ELVIE – THE REVOLUTIONARY HANDS-FREE, WIRE-FREE, WEARABLE SILENT BREAST PUMP
Elvie has been available in the UK for the last few years and over this time I have heard such amazing things about this pump. When I was recently contacted by the brand who kindly offered me the chance to try it out, I jumped at the opportunity, and hoped that I was not going to be disappointed.
Having previously used a hospital grade breast pump with my first son, unboxing the Elvie product was rather exciting! The unit is compact with the electrics and spares stored under the closed top section. I was delighted to find that the pump came fully assembled and there are just five pieces that should be sterilised after each use. Compared to larger, more clinical-looking units, the Elvie is neat, compact and aesthetically very pleasing.
WHAT’S MOST APPEALING ABOUT THE ELVIE PUMP?
After exclusively pumping for ten months with my first-born, I knew how lonely it can be to spend hours hooked up to a pump which has to be plugged into the mains.
However this time round, my concerns were not centred around solitude (I would kill to have five minutes alone these days!). With a newborn baby that always wants to be held and a toddler that is permanently on the move, I was struggling to pump, and could only do it when I had someone around to help.
Elvie is the first hands-free and wire-free pump and this was the biggest reason I was so excited to try it. I absolutely love that I can be writing this review, changing a nappy, making dinner or putting my first-born to bed, all whilst pumping at the same time. The hours are so precious when you have a baby and Elvie has truly given me back the gift of time.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The pump comes ready to use so all you need to do is simply align your nipple using the guide markers on the transparent shield and switch it on. I found it really easy to fit and the complete system is really intuitive and easy to use.
The pump can be controlled via the actual unit or by downloading the app on your phone. It always starts in a stimulation mode until the first drops of milk come through. It then automatically changes to expression mode. I really enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to do anything once the pump was on; however if you find the suction too powerful, you can always change this to a softer, more comfortable setting.
WHAT DO I LIKE ABOUT THE PUMP?
So many things starting with the convenience. As a busy Mum of a newborn and toddler I have used the pump in and out of the home. It has been game-changing to run errands without anyone noticing I am pumping. The pump adds about 3 cup sizes to my B’s so whilst my shape isn’t exactly natural looking, with a looser top, it is fairly discreet.
I was pleasantly surprised to note that the pump also took me very little time to set up. Unlike other baby gear that can requires you to have a degree in rocket science to be able assemble successfully, Elvie’s instructional video was very helpful and easy to follow. There are just 5 pieces to wash which also means there are no weird crevices and corners that you need to worry about.
Lastly, I loved being able to control the pump, monitor how much milk I have expressed and track my expressing history all via my phone. The sensor detects when the bottle is full which then automatically turns the pump off. It is ideal for someone like me who is trying to do four things at once and forgets that I have it on.
HOW OFTEN DO I USE THE PUMP?
This time round, my little girl and I got into the groove of breastfeeding so I am not exclusively pumping. I tend to feed first thing in the morning and last thing at night and pump during the rest of the day. I am also storing a little bit more milk for when I (hopefully) will be going out and intend to mix it into her food when I start the weaning process. I currently use the pump 4-5 times a day.
ANY ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT?
This isn’t directly related to the product but the price tag is rather daunting, especially for the double, and therefore I think the product really needs to suit you and your lifestyle. I would personally not buy one until the baby arrives so you know whether you will be breastfeeding or pumping as it’s a costly addition to your nursery if you only pump periodically.
In addition, Elvie advertise the unit as a silent pump and whilst it is very, very quiet, I would not call it completely silent. However with any background noise (windows open, people speaking, music in the kitchen etc), you cannot hear the pump at all. If there is no noise, you are able to hear a slight hum and the milk dripping but since I wasn’t using the pump in any business meetings, this did not bother me at all.
Lastly something to note is that the Elvie pump needs to be recharged after every 3 to 4 sessions. It takes approximately 2 hours to fully recharge and unfortunately you cannot pump whilst it’s charging. The device has seven levels of suction which can be controlled via your phone or the actual unit; however, neither actually clearly show you what speed you are on. I found the graphic on the app a little complicated to read as it shows a line with little or large hills to depict the speed. I hope future app updates can change this to a clear numerical scale.
If you are struggling with expressing taking up too much of your time or it is proving to be difficult to manage amongst other commitments in your life, the Elvie breast pump is perfect for you – I am super impressed. Elvie is effective at emptying me and is easy to throw in my change bag and walk out the door to pump on the go. Cleaning the device is simple, and you get two sets of most parts anyway so you aren’t frantically sterilising. If you are looking into the Elvie pump, I would highly recommend it! I’ve been able to pump whilst I cook, put the kids to bed and pop out for groceries. The unit is expensive but I don’t mind paying for quality products and Elvie is truly an investment that is worth every penny.
(Whilst the Elvie Pump was gifted, all thoughts and opinions are my own)