So you want to breast pump? Maybe you’re super organized and preparing for your new arrival, or you’re in the thick of breastfeeding madness and wanting to invest in an electric breast pump but not sure which one to choose? A couple of months ago I was in the exact same position. I knew I wanted to breastfeed and pump (see my post on how I initiated my supply), but I had no idea which Medela pump to choose. The Sonata had recently launched in Canada, but I had heard such great things about the Freestyle pump from friends and other online resources. I was lucky to partner with Medela Canada to help objectively test out both pumps and offer a comparison. After 7 weeks of testing out both pumps, below you will find my honest opinion.
Reasons Why I Wanted To Pump
- To help improve my supply (we all want more milk right?)
- So that I could have a backup if I get sick (my girlfriend just got food poisoning and her mom had to take her baby)
- To give me more freedom while other people feed her (my husband always feeds her a bottle at night so I can work on the blog!)
- To get my baby used to the bottle (there will be lots of bottles coming her way over the next year)
The newest Medela double electric pump on the market has two pumping rhythms:
1) Signature – which simulates the rhythm found in Medela’s Symphony™ hospital-grade breast pump and features Medela’s patented 2-Phase Expression Technology.
2) Lifestyle – an alternate rhythm that gives you flexibility to change your pumping routine, extend your battery life, and have even quieter pumping sessions. It also incorporates the 2-Phase Expression Technology.
- Super quiet! If you’re like me and pump around people, it is so nice to have a pump that’s noise is discreet.
- MyMedela® app: one of my favourite things about this pump is that it has bluetooth technology that links directly to the MyMedela® app so that you can automatically track your pumping sessions. This is extremely useful in the first four weeks while you’re building your milk supply. The app also offers real-time tracking of your baby’s growth, and includes unlimited access to evidence-based lactation information. The content is personalized and designed specifically for you, to help you reach your breast milk feeding goals.
- Touch Screen Display: super modern and sleek design for easy use
- Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery: easy to pump anywhere
- Adjustable timer: Helps you manage your pumping sessions with a count down timer
- Light (360g), portable, and re-chargeable battery operated so you can pump anywhere, anytime! I like to attach it to my waist or put it in my pocket and walk around (see this funny image of me when I was just 2 weeks postpartum).
- Easy interaction: with digital display, memory, timer and backlight for nighttime pumping sessions
- More milk in less time: with 2-Phase Expression technology and double pumping (same technology as the Sonata)
Medela Sonata Vs Freestyle
So which pump is better? Which pump would I recommend? You think it would be an easy answer, but it’s not because they’re both great pumps. It depends on you. Below are some key differences.
Size – The freestyle is considerably smaller, but as long as you’re wearing an amazing pumping bra, than you can walk around with the Sonata (I do all the time).
Battery Life – I think the battery life is better with the Freestyle (Sonata is better on the Lifestyle rhythm but I use the Signature). I found that the Sonata lasted 3-4 pumping sessions before having to be plugged in vs 6-8 with the Freestyle.
Cleaning – I have to rank these pumps equally in terms of cleaning. Both pumps have the same number of parts that require washing after each use and sterilizing once a day.
Milk Production – Tough call – very similar, but I feel I had better output with the Sonata.
Timer – I love that the Sonata has a timer that stores your previous pumping time. The freestyle also has a timer but it doesn’t stop automatically when you’ve reached your desired time so you have to keep an eye on it.
Noise Level – The Sonata is so much quieter than the Freestyle.
Ease of Use – Both pumps are equally easy to use and come with a comprehensive user manual.
Suction – The let-down suction level has a comfort level of 1-9 for the Freestyle and 1-10 for the Sonata.
Tracking – If you like to record your milk production, how often your baby eats and for how long, their wet and poopie diapers, then the MyMedela® app is awesome and the fact that the Sonata syncs automatically to the app is a huge bonus.
Both pumps are really great, I can’t speak negatively towards either of them. The fact is, if you’re going to pump then you want to invest in the best pump for you. If I had to choose, I would rank the Sonata slightly higher in terms of it’s modern design, the MyMedela® app compatibility and quiet noise level. Although larger than the Freestyle in size, I usually sit in one place to pump and I’m ok carrying it around with one hand if I need to move. If you’re someone who wants to be completely handsfree while you pump and walk around, make a cup of coffee, make your kids lunch and fold the laundry then you would probably prefer the Freestyle.