“Whir. Whir. Whir. Whir.” If you have ever used a breast pump (or have been within 200 feet of someone using one) you should be very familiar with this sound. For years (literally decades) the breast pump design, and its signature annoying sound, has not changed much. Working women everywhere have been waiting patiently for the tech industry to put its focus on this vital machine. (Fortunately in 2014, MIT hosted a “Make the Breast Pump NOT Suck Hackathon” and some good progress was made there). Seriously, we have phones that take pictures, play music and stream movies, but our breast pumps are messy, noisy, difficult to clean, conspicuous, and have way too many parts?? Enough already.
Well, ladies, look no further, because Willow is here! If you have ever wanted to pump and not have to disappear into another room for twenty minutes, this is for you. If you have ever wanted to have a phone call with someone and not have them know that you’re expressing milk from your breasts while you chat, here you go. If you have ever wanted to not look like you’re hooked up to some complicated dairy farm equipment, Willow has you covered. Because this pump is actually two separate pumps that fit inside your bra. (!!!)
The idea behind Willow is to allow women to pump while still going about daily activities. But is it discreet enough to be worn out of the house?
Willow Co-founder and CTO John Chang tells Mashable that women who’ve tested the pump can testify that it’s quiet enough for public use.
“Moms have come back to us and, instead of having to hit the mute button on a conference call, they’re having a conference call and nobody knows that they’re pumping,” he said. Indeed, the pump made little noise as we spoke at Willow’s International CES booth.
Chang admitted that because of their larger size, users have said that spouses and coworkers can tell when they’re wearing the pumps. Strangers, however, don’t seem to take notice.
The price tag for such innovation, however, is not cheap. Currently, Willow is going to set you back $430. But since the pump is FDA approved, the goal is to have it covered by insurance companies like other pumps on the market. For those of us who choose to breastfeed, this step towards convenient pumping is a game changer. Thank you, Willow!
Check out the video to see how it works!