The Willow Pump Review

My Willow Pump Review

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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!

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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.

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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.

You can.

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.

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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?!

 

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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!

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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.

VERDICT:

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

Alex

** This post is not sponsored or affiliated with the Willow Pump. All thoughts & opinions are solely my own.

Change, 38 weeks Pregnant & Saturday Spotlight

38 weeks Pregnant….Change….& Saturday Spotlight

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Change. The only thing that is constant in life.

I just dropped the boys off at the airport and I was literally dying inside. All thats been on my mind the last few days is how different everything is going to be when they get back. I’ve been trying to soak in my mornings with Seb while Max is at school, family dinners and breakfasts…ahhhh. Not going to lie, pretty much in tears when I went to the car. Knowing the changes ahead of us, that nothing will be the same, how did this all go so fast??! I know they’re going to have a blast (my oldest was up at 5:20 am ready to go LOL) but its never easy in these moments knowing tons of changes are coming your way. I’m so excited; yet scared, anxious, sad, so many emotions. Here’s to our new normal of a family of 5!

That’s not to say a small part of me is basking in the fact that In the next few days I don’t need to bend over with my huge bump 83939 times a day to change diapers…or pick up toys, put toys together lol, put shoes, coats, gloves, on/take off my toddler, etc. haha.

Or the fact that I’m on no timeline. WHAT? I don’t have to be home at a certain time for the kids or bring them everywhere. So foreign to me.

But still….miss them so much already.

6 am bright and early ready for sunshine and Mickey Mouse with their grandparents!!!!

6 am bright and early ready for sunshine and Mickey Mouse with their grandparents!!!!

So…for now I’m going to distract myself with a fun post about my 10 faves of the week!

Saturday Spotlight

things I’m loving right now….

  1. DYSON BLOWDRYER. Um yes. Yall. This is life changing. I have super thick hair and I swear I put off my whole hair washing process till the last possible moment cause it takes forrrrever. And also #momlife and I’m slightly lazy abt it haha. I got the dyson blowdryer for Christmas (just the basic one) and honestly I can’t say enough about it. I know its a huge investment…but if you have thick hair and are super busy (who isn’t??!!) you need this. Also, if you have to wash your hair a lot (like every day), it is a must have. This blowdryer has made my hair way softer than my old dryer, my blowout lasts longer and honestly it is SO quiet and dries my hair in like 5 minutes (and I have sooo much hair).

2. I love this Gleaming Heart Roadtrip sweater for Valentines Day and its almost 50% on the rack!

3. This Topshop Belted dress has been on my wishlist for like…weeks now and its under $50

4. This Abercrombie Long Turtleneck sweater is 50% and comes in a ton of colors…

5. This purple pom beanie from Abercombie is so stinking cute and unique and the price is SO good.

6. I’m a sucker for stripes and need to snag a few of these AERIE striped tees for postpartum and layering.

7. Isle of Paradise Self Tanner: I have super fair skin and love to have color. I was never good at finding a good self tanner. Over the last year I’ve liked the Josie Maran Argan Gold but it does get on your clothes/sheets after application if you go to bed after and I wish it lasted longer. Enter Isle of Paradise tanning water (or the drops I heard are really good). I AM OBSESSED. It doesn’t leave any residue on my sheets after application, its SUPER Dark, lasts for 3-5 days, doesn’t come off on my clothes and it has a slight smell but honestly the next day I can’t even smell it. It took me one application to figure out how to use it and make sure it was even. All of my posts lately I’ve had it on. Its a MUST. FYI I use Dark.

8. The double up Ardell lashes are my new fave- add soooo much volume!

9. This Jcrew factory pom hat is GOALS. Can you tell I love my winter hats? Also comes in black/pink!!

10. I’m on the hunt for nursing friendly clothes and this ruffle trim wrap top from Jcrew factory is perfect…and feminine. I also love their tissue turtlenecks. Save 50% off on 2 or more items, 60% off on 3 or more items, and 70% off 4 or more items from clearance!! YAS.

Hope you all have an amazing weekend.

XO

Alex



#SundaySpotlight & 6 Months pregnant update

6 Months Pregnant??!

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First of all ... Outfit Deets: Dress comes in a ton of colors (got it on amazon..#primeforthewin). It is NON maternity, I got a size small. It’s kind of boho/flowy but I love the print. Shoes are not shown in photo but I have them in brown (on the widget they are white) and I LOVE them. They are also 40% off right now and Free shipping from Nordys. Lastly, my hat comes in brown or black and I think its just an awesome universal piece that anyone can rock!! I also linked my new Estee Lauder foundation I’ve been using and the lashes I use ((I got some questions about this..I do NOT get extensions, I just use falsies :) ))

Secondly…I’m SIX months pregnant. Like how did that even happen? When they say it flies the third time around they are seriously not kidding! I feel so busy with work, and the kids, that I don’t even have time to know what size fruit or vegetable the baby is the size of! Lol! 

