At London Fashion Week, models strutted down the runway per usual, but one model had a little secret up or sleeve--or rather in her bra. Model and new mother Valeria Garcia sported a silent, wearable breast pump under her blazer.
Pumping breastmilk helps mothers who must separate from their infants to provide them the breastmilk they need during the first year. And while the right to take pump breaks is protected by law, pumping at work is no easy feat. Often moms set up shop in dingy closets. Pumps require tubing that the woman is connected to, meaning she cannot move around. Pumping makes a loud noise that can disturb conference calls. With all the stress, many moms quit sooner than they had planned. Some jobs, like teaching or waitressing, are just not conducive to pump breaks, and despite the fact that breaks are legally required, moms just can’t do their job correctly with them. So they are subtly pressured to skip the breaks or choose so themselves.
Elvie has pioneered a breast pump to change all that.
The Elvie pump that Valeria Garcia wore on the runway is hands-free and completely silent. It fits into a woman’s bra and has no tubing to tie her down. She is free to move about while pumping, and she can even control the pump with her smartphone.
Being able to pump discretely, anywhere, at any time, erases all the stress of pump breaks, which may not be frequent enough to meet the demand of a new mother’s milk production. The Elvie Pump takes away the shame and awkwardness that women face when returning to work, which is already a difficult transition for an infant’s mother. A new mom can now attend executive meetings, wait tables, or even walk the runway while pumping.
Hands-free, silent pumping will certainly help women attain more freedom. But could some moms take it too far? Despite technological advances in providing them milk, infants still need their mothers’ presence. And mothers still need to be with their babies. A pump can never replace the mother-child bond, but it can definitely help working moms feed their babies and decrease their stress.