review can benefit any moms out there who are trying to make decision in buying breast pumps especially if you are still in doubt in choosing between Medela Freestyle or Spectra M1. Whatever it is think of what suits your needs. Do not burden yourself in buying an expensive pump and later stressed out with money issue. Stress definitely won't help in producing breast milk!! Goodluck and Happy Pumping Mommies!!
UPDATE: Another extra point to Medela Freestyle - fits with normal size of storage bottles. So after pumping you do not need to transfer. This is a bonus since in some places hygiene is important! You would want to immediately close bottle after pumping. Spectra M1 has its own large size bottle, so you would need to transfer your expressed breast milk into storage bottles or storage bags. ;)
That 'I' & 'Me',