Photo: The Willow Pump
Although it's now totally the norm to breastfeed in public, there's a reason you don't often see women pumping breastmilk at your local Starbucks. Between all the necessary gear—bottles, bags, tubes, motors, funnel-like flanges—as well as how it's basically impossible to be even slightly discrete (these things can be noisy!), pumping is something usually done in private. But that might become a thing of the past, thanks to a game-changing new wearable device called Willow, announced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Willow is a discrete and near-silent cordless breast pump that slips into your nursing bra, freeing up your hands so you can more easily get on with your day instead of being chained to the couch while you pump. No tubes, no cords, no dangling bottles. When the teardrop-shaped devices sense your let-down, they start pumping; they automatically adjust their pump mode to accommodate your unique milk production.
Up to four ounces of milk is stored and sealed in leak-proof ring-shaped bags hidden away inside each unit, ready to be emptied into a bottle. The company says the device is nearly silent while operating, and when tucked away in the bra and covered up underneath a sweater or jacket, you’d never know a mother was wearing them at all.
Willow comes with an accompanying app, which syncs with the device and keeps track of all that liquid gold. You'll get data like the amount of milk pumped from each breast, the frequency and duration of your pumping sessions, and more, eliminating the need to keep a log.
Set to retail for US$430, the makers of Willow are gearing for launch in the spring. We wonder if this product will live up to the hype...or if it will suck. (We couldn't help ourselves.)