Baby Feeding

Willow Breast Pump Review [July 2019] – Is This Cord-Free Pump Worth It?

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There are so many breast pumps available on the market that choosing the right one for you can become a tedious task.

Luckily, I have heard a lot of positive feedback lately regarding the Willow breast pump and I have decided to write an honest review to help you make your decision. Below, you will find everything you need to know about this product such as its features, pros, cons, price, and more.

Willow Breast Pump Features and Description

Willow is a cordless breast pump that fits into your nursing bra. In fact, the package comes with two pumps that are shaped like breasts, a lot of milk bags shaped like donuts, and some other accessories. The bags must be placed in the middle part of the pump. They can only be filled with four ounces of milk. Moreover, the bags are solely marketed on the company’s online store. You can keep track of your pumping history with the help of a dedicated app that can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices.

The first generation of Willow pumps, the 1.0 model, is now replaced with the Willow 2.0 upgraded and improved version. You can still find the first version, on certain online shops. It costs around $480. The newer model, as you would expect, costs a bit more. The main difference that sets these two pumps apart is defined by their flange. Willow 2.0 comes with a clear and transparent flange so you will be able to see how much milk is gathered in the attached bag. Also, the latest option features a quick-snap closing system.

Here is a list that comprises all the items you will receive once you purchase a Willow breast pump:

  • Two pumps;
  • 24 milk bags – each bag measures 4 ounces;
  • Two flanges;
  • A charger;
  • Two cleaning brushes;
  • A couple of flextubes;
  • Two carrying bags.

On the brand’s official website, you can buy additional milk bags or any other accessory of your choice.

Willow Breast Pump Review – Pros and Cons

willow breast pump

Advantages

a. This Breast Pump Is Cordless

The fact that Willow is a hands-free pump makes it highly convenient. Of course, there are other options as well. For instance, you could use a pumping bra but this type of tool has a lot of tubes and bottles that stick out of your chest. With Willow, all you have to do is place the pumps on your breasts, inside your bra, and let it do its magic. At first, for up to five minutes, the device will go through the stimulation phase but soon after that milk pumping will be good to go. Meanwhile, you can do whatever you want: preparing meals, doing your hair, putting on your makeup, and many other activities.

b. This Is a Quiet Breast Pump

Not only is Willow an effective, compact, and convenient pump but it is also very quiet and discreet. Moms can easily pump near their little ones while they’re sleeping because the device won’t wake them up. This is another reason why Willow works great for active or working moms who are always on the go or surrounded by other people.

c. The Assembling Part Is Easy

The entire process of putting the breast pump together is anything but time-consuming. Willow is a compact tool and it will be a simple task to assemble or transport it. You will have to go through some sort of a learning curve but, still, getting better at using it isn’t very difficult. Most users say that, in their cases, it took around 10 minutes to read the instruction manual, install the app, and practice using the pump. Don’t forget to sanitize all the elements of the pump before using it and clean them once you’re done with the pumping.

d. It Is an Effective Breast Pump

Willow works well, especially once you get the hang of it. Remember to always flip it over when you’re done to complete the process by taking out the milk that remains in the flange. The product is shipped with an instruction manual in which you will find all these steps and guidelines. Just make sure to follow them to the letter.

e. The Company Provides Pumping Support

You will benefit from all the features that Willow app has to offer in terms of keeping track of your pumping history and letting you know how much milk you’re collecting per session. If you ask me, that’s a pretty cool thing to have. Within the application, there are also some useful tutorials that teach you the proper way to use the device. Finally, all clients can benefit from a coaching session by phone or via video chat, totally free of charge.

Willow Pump Milk Bags (SBD)

Disadvantages

a. It’s an Expensive Product

The Willow pump has a high price that reaches up to $500. It may be worth the money if you’re a mom who’s always pumping because you plan to go back to work. After all, with this device, you will save a lot of time. A few people claim they were able to get this tool without actually buying it because it was covered by their insurance. However, I cannot tell you whether or not your insurance covers this breast pump. You must look into that yourself.

