Now that pretty much everyone can get a free breast pump covered by their health insurance plan, most women have one in their possession even if they’re not using it. I’ve owned several different brands of pumps after giving birth to my two children, but this is specifically my honest review of the Freemie Nuk Simply Natural (Liberty) Breast Pump.
Note: I did NOT receive any compensation/products through Freemie or Nuk and just wanted to express my honest opinions for moms on the fence about purchasing one.
Why are there so many names?
The Freemie Liberty and Nuk Freemie Simply Natural is the same pump. For the Simply Natural breast pump that is available through Nuk and Buy Buy Baby, Nuk teamed up with Freemie to offer a package. That includes the Freemie Liberty pump along with some extra baby bottles and different size flanges.
Tip: If you’re purchasing out-of-pocket, you can use a Buy Buy Baby (or Bed, Bath & Beyond) 20% off coupon on the Nuk Freemie Simply Natural Breast Pump. This way it will only cost you $239.99 for the entire system from Buy Buy Baby. If you purchase it directly through through the Nuk or Freemie website, you will pay full price at $299.99.
Also, if you have an HSA or FSA set up, you can apply that toward your breast pump purchase. This can potentially save you another 20-30%.
Other pumps I have tried
In the past, I have used many different breast pumps. I’ve used the Spectra S1, Spectra S2, Medela Pump n Style, Ameda Finesse Electric Pump, and Medela hand pump.
Out of all of these, I only really loved both Spectra pumps. They are the most efficient, quiet, and comfortable. Although I would have loved to maintain using my Spectra, I had further needs which drew me to the Freemie.
Why I needed a portable/wearable breast pump
I currently have 2 under 2 and life got a lot more hectic after having a newborn and an energetic toddler. Around 4 months, my son was not nursing as well anymore. He would only nurse on each breast for 2-3 minutes and be finished with a feeding.
I knew that around this time babies become more efficient with feeding and take less time to get the same amount of milk out of the breast. However, I could tell that he still wasn’t getting a full feeding because an hour later he would scream in hunger.
That’s when I started nursing him for those 5 minutes and then giving him a pumped bottle after every feeding. I was so glad I did because he would act like he was finished nursing, but then take 5 more ounces of breast milk from the bottle right after!
I could have just given up and gave him bottles instead of nursing combined with bottles, but I didn’t want him to lose the ability to nurse just yet. Since I am a stay-at-home mom, I knew having him breastfeed would be much easier on me with having 2 children. I just planned to eventually get him back to it.
We also realized that my son may be allergic to dairy because he could not tolerate regular formula. He would vomit every time he had a tiny bit of the standard Enfamil or Similac. That’s when I realized that I could potentially have to breastfeed/pump until he’s 1 year old which would be next to impossible with the system we have going.
Why I decided on the Freemie Breast Pump
So every day I would breastfeed, give a bottle, and then pump: 5 times a day!! This was starting to take a toll on me because I also had a 1 year old who needed constant attention. Being tied to an electrical outlet for 25 minutes at any point in the day (beside nap time) was just not feasible.
I needed a solution, fast!
That’s when I researched wearable breast pumps. I was initially attracted to the Willow Pump, but it was far more than I wanted to spend. Along with the higher cost of the pump, you have to buy expensive bags every month! It would have cost a fortune.
Then I found the Freemie Liberty pump. I liked the price and figured it was worth trying out for $240 + tax. Also, the fact that you don’t have to buy special bags made it a one-and-done price and wouldn’t cost even more in the long run.
Tip: There are some insurances that cover this pump, however many may not. Check out Aeroflow Breast Pumps to find out if you qualify for FREE through insurance. They make it so easy to determine your eligibility and contact the insurance and physician directly for you. Aeroflow then takes care of all the required paperwork between the supplier and your doctor and gets the pump sent straight to you for no cost at all!
My Honest Review of the Freemie Liberty Breast Pump
So I went ahead and made my purchase from Buy Buy Baby because I was able to use a 20% off coupon along with my HSA. This seemed well worth the money. I have been currently using it for a week now and will give you the pros and cons in my honest review of the Freemie Nuk Simply Natural Liberty Double Electric Breast Pump.
It does live up to this statement. I can still do ANY everyday activity while pumping. Being a stay-at-home mom of 2 under 2, I am on constant call to my kids. I can prepare a meal for my toddler, make my lunch, fold the laundry, start dinner, vacuum the house, and sit on the ground to do puzzles with my kids all while pumping.
This is a necessity if you have to pump multiple times a day. The pump just clips on easily to your pants and you are completely hands-free. No carrying around a heavy pump or being stuck in one corner of your house while you let your kids wrestle in the other corner.
You can take it anywhere
I have yet to take it out for use or use it while at work, but I think it would be very simple. In the colder weather months, I could easily zip up my jacket and no one would have any idea I was pumping while running errands or at the supermarket! At work, it would be hard to disguise at a meeting or around other people, but you could do it while alone at your desk.
