Willow Wearable Breast Pump

My honest review of the Willow wearable breast pump

If you’re a mom {or mama-to-be} at some point someone has probably said to you, “they sure didn’t have that when I had my kid(s).” From gender reveals to bottle warmers and everything in between it seems each generation is better off than the previous when it comes to things you never knew you needed but now can’t imagine living without. As a second time mom I’d say the Willow Wearable Breast Pump falls firmly into that category for me. How on earth did I sustain a tiny human for nearly a year while hooked up to a milk extractor on a daily basis? Luckily Willow figured out the need for busy mama’s to have their hands free and gosh am I happy they did. Read on for my full review and everything you’ve wanted to know about the Willow Pump.

My honest review of the Willow hands wearable breast pump

What is it?

Before I tell you about my experience with the Willow Pump let’s chat a bit about what it is exactly. Willow is an all-in-one breast pump which means that there are no cords and no bottles. It fits right into your bra and is much quieter than a traditional electric pump. There is an app available that tracks your milk volume output in real time during each session and they include 1:1 coaching to help you with your pumping experience at any time.

My honest review of the Willow wearable breast pump

My honest review of the Willow hands wearable breast pump

The Good

  • It is completely, 100% hands free. First off and perhaps most importantly, Willow allows you to go about your normal routine while pumping. AMAZING! Though we don’t really have Jojo on a schedule yet I do have a bit of a routine when it comes to pumping. Most days after I lay Jojo down for her first morning nap I’ll quickly assemble my Willow Pump and place it inside my bra. All-in the assembly takes about 30 seconds for each breast, maybe less. After that I’m free to do whatever I’d like, from catching up on The Bachelorette to throwing in a load of laundry.
  • There are only a few parts. Outside of the pump itself there is only the flange, the tube, and the milk bag that you pump directly into. The flange and the tube are dishwasher safe and the milk bags are spill proof and feature a one-way valve so milk goes in and doesn’t come out {until you’re ready to use it}. After you’re done pumping you can just throw the parts in the dishwasher or sink and put your milk bag right into the refrigerator, freezer, or into your babies bottle.
  • It’s quick and quiet. I had a lot of issues pumping when I went back to work after having Annabelle. Not only did my supply fluctuate and then ultimately decrease but my electric pump was so loud that even though I was in the designated mother’s room I was still completely embarrassed by the noise. Since Willow is so handy I’ve been able to establish a pumping routine early which should help my supply when I go back to work in a few weeks and it is super quiet. It’s not completely unnoticeable so I don’t think I’ll wear it in a library anytime soon but compared to a traditional electric pump it is much, much quieter – especially during the expression phase.
  • There’s an app for that. Willow is integrated with an app that allows you to track your milk volume output in real time. It shows you the output for each breast {Side note: Does anyone else have an under-performing boob? Come on leftie, keep up!} and alerts you when your milk bag is full so you can stop pumping or put a new milk bag in. It also tracks your progress over time so you can see if there are any trends in your output.
  • Oh the places you’ll go. So far I’ve only used Willow at home and in the car which is where I’ll use it 99% of the time other than that at the office {6 more weeks of maternity leave over here!}. However at home I’ve used it while unloading the dishwasher, while doing my hair/makeup, while throwing in a load of laundry and also while folding it, while giving Annabelle a bath, and the list goes on. Last week I was heading over to my parents who live about 30 minutes away with both girls {alone}. I threw Willow in our diaper bag – it is so easy to carry in any bag or purse – put it on while at a red light {for future use in the car I’ll put it on before I leave or pull over, it’s easy but it’s not that easy} and handed my dad the milk bags when I got there so Annabelle, my mom and I could go get pedicures. Perhaps the easiest and most seamless pumping experience I’ve ever been a part of!

My honest review of the Willow hands wearable breast pump

The bad

As with any revolutionary product there are usually some compromises compared to the original. Willow doesn’t have many but I did want to be 100% honest in my review so here they are.

  • It’s bulky. The Willow team has figured out how to put an entire breast pump in your bra – and for that women everywhere are grateful. However, I’d be lying if I said I’d be willing to wear my Willow Pump around the office or anywhere in public, really. Perhaps with the right outerwear it would be less noticeable but as someone who also covers up to nurse her baby in public I’m just not there yet, comfort wise. If you are that’s great – you go girl! If you’re more discrete like me it’s probably best to use your Willow at home, in the car, or privately behind a closed door.
  • The milk bags have a maximum capacity. The Willow milk bags hold up to 4oz. of expressed breast milk. For someone like me who is pumping to supplement feedings and grow a milk “stash” 4oz. per breast has been perfect. If you’re exclusively pumping or have a significant oversupply you may be able to fill a 4oz. bag very quickly. The good news is you can easily swap a new bag in once yours is full. The bad news is the bags are on the pricier side at $11.99 for 24 bags. Since I’m only using my pump 1-2 times/day I’m ok with that expense.
  • It’s expensive. I believe most health insurance plans now cover 100% of the cost of a traditional electric breast pump, finally! However, Willow is not yet covered or subsidized by insurance and has a steep price tag of $479. For a lot of women that cost is easy to justify. Breastfeeding means you’re not spending money on formula and some moms will spend nearly any amount to provide their child with the purest food there is. For other women the cost just won’t be doable and the good news is they’ll be able to make it work with a traditional electric breast pump just fine. Hopefully as more women start to use Willow and realize its benefits it won’t be long before insurance companies get the memo.

My honest review of the Willow wearable breast pumpMy honest review of the Willow hands wearable breast pump

So, is the Willow pump right for you? If you’re a busy mom who has a child and appreciates having some independence instead of being hooked up to a sedentary machine – yes. I’m assuming that describes nearly 100% of you reading. Truly, Willow is right for every woman. As I’ve stated there are a few things to consider when choosing your breast pump and you know your situation best. For me, I am beyond grateful that such an innovative product exists. Willow fits perfectly into my lifestyle and works exactly how I need it to. Sort of like Jojo 😉 .

My honest review of the Willow hands wearable breast pump

I told you, that left boob just can’t keep up! If you have questions I encourage you to reach out to the Willow team or leave them in the comments below!

 

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