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Meet Willow: The Newest Hands-Free Breast Pump

If you're a mom who has needed a breast pump for any reason, you know the awkward dance of pumping and washing and being stuck to a machine. Even if you only pump once per day, the whole process can easily take half an hour. That sure seems like a lot of wasted time to me, especially when my two kids are using my down-time to swiftly destroy my "clean" house. I even went so far as to invest in all the gear - a hands-free pumping bra that would hold my flanges in place for me, and a Spectra pump that ran on a charged battery instead of being stuck to a wall outlet! With this setup, I could wash dishes, craft, or even fold laundry (my favorite...not).

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Still, being stuck to a machine with my nipples hanging out in flanges for the whole world to see was less than ideal. I remember once, on a long car trip, pumping under a nursing cover. I looked and felt so ridiculous and conspicuous. Luckily, a new start-up based in California decided to combat all the fussiness of pumping. Willow, the company behind the wearable Willow pump, has one mission:

"to transform the pumping experience for women everywhere."

No one has to know you're pumping! via CNBC

Willow is the first wearable pump that has no cords attaching the pump to the flange. It has no external tubes, and it has no dangling bottles. In other words, it has no externally visible parts that give it away. Because it fits completely inside your bra, you can pump anywhere, at any time. Quiet and compact, the Willow pump gives pumping mothers the freedom to move about and continue their life as they do when they are not pumping.

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At $480 - or a $43/month payment plan through Affirm, Willow is about $120-$150 more expensive than the Medela Pump-In-Style Advanced. However, the PISA is a more traditional breast pump, with external tubes that connect to a plugged-in pump.

One of the many reasons I love the Willow isn't just that it's discreet and easy to conceal in regular clothing. It's also got a one-way flow valve on the proprietary breast milk collection bags. That means that milk can go into the bag, but it won't leak back out! This is great news for

Such a cool collection bag! via Willow

any mom who has watched as a milk bag leaked or spilled valuable liquid gold everywhere. It's gut-wrenching to see all your hard work go (literally) down the drain. The bags fit inside the pump and the backflow valve means that you can pump in ANY position. Heck, you can even lie flat on your back and Willow will work beautifully! That's definitely something I've never seen any other pump do!

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Use the app to track your output! via Willow

Willow is also connected to the Willow app - you can download it from The Google Play Store or the iOS App Store. From the app, you can control the speed and suction intensity of the pump. Even cooler, Willow tracks your milk volume output. It's like having a running inventory of how much milk you have in your stash! The company also provides one-on-one coaching with the purchase of the pump. This built-in support helps pumping moms achieve their goals and answers more technical questions on how the pump itself works.

Before I sound like a walking ad, I want to clarify: I've never personally used the Willow pump. However, I've noticed that many of the nursing or pumping moms I know aren't even aware that Willow is on the market! That's likely because Willow is a start-up, not manufactured by one of the more popular breast pump companies (Medela, Spectra, Evenflo, etc.). Also, Willow isn't commonly covered by insurance - yet! I want to signal boost this company because their aspiration - to transform the pumping experience for women everywhere - is long overdue. I applaud their efforts and can't wait to see how it changes the pumping game for moms-on-the-go!

 

If you'd like to learn more about the Willow pump, shoot me a question on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 with #WhatAboutWillow

 

 

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