I was very excited when I saw two pumps on the market that advertised being cordless and silent. What a brilliant idea! A pump that could fit in your bra and use on the go.
Despite the rather painful price tag (the Elvie markets at around £250 for a single and £450 for a double while the Willow comes in around the same but isn’t sold in The UK) they come with some hefty promises and they look pretty cool too.
Having got an irresistible deal online and thinking this would be the answer to pumping alongside a busy toddler, I took the plunge and bought a double Elvie Pump (I shopped around and got it for £290 – get in!).
It arrived in a rather exciting box, and having carefully watched the video on assembly (blimey, loads of parts) I measured myself up for the correct trumpet on my nipple and was off.
One thing that both products offer is that you can also access some Tech (as I like to call it) and log your pumps on your app. So you can set it up using Bluetooth and technically keep a log of all that pumped milk in your phone. The app is free and easy to download on Android or IOS.
It is however a bugger to sync to the pumps and got confused about which pump was working to the point where I just didn’t have time to bugger around with it and now only have one pump synched. I will get around to it eventually but I am not joking when I say with a toddler and baby I HAVE NO FRICKING TIME.
I enlisted the opinions of my friend T who had exclusively pumped for her twins for 6 months (superwoman) and used the Elvie pump. Her take on the app was that
‘the tracker measuring how much you’ve pumped is all over the place and wildly inaccurate. Nothing more dispiriting than pumping for 20 mins and having about 30 mls‘.
Now I cannot deny once it gets going and you have it all set up it is very easy. One might almost say…comfortable. It doesn’t have a very heavy suction and it is quite quiet (I posted a video below). The bra clips mean you can have it fitting comfortably against your boob (it needs to be in there quite firmly so a floppy bra or bralet won’t cut it).
Once there to be honest as long as you don’t do any cartwheels or bend over it is pretty unobtrusive and you don’t need one of those very unsexy peep hole bra things for a double pump which my Lansinoh double pump needs for me to be hands free (the sight of a post pump nipple poking out still makes me snigger). In fact I am typing this up pumping off a loada milk off in a vaguely quiet moment.
It is not as discreet as the marketing claims however and does make you look, as T has said just now ‘like Dolly Parton with headlights’.
You cannot, I repeat CANNOT do the laundry with it on; you will get very wet. You cannot pick up the baby with it on; you will get very wet. So it is limited with how much you can move around. But making lunch, eating lunch, typing up reviews and chatting on the phone; HECK YA! Even careful play with the baby is achievable, all of which is a marked improvement in a pump with loads of wires, tubes and huge bottles sticking out of you like the Milk Cow who Could.
But oh my LORD THE FAFF.
First everything needs to be bone dry as it all fits into the electronic bit which you couldn’t get wet. Then I used the steam steriliser ONCE which warped one of the containers and they had to send me another one and told me to use cold sterilising (luckily I already had a bucket and steriliser ready but considering their instructions tell you either is fine it’s a little frustrating) and then one of the electronic components died randomly and I had to be sent a second one of THOSE. Had I been relying on it I would have been mightily irritated. I do however, only pump occasionally and Elvie customer service were incredible.
BE WARNED! If you have bought this second hand you will not be under warranty so do ask the person you are buying off to send you details of when everything was replaced before you buy it. You will need to replace things yourself. Ask for a photo of the sensor under the electronic component.
On the structure of the pump T said ‘it annoyed me that you had to install everything absolutely perfectly to the MM – otherwise it wouldn’t work. The number of times I had to disassemble and reassemble because the tiniest bit of the lip on the bottle was caught on the hole you have to push It into…. Also the pump on mine basically gave up after 3 months usage, which for a very expensive pump isn’t really good enough.’
Once you get it on and working it does do a good job, and I would have to say, did nice tidy 180mls between my two boobs on 10 minutes. Not a lot but enough for me.
My overall view on it is….
THIS IS THE PUMP FOR YOU IF YOU:
- Will use it for occasional use
- Use it as a spare or for travel
- Are using it for work and don’t have a nice pump space available
- Need a cordless pump that is unobtrusive
- Like ya Tech and have the ££ to pay for it
- Don’t mind a little faff for the advantages
THIS IS NOT THE PUMP FOR YOU IF YOU:
- Pump daily or are exclusively pumping; hire or buy a hospital grade pump (The Spectra is apparently amazing)
- You are on a budget; Lansinoh or Medala do single and double pumps which market at £90 – £200 and are better value. Shop around; when I looked Aldi were selling the Lansinoh double for £90.
- You need something fast and simple
- You are not into tech or fiddling around
- Rely on this as your only pump – it is just not robust enough. Yet.
The thing to also remember is that this is a Gen 1 piece of Tech. They will be getting better and better and as soon as the bring out another generation of pump this review will be out of date. So do some other research.
And remember; this is my opinion (and T’s obviously).
‘Basically I don’t recommend it to anyone unless they’re doing very very light pumping on the go and literally want something they can shove in a bag.’
I think I would second this but…it is a cool bit of tech none the less. Well done Elvie. A huge step in the right direction.