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Wearable Device Review: Willow Pumps
Breastfeeding isn’t always as simple as it might seem. While many women produce milk for their babies, it’s not always the right time to breastfeed. That means pumping their breastmilk, which can be stored for future use or even donated to babies whose mothers are unable to feed them at all. However, pumping has long been a difficult and dreaded task for mothers . . . until now. Willow pumps are designed to work with the mother, so she doesn’t have to stop everything and sit down to pump. Now she can keep doing whatever she wants, while producing milk for her little one.
The pumps cost $499.99 for a pair, but insurance may cover this.
What It Does
Willow pumps are breast pumps, but with a twist. The pumps actually fit inside your bra, so you’re not stuck holding the cups to your breasts. With no tubes or bulky pieces, these pumps can go where you go and move with you. They can even pump while you’re lying down or hanging upside down.
The pumps can pump into a bag or a reusable container that fits right into the pump, allowing you to pump both breasts or just one at a time. Since they tuck out of sight in the bra, you can easily continue working or playing with your little one as you fill the bags with milk. The best part? There’s no sucking noises, eliminating potential embarrassment. The bags are also spill-proof, meaning you’ll have no problems with leaks, even when the bag is full.
Each breast-shaped pump comes with everything you need to use it right then and there, including a donut shaped bag that fits around the center and has a leak-proof space for the milk to enter. There are also reusable containers that cost a bit more, but allow you to save in the long run with the bags. Since these milk bags are unique, you have to always buy them from the company.
Due to the carefully designed suction, these pumps tend to be stronger than most others. They mimic the suction of a baby’s mouth, which is not only more comfortable for the mother but also produces more milk. It’s not uncommon for regular breast pumps to extract minimal amounts of breastmilk, but Willow pumps frequently outperform even hospital-grade pumps.
Pros and Cons of Willow Pumps
Like all devices, there are some pros and cons to Willow pumps. Most women are ecstatic that they can pump hands-free and continue on with life as they store that precious milk. This is by far the biggest plus for the pumps, but they’re also great for higher production. Many moms found that they produced more milk than with regular pumps, possibly due to the fact that Willow Pumps imitate a baby’s suckling.
The pumps are quite simple to use once you get the hang of it and that makes them even more beneficial. Many people enjoy that there are literally no tubes or multiple hanging pieces to manage when pumping.
The downside to the pumps is that they have a learning curve. Don’t expect to get them working instantly, since they require some adjustments and need to align correctly to your breast. For some women, this can be very frustrating, but the company offers coaches to help you get the best use out of your machine.
On occasion, the pump will sense a bag is full of milk when it’s not and this can result in what is essentially a wasted bag, as it only contains a small amount of milk. It’s an issue that a coach may be able to help you with, as it’s often related to positioning.
Another con is the price, which could be considered high for some moms. However, most agree that this price is well worth it for the convenience and freedom it provides.
Though there are some downsides, the pros definitely outweigh the cons and the pumps are widely admired.
What People Say About Willow Pumps
What do actual breastfeeding moms think of the Willow pumps?
According to Emily, she loves the pumps. “Hands-down favorite purchase!”
Sha says, “I love these pumps. I am a nurse and to be honest, without these pumps I probably couldn’t pump at work. They are super easy to put on and people can barely hear them.”
Not everyone was quite as enthusiastic at first. Danielle said, “The convenience and efficiency is spectacular. There is a bit of a learning curve with getting the proper alignment though. Once I figured out how to properly align, my pumping sessions were way better.”
The overall rating for these pumps is very high.
Alternatives to Willow Pumps
These aren’t the only hands-free wireless breast pumps out there. In fact, there are quite a few others. The best ones on the market include:
Freemie: These breast pumps look very much like the Willow Pumps for the most part. However, they do require tubes and a wearable controller that you hook onto your waistband, making this option a little less comfortable. Once you’ve pumped into the container, you need to pour it into a storage bag or bottle. The systems start at $159.99, however, making them a bit more affordable.
Elvie: This pump is very discreet and quiet. It also tucks into your bra and has an attached container at the bottom for the milk. It’s not quite as powerful as the other models on this list, but it doesn’t have any attachments and uses an app to manage it. The pricing is comparable to Willow.
As you can see, Willow Pumps are not unique, but they are one of the top options on the market. If you want to be sure you’re getting the best choice, you’ll probably want to opt for this one.