April 24, 2019

Willow Wearable Breast Pump 2.0 Review

My pumping life has changed dramatically with the Willow Wearable Breast Pump 2.0. I'm sharing my experience below, but for a quick answer on whether this is worth it or not, scroll to the end of the post!

I've been using the Willow for almost three weeks now, pumping twice a day (once in the morning and late afternoon) to build up a frozen stash and I also went through a whole weekend of exclusively pumping my breastmilk about six times a day while I was traveling by myself.

I'll just come out and say that there is a medium-to-high learning curve to using the Willow. When I received the Willow, I stayed up late to read the instruction manual front to back and watched a few videos on Willow’s website. You can also speak with a Willow coach to personally help you through the introduction. I'd say that it took me about a full week to get the hang of everything and to feel confident in pumping correctly with the Willow.

Compared to a Traditional Pump 
I love my traditional, hospital-grade pump, except for the fact that I have to stay right next to the pump and the tubes are too tantalizing for my baby to not touch. My old pump’s suction is so comfortable and barely noticeable, while the Willow has a stronger suction at its lowest setting. The Willow's suction is noticeable but comfortable for me. I don't feel any pain (and if there was any discomfort, I'd realign the pump). I love that the Willow comes with an app for your phone that keeps track of the ounces you pump and the session duration. It's super easy to use and I also appreciate that the measurements on the Willow's milk bags are accurate when measured against the Philips Avent Natural bottles I have at home. The first time I used the Willow, I received the same output as I would with my traditional pump (about 5oz both sides), which is great! The second or third time I used the Willow, my output decreased and I had to figure out why (read on).
My Tip for Best Pumping with Willow
The Willow automatically goes from the Stimulation phase to the Expression phase once there's about 0.5 oz of milk pumped on each side. The Willow website tells you to lean back during Stimulation to help get the pumping going. The first time I used the Willow, I laid in bed the entire time and received 5 oz total, which is my normal output. The second time I used the Willow, I put it on in the kitchen and I started to clean up and work around the house. My output at the end of 25 minutes was about 2 oz at the same time of day. It was such a disappointing moment, but I figured I might have just not done something right. After some trial and error, I discovered that I needed to really relax and lean back during Stimulation to get a good session started. Once I got out of Stimulation and into Expression, then I got up to do things. The output was back to normal after I learned I needed to give my body a few minutes to let it work with the Willow. So my tip is to really relax while you're pumping, even if you're standing, walking around, cooking - stay in a relaxed state of mind to let the milk flow. It makes sense to me, since my body would always be relaxed and sedentary with the traditional pump I've been using for the past six months. My second little tip is to consistently plug one pump to charge and alternate the left and right pump for charging after every session. This way, you'll less likely forget to charge them and you'll always have one ready to go.

Traveling and Exclusively Pumping 
The Willow is a godsend when you're pumping while traveling, at work, or if you are exclusively pumping at home! The ease in throwing the pumps on and continuing about your day is unimaginable with a conventional pump. I'm a full-time mom, so I'm staying home with my baby by myself and he's at the age where he's crawling and in constant need of a watchful eye. The traditional pump was so limiting since I could only stay in one position and if I were to stay within an arm's reach of my baby, he'd constantly reach for the cords and the machine. The Willow is discreet and stable, so I can not only chase after my son, I can also carry him around comfortably. I'm naturally big-chested, so while the Willow is pretty discreet within the clothing, the pumps create a very distinctive shape from certain angles. I felt comfortable wearing the Willow in public if I had a cardigan or jacket on to cover my chest. I went on a girls trip to Carmel and I put the pump on in restaurants and wine bars without a problem. It was also so nice to be able to wear the Willow at our Airbnb and just relax with my girlfriends around the dining table or couch, without a huge distracting pump. And yes, I pumped on the plane too! Just make sure not to have it latched on during takeoff and landing.
Short Answer: Yes, I highly recommend the Willow! It's absolutely worth the convenience and control you get back with your body. I can now play with my baby and catch up with him while pumping. There is a learning curve, but it only takes a short amount of time to get the hang of it. I would suggest taking advantage of the Willow coaches for advice on getting used to the pump and troubleshooting. I also love that the Willow offers a payment plan option for its investment price tag. I hope you find yourself on a happy pumping journey with the Willow!


Supplies for the Willow and Traveling 
Storq Full Cup Bra
Storq Nursing Tank
Skip Hop Cooler: small and portable for pumping and storing one or two sessions of breastmilk. Comes with a gel freezer pack.
AO Cooler: sturdy and reliable for traveling with refrigerated or frozen breastmilk by plane or car. Inserted with three Cooler Shock Freeze Packs (below), my frozen breastmilk stayed completely frozen for 7 hours of traveling from my Airbnb back to my home!
Cooler Shock Freeze Packs: these stay cool for days.
Ziploc Bags: sanitary for storing cleansed flanges and parts.
Medela Breast Pump Sanitizing Wipes: for quick sanitizing on-the-go.


No comments:

Post a Comment