Takes up very little space
The actual electric device is a fraction of the size of your standard double electric pumps (ie. Spectra, Medela). When you wrap the cord around the pump, it takes up no space on your countertop or wherever you choose to store it. This makes it less of an eyesore when I need to leave it out since I pump so often.
For travel, it wraps up so nice and small that it can fit in any small carrying bag. You don’t have to worry about buying a special pump bag if you don’t want to.
Slips right in your own bra
I used to get so annoyed when I would have to take my shirt and bra to put on the hands-free pumping bra every time I got ready to pump. It was always such a process. I love that the cups just easily get placed right in any bra that you’re wearing.
Quick set up
As I stated above, you don’t have as much set-up since this pump gets put right in your bra. It takes a lot less time than using the hands-free pumping bra.
The closed cups make it super convenient when you’re handling the cups with the expressed milk. You can set them down on the flat side to prevent any spillage.
Strength of the suction
This is a hospital-grade electric breast pump which means it’s got some really strong suction capabilities! You can literally feel the burn on the highest settings.
It doesn’t empty my breast
This is my biggest issue with this pump. There may still be a learning curve and setting adjustments to make this work better. I’m hoping to update this post soon if that is the case. However, I really don’t feel like this pump gets the maximum amount of milk out.
After I’ve pumped for over 30 minutes, I noticed my breast still didn’t feel empty. They didn’t feel full, but definitely not empty. So once I was finished, I decided to use my Spectra pump and see if I could get out any more milk out. Low and behold, I got a lot more out from using a different pump!
It’s obviously a waste of time, effort, and cleaning to pump twice with two different pumps so that’s not something I would do on a regular basis. However, I am hoping to find the perfect setting that allows it to empty my breast fully.
You can’t see what’s coming out
Because of the closed cups, it’s very difficult to see how your nipples are positioned and the milk coming out. It’s frustrating because I don’t know when I should turn off the machine, or even how much milk I already got. I usually pump around 25 minutes, but I’m sure I could turn it off before that if I could see my milk has stopped flowing.
Ouch my nipples!
So this is something that could be a personal issue, but the suction can get INTENSE! It can be adjusted so it’s a lighter pull, however I feel like it needs to be set up that high in order to maximize the efficiency.
The TURBO speed allows the pump to go really slow and really strong which is the most efficient setting. However, the tug at your nipples is brutal for the first couple days. I do have to say after a week of use, my nipples have just become desensitized to it and I don’t cringe as badly.
My complaint with this is that I don’t mind if the suction is strong and it hurts a little, but if it doesn’t produce as much milk as my painless Spectra pump, why would I want this one?
Need a very tight bra
Although I have a few nursing bras, none of them seem to be tight enough to give the maximum compression needed for full suction. Of course, most bras are tight enough to hold the cups in place, however they need to really hold them tightly to your breast.
I found that an old sports bra worked best at keeping the cups tight on my chest. The new sports bras and nursing bras I had didn’t work as well because I had bought larger ones to accommodate my nursing breasts. The smaller the better! The problem is, who is wearing a sports bra everyday to work or shopping? I don’t typically.
That’s where the hands-free pumping bra works amazing. I feel like I can never even get that kind of tightness from holding the pump with my hand even! However, you can’t use that bra with this pump.
Not completely wireless
Although you are not wire bound to an electrical outlet, you still have tubing connecting from the port to the cups. The tubing can be hidden for the most part by threading it down under your bra and shirt and out the bottom. However, it is really long and there’s a lot of slack that may peak through the bottom.
If you wear a loose enough shirt, you should be fine with the wires depending on where you will be pumping.
I know the website says noise reduction technology so I expected it to be a little quieter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that loud, but it’s not silent.
Cups are large
The cups will definitely protrude through your shirt depending on what you’re wearing. Wearing a loose cardigan or scarf would do a great job to conceal them if you’re out in public.
Milk leaks a little
There is some milk leakage onto the cups during pumping. It’s not a significant amount, but enough to make the outside of the cups wet when I pull them out. However, the cups stay in your bra so you shouldn’t see any leaking through your shirt. You can even keep nursing pads in there while pumping.
My final review
As for my final review, I would not recommend the Freemie / Nuk Liberty Simply Natural Breast Pump if you’re paying out-of-pocket due to the inefficiency of emptying the breast. Unfortunately, it is a nonreturnable item due to health and hygiene requirements so you can’t just try and return. However, if this pump qualifies under your insurance, it may be worth it.
It does entirely depend on your situation though. The portability of this device can far outweigh the fact that it doesn’t express the maximum amount of milk because it still does get most of it.
If you need to pump while commuting to work (car, bus, train) or are an exclusively pumping mom of multiple children, I would definitely recommend it because of the discreetness and portability. However, if you’re home all day and only have to pump once or twice, I think you would be better off with a Spectra S1.
I am happy that I have it now so that I can enjoy more time with my kids and get more done around the house. Pumping multiple times a day is draining and a lot of work, so I’m glad that there are companies out there that are thinking of what moms really need!
I hope you enjoyed my honest review of the Freemie Nuk Liberty Simply Natural Breast Pump. Let me know if you have any further questions!