Wearable pumps: the next great thing in breast milk pumping

Although I got the Legendairy Milk cups to go along with my portable Baby Buddha pump in early March, the problem with this setup is that it’s not really 100 percent wearable: the Baby Buddha pump is portable in that it’s the size of a smart phone and you wear it on a lanyard around your neck, but it actually comes with bottle attachments. That’s what necessitated buying the Legendairy Milk cups for me to hack and wear with the pump. The cups are way, way too big to be discreet (they hold 8 ounces of milk EACH; who the heck pumps 16 ounces of milk in one pump sitting?! Whoever you are, I am super jealous of you!), plus there are still wires attaching the cups to the pump. Well, shortly after I purchased this combination to create a wearable pump for myself, lo and behold, Willow, a high end brand of wearable pumps, releases their next generation of wearable pump that is completely wireless, where you can operate the pump fully from an app on your phone. Each cup is essentially its own breast pump. The programming for stimulation vs. expression mode can be adjusted for each breast, so in case one breast performs better than the other, you can adjust (this is not the norm for the average breast pump, including the Spectra that I own; these assume you want the same settings for both breasts). In addition, this Willow Go pump allows you to customize what size of a cup you want, so the cup you could choose could be smaller (five ounces per cup sounds more discreet and reasonable than eight!). It’s a bit too late for me to get this pump, especially since I already bought the Baby Buddha and have only used it about five times, but if I had to do this all over again, I’d sell my Baby Buddha and buy the Willow Go pump.

One gripe I had with wearable pumps is that you can’t really do breast compressions with them. I also can’t see the milk spraying out, so I wasn’t sure if I’d know when my let down reflex started. Some women can actually feel their let down, and up until the last week, I was not able to feel it. But amazingly, as I’m currently in my 24th week postpartum, I actually started feeling my letdown, which would alert me to change the setting from stimulation mode to letdown /expression mode to maximize my milk output. Now, without even looking, I know when to switch the mode. This has helped me when I’ve needed to pump during work calls. I make sure to position my web cam so that it just reached under my neck, so no one has any idea I am pumping. In addition, I have my Zoom sound setting on so that background noises are blocked out, so no one can hear the subtle “burrrr” sound that my pump makes while on. I’ve never appreciated working from home more than while pumping milk. Pumping in a sad, windowless pumping mom room at work would have been miserable, not to mention I’d be time constrained.

Endless women in my Facebook pumping mamas group have raved about the Willow Go, how it’s really changed their pumping lives because they can literally pump anywhere and no one will know, as these cups are small and flat enough to fit into their bras, so they don’t make pumping women look like they got breast implants. And more impressively, women have also said their output is comparable if not more than using their Spectra pumps, and no need for breast compressions! It’s a $330 investment, so definitely not cheap or a potential impulse buy. If I ever do this again, I would get it, but for now, I’ll stick with my Spectra and my occasional Baby Buddha use.

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