On the other hand, if you really want this pump but you cannot afford to pay the entire cost at once, the company also offers the possibility of a payment plan.

b. You Will Have to Buy New Milk Bags

Unfortunately for your budget, the milk bags that come in the package aren’t reusable. So, you will have to buy new ones quite frequently, based on how often you pump. These disposable milk bags can be purchased on the manufacturer’s website and one pack that contains 48 bags costs $24. I must admit that they are quite expensive.

c. It Might Feel Less Comfy than Other Pumps

A few moms said that they felt mild stinging sensations when they used the pump. I guess that depends a lot on your body sensitivity. Still, most users are pleased with the way the pump feels, saying it is far from being painful. At times, it might get a tad uncomfortable but nothing serious to make you stop using it.

How Does This Pump Work?

Is not that hard to use this breast pump but a helpful resource is represented by several tutorials and videos provided on the company’s website as well as their phone app. I truly recommend you to watch these guides. Besides tutorials, Willow also offers support and coaching to make sure you overcome any potential challenges when using the pump, especially if you have never used it before.

One amazing feature of this pump is its compact shape. The second and equally important benefit is given by the fact that everything you need is housed inside the pump: the milk suction flanges, the pump’s motor, and the milk collecting bags. The device is shaped like an oversized half-egg. It’s easy to secure it by wearing a full-coverage top or nursing bra. Once you start using it, you can throw on a comfy T-shirt and do house chores, read, walk around or simply relax on the sofa.

You must install the mobile app in order to monitor your pumping sessions. According to most users (with just a few exceptions), setting up the device is pretty easy and it doesn’t take a lot of time. It seems that one thing that might be confusing is the way you should place the milk bags into the pump in order to make sure that the milk goes exactly where it’s supposed to. Another thing you have to be aware of is the fact that the first-time charging session can take around 15 minutes or so. You can only charge one single pump at a time. The manufacturer claims that one single charge lasts for approximately five pumping sessions.

Instead of being equipped with a separate suction tube, Willow comes with Flextubes that plays a double role: it sucks out the milk and it creates a passage for the milk to flow. When you’re finished pumping, you must turn the device over and then press the on button for a second in order for the milk that’s trapped into the flex tube to go into the bag.

How Much Does It Cost?

The first version of this pump, the previous 1.0 model, has a more affordable price that starts at $429. I can’t say the same for the Willow 2.0 pump which is an expensive device that can be bought for $499. You can purchase this breast pump directly on the company’s official website. There are two available colors to choose from: quiet gray and soft white. Also, there are two available flange sizes: 24 and 27 mm. The overall cost gets even higher once you realize you have to buy additional milk bags on a regular basis. These bags might be spill proof but you cannot reseal them.

Think about this: let’s say you must pump three times per day. Unlike standard pumps, with Willow, you need to use two milk bags per session. Long story short, you will probably have to acquire 120 new bags every month which leads to a monthly cost of $60.

The Most Compact Breast Pump Price: Willow is definitely a great cordless pump that truly provides comfort for moms while pumping. I found this to be a really great choice especially since it can be used outdoors too without being visible to everyone. Buy Now The Most Compact Breast Pump We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Product’s Customer Support

Unfortunately, a pretty common issue that some users deal with is met once they install the Willow app. You must sync the app with both pumps but then you will see that the application requires you to update the pumps. Then is when the problems might begin because, in certain cases, the installation process keeps failing for some reason. If that happens to you, I suggest you contact the company’s customer support department.

Most of the times, a customer service representative will solve your problem but, you should expect to be redirected to a resolution manager if the issue is more complex. According to some users, it may take quite some time for the company to completely solve a client’s request but, eventually, the situation gets fixed in a way or another. If you encounter a problem with the product and you’re waiting for the company to solve it, the bad part is the fact that you won’t be able to use the pump while waiting for the resolution.

On the other hand, many clients state they are happy with the way Willow employees have tackled their problems, saying that the company even sent several free items such as extra milk bags to compensate for the trouble. All in all, Willow’s client service works excellently.

