Freedom, Functionality, and Convenience: Meet the Elvie Breast Pump
By Jessica Reale, PT
As I write this, I am sitting in the airport at a restaurant, waiting for my dinner, sipping a glass of sauvignon blanc, and… pumping milk for my 4-month-old, Mary. Yes, you read that right. I am pumping at a restaurant. And the crazy thing is, no one can really tell I’m doing it. I just finished teaching Pelvic Floor 2B in Washington DC, and I am anxiously waiting my flight to get home to my daughters. This situation is all made possible by my amazing little Elvie Breast Pump.
This situation is so vastly different from my experience after my first daughter was born 3 years ago. I remember traveling to teach my first class after she was born—rushing through the airport to try to find a pumping pod, shortening my pumping session to 10 minutes when I really needed 20 because I was afraid I was going to miss my flight. Rushing to set-up my pump during a break after a lecture and missing the first bit of lab to get the milk I needed. Often scrambling to try to get food to eat while still having time to pump. The first time I traveled this time, I went through security, then headed to the bathroom to hook up my pump. Once I was set, I walked through the airport to find my gate, went to a restaurant, ordered food, and reviewed my lectures on the computer. I was teaching a course on Postpartum Care, and I was the only instructor. This meant that I often had to pump during a lecture or during a lab, and guess what? The participants were often shocked when I would say, “Let’s take a quick 2-minute break so I can store my milk.”
When I was first asked to review the Elvie, I was honestly a little bit hesitant. You see, I value my integrity, and I knew that I would not be able to write anything that was less than 100% honest. What if the pump didn’t really work so well? What if it didn’t help me produce the milk I needed for my baby? What if it looked SO weird while wearing it that I really couldn’t move around and do what I needed to do while pumping? So, I agreed to write about my experience with the Elvie with the one caveat—that I could be completely and totally honest. Thankfully, that was exactly what they were looking for!
When I first starting using the Elvie, my daughter was only a few weeks old. I tried it at home after feeding her, and it was a little tricky to figure out. I only pumped 2 ounces in that first session. Less than my Spectra that I had been using. I’ve always been a “just enougher” so I knew that a less efficient pump was a deal breaker for me. But I wasn’t ready though to give up on the Elvie just yet. Before using it again, I read more of the instructions on set-up. I watched some videos on getting the right fit with the flanges. And guess what? Voila. My Elvie started producing!
Fast forward a few months. I’ve returned to work to open my own practice! I also returned to teaching for Herman & Wallace and have traveled to teach two courses. The Elvie has been the only pump I’ve been traveling with. I’ve pumped while eating dinner at a restaurant, driving my car, going on a short walk during a course break, sitting at my desk doing paperwork, lecturing, assisting in labs, and even treating a patient. My milk production is perfect, and I could not be happier.
Here’s what I love about the Elvie:
- CONVENIENCE: This is the biggest positive for me! I don’t need an outlet. I don’t need a private space. I can very quickly (now that I’ve learned the way to do it!) s
- et-up and pump.
- QUIET: This pump is almost silent! I can be having a conversation with someone and they can barely tell something is going on.
- SMART TECHNOLOGY: The Elvie pump is controlled by my phone. I can open the app, turn on the pump, see how long I’ve been pumping, and even how many oun
ces I’ve pumped. Now, sometimes the ounce projection is a little off (usually underestimating my milk), but that doesn’t really bug me, as long as I am getting the milk I need.
- COMFORT: The Elvie is actually very comfortable. While it has very good suction, it is not painful by any means and feels more comfortable than many pumps I have used in the past.
What are the cons?
I hate to say this…but I don’t really have any! I guess the smart technology could be…well… a little smarter, but again, as long as I’m getting the milk I need, it really doesn’t bother me. I would like to see a little bit of a longer charge (I usually have to charge mid-afternoon if I’ve been pumping since the morning), but the USB charge cords are so convenient, that it really is not that big of a deal.
Overall, I love this little pump! I am so grateful to have it, and I can’t recommend it enough! It’s about time we mommas got a pump that kept our needs in mine and kept us functional while we are providing for our babies! Thanks, Elvie! J
Jessica Reale, PT, DPT, WCS is a faculty member with the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute teaching within the Pelvic Floor Series and the owner of her private pelvic floor physical therapy clinic, Southern Pelvic Health. She is also the mother of two beautiful little girls, Emma (3) and Mary (4 months), and lives in Atlanta, GA with her daughters and husband, Andrew.