Then and Now: Medela's Iconic Pump in Style® Through the Years

It’s always been about more choices for moms. Since the launch of our flagship Pump In Style® Breast Pump in the mid-90s, we’ve helped millions of moms have more options to achieve their breastfeeding goals.

As moms spanning generations know, our Pump In Style® Breast Pump has a storied history that reflects our commitment to science-backed design and easier accessibility – and we’re thrilled to introduce the latest iteration of this iconic breast pump, the Pump In Style Hands-free!

Evolution of the Pump In Style Breast Pump

For more than 60 years, Medela has set new standards in breast pump design and innovation. By observing natural behavior, listening closely to our customers and advancing research, we’ve led the way in pump design while turning science into care. From our very first pump – the Lactina – decades ago to our present-day portfolio of hospital-grade (multi-user) and personal use pumps, we understand the importance of supporting a comfortable, convenient experience for today’s moms.

Considered a milestone product, the Pump In Style went through several iterations over the years as we quickly adapted to changing markets and responded to what different generations of moms needed in their breast pump. Some of our most popular and well-loved iterations include the Pump In Style® Advanced, the Pump On Style® with MaxFlow and now – the Pump In Style® Hands-free.

Throwback to the Early Years of Pump In Style


  • With the introduction of our first Pump In Style, Medela met the needs of active and working mothers with the first carry-all breast pump ever.
  • This was a game-changer, as it changed the way moms went back to work after having a baby. This flexible option was easily portable, offering a whole new level of flexibility for moms who were returning to work and needed to pump several times per day while away from their little one.
  • The first Pump In Style was also ultra-convenient, including everything a busy mom needed for expressing, storing, cooling and transporting pumped milk.
  • Pump In Style came with 2-Phase Expression® technology, allowing moms to express more milk in less time, as well as adjustable speed and vacuum control.

Early 2000’s

  • Pump In Style continued to usher in a new era of accessibility, with more moms able to take advantage of breast pump technology even after returning to work or while away from their baby. This helped reframe the conversation about breast pumps, making them less of a “nice-to-have” novelty item for new moms to a must-have staple for all growing families.
  • After the first Pump In Style was introduced, Medela also offered stylish transport options like compatible shoulder bags and backpack-style bags with discreet, refined looks for the workplace.

2001 Pump in Style

2001 medela pump in style breast pump

2003 Pump in Style

2003 pump in style breast pump advertisement

2006 - Introduction of the Pump in Style Advanced

  • Our Pump In Style Advanced leaned into the increasingly popular options for portability and flexibility. This iteration included a battery pack, for easy pumping anywhere – even without a nearby outlet, a vehicle lighter adapter and a removable work surface for a clean space no matter where busy moms may be pumping.
  • The Pump In Style Advanced’s tote bag was large and discreet enough to also hold things like diapers, work items and personal effects to minimize the inconvenience of hauling around multiple bags.
  • The Pump In Style Advanced kit also came with mesh bags to separate and carry soiled parts, as well as a cooler bag to keep pumped milk cool during transport.

Introducing the Pump in Style Advanced

2008 pump in style advanced introductory brochure

2020 - Welcoming Pump In Style with MaxFlow™ to the Medela Portfolio

  • Pump In Style with MaxFlow introduced innovative MaxFlow technology, bringing hospital strength performance (inspired by our own Symphony® breast pump!) to a compact, lightweight personal use pump. This technology stimulates milk ducts with micro-vibrations to encourage faster letdown and efficient milk expression.
  • Weighing in at just over a pound, Pump In Style with MaxFlow also continued this pump’s tradition of compact design and easy portability.
  • Engineered with a closed system and flexible Y-tubing to allow moms to single or double pump using the Pump In Style with MaxFlow, this pump also included our 105-degree oval breast shields for 11.8% more milk* - a game-changer for busy, on the go moms who want to continue providing breast milk for their baby, no matter what life looks like!

Pump In Style with MaxFlow

mom sitting and double pumping with medela pump in style with maxflow breast pump and personalfit flex breast shields

2023 - Meet the New Pump In Style® Hands-free!

We’re pumped about our progress, especially as we introduce a hands-free version of our popular Pump In Style! After all, we listen to the mamas we serve and we know you want convenience, flexibility and high-quality performance in your pumping options. Our newest Pump In Style is hands-free, with wearable and lightweight collection cups weighing only 2.7-oz each and anatomically designed to fit discreetly in your bra.

Whether you’re balancing your professional life with your growing family or chasing around older kids while caring for your baby, Pump in Style Hands-free provides a superior hands-free pumping experience while continuing to deliver trusted hospital performance and 11.8% more milk*.

Pump In Style Hands-free is Loaded with Convenient, Helpful Features

  • Intuitive and Innovative: The pump motor features a strong vacuum and is separate from the lightweight collection cups. With intuitive controls, optimized cycle rates and 10 adjustable vacuum levels, Pump In Style Hands-free continues to include powerful MaxFlow™ technology. These micro-vibrations support effective milk removal.
  • Hands-free Convenience: The latest iteration takes the long-standing tradition of supporting busy moms to the next level with its hands-free capabilities. Here’s what to know about those oh-so-handy collection cups:
    • They’re wearable and weigh only 2.7 ounces each – Some of the lightest available!
    • An anatomical design tucks comfortably and discreetly into your nursing bra.
    • With just 3 parts to wash, the dishwasher-safe cups are easy to clean and assemble.
    • A transparent design means you can quickly check your nipple position and the amount of milk being expressed.
    • No spillage! These cups have a no-tip base, so you can stand them up vertically and use the spout for pouring into your storage containers.
  • Combines All the Great Technologies Medela is Known for: Medela’s decades of clinical research are reflected in the Pump in Style Hands-free, resulting in more comfort and efficient milk removal:
    • 105-degree angled breast shields for less pressure and a more natural fit.
    • MaxFlow technology with a stronger vacuum and micro-vibrations supporting effective milk removal.
    • Trusted 2-Phase Expression® technology that closely mimics a baby’s natural sucking rhythm.
  • 1 Pump, 2 Ways to Pump: The motor works seamlessly with our hands-free collection cups and our classic PersonalFit Flex™ parts. Regardless of how you choose to pump, performance is not compromised.

Pump In Style Hands-free

mom sitting on couch with friend smiling and pumping with medela pump in style hands-free breast pump

Pump In Style Hands-free FAQs

Can you move freely while using the Pump In Style Hands-free?
Definitely! The hands-free collection cups are designed for exactly that, so you can multitask and pump on the go. The pump also comes with an external battery pack, so you don’t need to be plugged in all the time.

We don’t advise using the collection cups during intense activity (or while bending over), since there is an open pour spout.

If I have the Pump in Style with MaxFlow already, can I just buy the Hands-free Collection Cups separately?
Yes! The cups are available to purchase on their own and are compatible with many Medela double-electric breast pumps, including our Pump In Style with MaxFlow, Freestyle™ Hands-free and Swing Maxi™.

Do I need a special bra to use the Hands-free Collection Cups?
No, the collection cups fit easily into most nursing bras so a special purchase isn’t necessary.

Can I store my breast milk in the collection cups?
No, the Hands-free Collection Cups are designed with a unique pour spout. Because of that, we recommend transferring your expressed milk into a milk-safe storage container after your pumping session.

*Clinical studies, PersonalFit Flex compared to PersonalFit data on file
(NCT02496429, NCT02492139, NCT02719548, NCT03091985)

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