Willow Breast Pump vs. Traditional Pumps

Once you overcome the learning curve, you will start using the pump in a pretty smooth manner. Heck, you will even enjoy using it. It’s true, however, that pumping breast milk with Willow can take a tad longer compared to traditional pumps. This small issue might appear because both the massage and compression of the Willow pump isn’t as strong as the ones provided by regular alternatives.

If you were used to working out while wearing your breast pump, now, this may no longer be the case because, being cordless, makes the Willow product a little less secure. Nevertheless, you will be free to move around the house and even bend over without experiencing spillage. This is a major advantage, especially if you have a toddler playing and running around. On the other hand, it is quite difficult and not very comfortable to hold your baby close to your chest while pumping because of the hard plastic material that the pumps are made of.

Overall, it’s a lot easier and more convenient to use the Willow breast pump when you’re on the go, in your car, in a public bathroom or at the airport.

Willow Breast Pump Alternatives

1. Electric Hands-Free Breast Pump by Freemie

Freemie Freedom Double Electric Hands Free and Concealable Breast Pump, White Price: $151.21 Freemie is an excellent choice if you are in need of a powerful pump that you can use at home or at work. The pump allows expressing milk with your clothes on, and has two cups for double pumping in the same time. Buy Now from Amazon Freemie Freedom Double Electric Hands Free and Concealable Breast Pump, White We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: August 25, 2019

This pump made by Freemie is a very silent device and it is one of the most popular gadgets out there when it comes to electric breast pumps. You will be able to pump while wearing your daily clothes on. The pump’s cups are great and the tool is pretty easy to use, although it may not seem so at first. You can get this product through insurance. As a downside, the unit of the Freemie pump is quite large and bulky and the cups cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher.

2. Elvie Pump

Elvie Breast Pump Price: The Elvie Breast Pump is a really fascinating and smart pump, with no noise as well during pumping. Plenty of moms are satisfied with the results of it and claim it has totally changed their life. Buy Now Elvie Breast Pump We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Elvie Pump is a silent wearable device for new moms. It fits perfectly in your bra and there aren’t any wires or tubes attached to it. One of the things that convinced me to add it to this list is the fact that it is extremely quiet; maybe even quieter than Willow. Instead of a disposable container, the milk is collected into a reusable bottle. This pump features a clean design and a compact shape. Still, it lacks a strong suction. Although it comes with a dedicated app, you won’t be able to tell how much milk the tool pumps per session.

3. Spectra S2 Pump

Spectra Baby S2 Plus Price: Spectra S2 is a hospital grade pump, and you will definitely get value for your money. It is a pump with strong suction power and protects the milk from being contaminated with bacteria or viruses thanks to the closed system. Buy Now from Amazon Spectra Baby S2 Plus We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: August 25, 2019

The Spectra breast pump is an electric one and it is crafted based on hospital-grade requirements. This means that your milk, once collected, will remain free of pathogens. The product is hygienic, cost-effective, and it provides some great features. It has a high level of suction strength and it pumps quietly. The suction function of the Spectra S2 pump can be adjusted to your liking.

Willow Breast Pump Review – the Final Verdict

The Good

The Willow breast pump is quite a good investment. It is cordless, chargeable, and works quietly. You won’t have to deal with any dangling tubes, whatsoever. This product is a great choice for new moms who travel a lot or are active. It easily fits under your clothes and inside your bra.

The Bad

The price of these pumps is high and the accessories are expensive. And, eventually, you will need to purchase additional milk bags. Also, there seem to be certain problems regarding the privacy policy of Willow’s mobile app. Some pumps can work while also being charged but, unfortunately, this isn’t the case of this product.

The Bottom Line: Is the Willow Breast Pump Worth it?

Willow is definitely an innovative breast pump that comes with a lot of perks and advantages. It might have its small flaws but nothing is truly perfect. I talked to some other moms, and they told me they use this device and alternate it with their traditional pumps. The final decision is all yours, based on your needs, budget, preferences, and many other factors.

Ratings (out of a total of 5 points)

Ease of use3
Price2
Aesthetic value5
Performance4
Overall rating3.5

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