Even though I’m just closing in on 25 weeks, I’m already starting to feel uncomfortable more often. Sleeping is definitely getting harder, and I feel like the bump has doubled in size the last week or two! I get restless legs at the end of the day and I’m closely approaching the moment where anything on the ground becomes completely dead to me. There isn’t much worth bending over for. Ha. Maybe a $100 bill? Lol 

Some of my clothing is off limits now too...so upward and onward to more maternity clothes!!! I’ll be sharing my faves (I finally found some go-to maternity jeans and really good quality leggings) and I’m doing a fun collab with a great company in the next two weeks. Stay tuned! 


Fitness wise running has felt good, but only early in the morning. I can’t have anything in my stomach or else it is just not comfortable and I don’t enjoy it. I’m still shooting for 3 times a week and 3 times a week for weights. In the weight room I definitely feel my limitations increasing every week but I’m just rolling with it! 


Weight wise I’m at EXACTLY the same weight gain as I was with Seb. Sometimes I think no matter what you do, your body is going to do what it needs to do to grow your baby. I look at photos of me even when I was like 6 or 7 weeks pregnant (see below photo ha) and I’m like who is that miniature person? Lol. It is crazy what the human body does!! 

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Next up I have my glucose testing when hubby and I get back from a getaway/babymoon (YASS!!!) next week so hopefully all goes well! I’ll be sharing more about our destination but for now just know it’s “across the pond”!! 💃✈️

Anyway... 

I wanted to share a few things that I am LOVING right now! Scroll down and you can click on either the link or the photo all the way at the bottom of the blog :)

Sunday Spotlight

Scroll down to see all photos/links of any products

Happy Birthday (Friday) to my big 2 year old!!

Happy Birthday (Friday) to my big 2 year old!!

We had a great time at Seb’s 2nd Birthday party last night!

We had a great time at Seb’s 2nd Birthday party last night!

  1. My babies 2nd birthday. Again, how has time moved this quickly and he is now a 2 year old? This little guy brightens our day and is such a bright, goofy, energetic, smart little cookie! Happy birthday to my little (((not so much))) baby! 

  2. This Abercrombie pullover. SALE ALERT people!! I’m officially obsessed. This top is definitely a little oversized which is 👌🏻👌🏻for me right now! It’s really warm, but not frumpy which I love. I have a size small (I probs could have ordered a XS pre -pregnancy but I chose the slightly bigger fit) and I’ll be ordering up to a medium or large to fit me all the way through my pregnancy. It’s on sale right now ($40) and perfect for cooler fall mornings/ evenings and winter!!  Also…yes I know you’re thinking Abercrombie? But really..lately they have had some really cute stuff!!!

  3. 90s hair clips. I recently just snagged some of these at the dollar store and let’s talk about how great they are for sectioning hair while braiding or blow drying. Also, they are awesome for around the house when you want to give your hair a break from hair ties. I just twist the back and throw it into the clip as an “up do”. Also.. no weird lines or crimps in your hair and it’s out of your face.. and anything that prolongs a blowout is like gold to me! #winning! Check out this adorable toirtoise one as well…from Anthro, one of my faves!

  4. TULA products. I feel like I’ve finally been sucked in to the TULA skincare line but I’m really loving it. It’s a probiotic line of skincare and I really like the results I’ve seen from the cleanser and day and night cream. My skin is SO soft after using the cleanser and I feel like its been brighter since I started using it. I’m still using my La Mer SPF moisturizer but I’m loving some of the TULA line to complement it. To try it out, you can use my code: https://share.tula.com/x/Spk1zQ for 20% off on your first order! I highly recommend it.

  5. My Gorjana star necklace. Seb broke mine months ago and I finally reordered it during the Shopbop sale. I’m so happy I have it back; it’s so cute, pairs with anything and everything and is super light weight so when I’m working out I don’t need to take it off (I ain’t got time for that!!) It would also make a great gift for those that have birthdays or if you’re even thinking holidays already :) 

  6. I know microblading is all the rage right now, but pretty sure that’s off limits while pregnant. Woof. But I have been LOVING this Anastasia’s brow pencil. Brows and lashes make all the difference (esp for blondes!!!) and I’m at the point now where I feel like I can’t go a day without it! It frames my face and is super easy to use. Honestly.i knew nothing about brows and after watching some YouTube/ insta stories and I’ve gotten so much more comfortable with it! 

  7. Pizza. I’ve had it twice in the last 12 days and it makes me so. so. Happy. 

  8. Last but not least GIMME ALL THE FALL DECOR!!! How cute are these adorable scarecrow pumpkin figurines and metallic pumpkins from target. LOVE. Happy fall y’all. 

Hope you all have an awesome Sunday! Xo Alex




Alex