My Willow Pump Review
I’m so excited today to be finally sharing my review of the Willow Pump! For those that don’t know, the willow pump is new(er) on the market, and is the first wearable, mobile and tubeless/bottle-less pump!
I first found out about the Willow at the end of my breastfeeding journey with my middle son and was so jealous of those who were currently pregnant and able to try the willow! Fast forward a year later, and I was pregnant again! I was looking forward to trying the Willow pump when I had my baby. I remembered how hard it was to manage my time and make time to pump when I was away from baby with only two kids (much less three!). I knew this pump could only help me, especially going into “zonal defense” of raising three boys under the age of 5.
Breastfeeding is probably one of the hardest (mentally & physically), but also the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The bond I had with my sons through nursing was truly incredible. BUT the thing about breastfeeding that I dislike the most is …..
The pumping. The time it takes. The cleaning of the parts. The sound. Being tied down every couple hours.
Although I had gotten pretty good at multi tasking and figuring out how to be more efficient, I still hated pumping and dreaded it. Trying to juggle work, meetings, events for my older son…it was crazy, I feel like ½ the time I would have to pump in the car (using my ultimate favorite hands free Ollie Gray bra!)
Other times I would come home from being at work, or running an errand to find that the baby coulden’t wait and needed to be fed, regardless of how I tried to time it. This ultimately meant that the babysitter would be leaving me with an awake baby, needing to pump! Trying to pump while being plugged into a wall with a 2 year old and a newborn is virtually impossible if you’re on your own. AND, yeah, sure you can pump while your kids sleep. But really? Using your time while the kids are napping to pump is not really high on your list of things you want to do during that time!
Imagine being able to live a life where you could make dinner while you pumped. Fold clothes. Hang up laundry. Put your makeup on. Blow dry your hair. Go for a walk.
Enter the Willow.
How does it work? You simply put it together (minimal parts), wait the initial 3-5 min stimulation phase, and you’re on your way once you hit expression (let down).
FREE TO DO ALL OF THE THINGS. Even lay down #winning.
I thought I would break down pros/cons of the Willow, if I like it better than my hospital grade, and my ultimate thoughts on the pump and whether it is worth getting.
Pros of the Willow Pump:
1. It’s wireless. You can literally pump anywhere, anytime! Rejoice, mama’s! Go for a walk? Yes. Clean? Yes. Read a book to your toddler? Yes. Prepare a snack or meal? Yes. ANYTHING you want to do, you can do.
2. Not many parts and easy to clean: I love this about it, its so easy to clean and no super small part to lose.
3. The bags are easy, and take up less room: I like the bag for the purpose of storage in the fridge, also when traveling I could fit more in a cooler than I could with the bottles!
4. It’s Quiet: Anyone else feel like their pump sings to them? Do you have to press mute if you’re on a conference call while pumping because yours is so loud? Not with the willow!
5. It’s Smart: Willow has an awesome app that helps you keep track of how much you’re pumping, what phase you’re in, how much battery life is left as well as great support If you have issues.
6. Customer Service: The customer service and support team is excellent if you have any issues. There are so many different avenues available for assistance whether its chat, text or phone. Also, there is support on the app.
7. Battery life is really good: I took the pump with me to NYC for the day and didn’t have to charge it all day and I used it 4-5 times!
8. Compact & Easy to Travel with: As I mentioned above, I travelled with this pump to NYC (as well as Florida) and It was such a relief to not have my huge hospital grade pump. I swear I have to have a bag JUST for my pump and bottles! The willow can fit this in my purse/backpack and its so compact and much more lightweight. LOVE.
9. FREEDOM!!! Need I say more?!
Cons of the Willow pump:
1. The learning curve is REAL. This took me a good 3-4 weeks to get the hang of and I am experienced with nursing and pumping. I could see if you are a new mom this could be hard to get at first. However, as I mentioned above, they do have good support and help via their app, phone, and text. Stick with it! Its worth it!
2. It’s pricy: This pump is not covered by health insurance. However, if you have a HSA/FSA, you can purchase the willow using that (this is what I did so it wasn’t out of pocket)
3. Bags: The Willow 2.0 holds 5 oz, so if you’re an over supplier like me, it can be frustrating to have to stop and put a new bag in. Usually this only affects me in the mornings when I have more milk. The bags are also a little expensive and can only be used once.
4. Stimulation/Expression: The stimulation setting is already set and you can’t change in manually. For those that don’t understand, this is the phase before your milk lets down. This is probably the most frustrating part for me and what I wish I could change. I find I need a lot of suction during stimulation and I can’t adjust the suction until I’m in the expression mode.
5. Charging: You can only charge one side at a time. I really wish that you could charge two in one with the charger.
Other things to know:
1. You can only buy their items online (bags, flanges, etc.) on their website.
2. The flanges only come in two sizes!
3. I’ve found the most important part of the learning curve is figuring out your alignment! Once you have that down pat, it should be smooth sailing.
4. Your bra matters. They have a few different ones on their website that they recommend, but I love the Cake Maternity Bra and the Ollie Gray’s nursing/pumping bra!
So what pump do I like the best?
I find that I rotate and use both my Willow and my hospital grade for various reasons (as listed above). As most of you know, you get a pump through your insurance (hello, free!!) and regardless of whether or not you plan on using it, I would definitely get the hospital grade pump even if you think you only want to use the willow.
All in all, I think the Willow pump is seriously the most amazing, incredible concept and feel so fortunate to be able to utilize one of these pumps! The fact that I can go for a walk, do household chores, drive, etc. while pumping makes me so much happier of a mom and less stressed. All in all, while the willow has some areas it can improve (which I’m sure they will- its only been out for a short time!), this pump is such an empowering tool for breastfeeding moms. Anything that makes #momlife and #nursinglife easier is a WIN in my book.
I definitely recommend this pump to anyone who feels they are going to be giving their baby a bottle 3-4 days a week. I still use my hospital grade pump at work because I’m usually sitting at a desk anyway, and its cheaper (no need to buy bags like with the willow) but I use my Willow on average once a day at home. I use it in instances where I need to do extra pumping session or if I’ve been out running errands. It allows me to not miss a beat taking care of my baby, older children, as well as do ALL OF THINGS we mamas do while still providing milk for my baby which I’m so grateful for!
Happy Pumping friends! Xo
** This post is not sponsored or affiliated with the Willow Pump. All thoughts & opinions are solely my own.