Why would you get less milk with Freemie than with bottles and horns? There is no technical reason you would get less milk, but something may not be quite right. Most moms tell us they get MORE milk because the pressure to pump is eased. Here are some ways it could go wrong.
- You must use a compatible pump that is NEW. An old pump may work fine with your bottles/horns, but Freemie is designed to work best with a new pump. You can view the list of compatible pumps here.
- You must also have the correct pump connection kit. If you vary or hack the connection at all, then you can expect inferior results.
- If you’re mixing Freemie parts with un-approved parts, the system won’t work well. Please contact us if you have any questions about parts before you purchase.
- Freemie Cups must be boiled before use to make airtight. All parts should fit snug and if any point of contact is loose, you are losing suction.
- You have the wrong size. Many, many moms are using the wrong size flange and/or are asymmetrical. If Freemie doesn’t have your size, then it’s not recommended because you won’t get good results. We offer hard sizes 25 and 28mm, and soft sizes 15-26mm. You may respond better to hard or soft, depending on your pump needs and personal preference. View our Fitmie sizes here.
- If you must do aggressive full manual compressions to completely empty your breasts then this tool is not recommended.
- Any parts damage can have negative effects on performance. Always inspect all parts before/after each pump session. A torn barrier or worn out valve can cause big headaches or loss of suction.
- Incorrect assembly can be a source of low suction, milk in tubing or other performance issues.
- Bra is too tight. Try a sports bra. They’re inexpensive and pretty. Don’t pinch off your milk by wearing the cups too tight. Hold the cups by hand to understand how the bra must perform.
- If you’ve been storing the cups in the fridge, intermingling parts from separate sets, or leaving cups assembled when not in use, your cups can eventually leak and/or have low suction.
- If you are someone who is used to watching your milk, then you may be in the habit of watching in order to letdown. Pumping hands-free and concealed is different than traditional bottles/horns, and can take time to acclimate to. More on this below.
The Release of Milk
It is important to remember that the release of breast milk is a conditioned response. This means that there are many factors that affect the release of milk. Stress, fatigue, dehydration, feeling hurried or self-conscious can affect the pumping session.
“Conditioned responses” may also include factors like the specific rhythm of the pump you have become used to. Different pumps may all pull the same peak amount of vacuum, but their mechanisms can be different. So the pattern of the suction cycles may vary. For two pumps that both measure the same maximum vacuum strength, one’s suction pattern may increase rapidly while the other’s suction pattern may rise more slowly. The Freemie cups are designed and tested to transmit very similar vacuum as the traditional collection bottles and horns when used with your compatible pump.
If you’re changing from one pump setup to another, it may take a little time to get used to the rhythm and suction characteristics of a new pump—or simply the feeling of being hands free with your clothes on—to be able to fully appreciate and benefit from the revolutionary experience of the Freemie system.
Lastly, lactation is a very personal endeavor, and only you can decide which tools work best for you. It is important to understand that the Freemie system is just one tool—but it is the tool that is compatible with mothers’ modern day lives. It may not be right for every woman in every setting, every time she is pumping. However, it is certainly the right tool if your circumstances (no time and/or place to undress) would otherwise cause you to skip a much needed pumping session.