The Willow 2.0 Portable Pump is the new wave of ON-THE-GO Pumping!
As promised, here is my review of the new Willow 2.0 Breast Pump. Willow is a portable breast pump allowing you the flexibility to pump and be on the go. I saw the pump on my Instagram feed and immediately became intrigued. I started doing research and began comparing this pump to the pump I already owned. I caved in and purchased Willow 2.0 due to my challenges with the traditional pump and have been using it for about 3 weeks now. Here are the pros and cons I gathered from both experiences.
1) Clear Flange
With a clear flange, you can see where your nipple is aligned to get the best pumping outcome.
2) You can see the milk pumping out
The pump allows for you to see the milk flowing into the attached containers.
3) You can pump more than 4 ounces at a time
The attached containers usually allow for at least 6 ounces to be pumped or more depending on the pump.
1) You are tied down to machine
The traditional pump can be a burden if you are on the go. First you have to be seated and plugged into an outlet unless your pump takes batteries. Then you have to be seated for the allotted time and with a newborn, that is not always easy. A newborn can wake up or cry at any moment and then you will have to stop pumping.
2) Let-down and expression time unknown/have to wait preset time for let-down
Most traditional pumps have a two-minute let-down phase for your milk to flow. There are times it takes less time or even longer for you to get your let down going. It varies for every woman.
3) Easier to spill milk
Once the pumping is finished, you have to be very careful removing the pump and cover the bottle immediately. Any rushed movements can result in the bottle falling over, and you “Crying over Spilt Milk”.
4) Very Loud
Most traditional pumps rely on air through tubes to get suction and that generation of air creates a loud pumping sound. Each machine has a different sound, but most are very noisy.
5) Many parts to clean
You can count on at least 5 parts per side to clean with a traditional pump if not more.
1) The pump is Portable (wireless/Bluetooth)
Because the pump is portable, you can get back the time you would spend pumping and complete other tasks around your schedule. Your day no longer has to depend on your pumping schedule. The pump fits into your average maternity bra, so you can cook with it on, clean with it on, walk your dog with it on, shop with it on, and even feed your baby with it on. The pump also has Bluetooth, so you are able to connect the pumps to your phone via an app. The app lets you know how much you are pumping simultaneously. Plainly put, this pump gives you the freedom to go about your day.
2) The pump is relatively quiet
Because the pumps do not rely on tubes to generate suction, they are much quieter. The noise emitted from them is soft and can be heard by you, but not in the next room. I have found that when I have the pumps on, the general noise from outside or even in your home makes it very hard to hear them.
3) Clear Flange
The Willow 2.0 has a clear flange, which makes it easy to align your nipple and get the best pumping session.
4) There are only two parts to clean
Compared to a traditional pump, this is a lifesaver when it comes to cleanup.
5) Snap Closure
The assembly for the Willow has three easy steps and you know the pumps are assembled correctly with the snap closure.
6) Let-down/expression stage made clear
The app allows you to see when you are in Stimulation Phase and then entering Expression Phase.
7) The pump gets more milk in a smaller amount of time
From my experience, at most sessions, I am able to get an ounce in 5 minutes
8) Milk is already in a bag for storage
The sealed milk bags make it harder to spill milk and can be stored immediately in the fridge or take on the go. You don’t have to worry about any milk spilling as the bags have a one-way valve. Milk can only go in, not come out.
9) App tells you how much milk you have pumped on each side
You can monitor how much you are pumping just by checking the app on your phone. You no longer have to look down at the bottles.
10) App keeps track of sessions
The app also keeps track of your pumping sessions so you can compare and know how well you are doing over time.
11) Automatically stops after 25 minutes
When you are on the go, you may lose track of time. The pump automatically stops after 25 minutes. You can always continue if you want a longer session.
1) The Price
The cost of the Willow is a whooping $499. To be honest, I was deterred by the price. Why is this pump so expensive? I placed the pump in the checking out cart several times for a couple weeks and just let it sit there trying to reason the purchase. I had the courage to purchase when my husband finally said, “Just get the pump already”. I will say if you are pumping exclusively, there is no price for convenience. Our son was born with a cleft lip and palate and I wanted him to have breast milk. I knew I would have to pump around the clock to keep up with his feeding demands. It was very difficult to stay on schedule as I could not sit down for the amount of time I wanted. Our son demanded my attention regularly as any newborn will. I suffered engorgement when I was unable to pump on time. I remember my husband taking me out for my birthday, and I could not even enjoy the massage because my breasts were so engorged. I couldn’t pump on the road either since I left my pump at home being it had to be plugged in. After getting the Willow, I was able to take the pump with me in the car, and pump on the way to the doctor’s office, pump at the park, and pump while feeding our son. The convenience of this pump has made all the difference for me. My supply is increasing as I am able to get in more pumping sessions. It’s also great that I can track my progress over time with the app.
A plus is that FSA is accepted to purchase the pump. Willow also has a monthly payment plan as well to ease the burden of paying full price all at once. You can also file for the pump on your tax return as well. This pump is a hefty purchase, but if you are pumping exclusively, it may be worth it. It fit my lifestyle and I cannot even imagine pumping traditionally again.
2) The Bags
One thing I would change about the pumps is the bags. Although I love the spill-free bags that are ready for storage, you have to keep purchasing them to use the pump. One pack of 48 bags is $23.99. Depending on how often you pump, you will have to get several bags for the month increasing the monthly price. Having to throw out the bags after getting the milk out seems wasteful as well.
I also saw some complaints that the bags may fill with air along with your milk. I have not had any air problems with my bags as of yet.
3) The Milk leftover
There are some sessions when some of my milk does not make the bag. It collects in the tube. The Help section on the app explains how to collect the extra milk. Usually by allowing the pump to run for a few seconds after taking it off will allow for the extra milk to collect in the bag.
4) Can only pump 4 ounces at a time (Bags hold up to 5 ounces)
With a traditional pump, you can collect more milk during a pumping session without having to stop and change the bags.
5) Cannot pump and charge at the same time
Although the Willow is revolutionizing pumping for all nursing moms, one problem I do have is charging the pumps. When the batteries get low, unfortunately you cannot charge and pump at the same time. Also, the package only comes with one charger where you have to charge one side at a time. I would suggest for the Willow 3.0, which I’m sure is in the works, to have two chargers, one for each side, and to be able to be charged and used simultaneously if necessary.
6) You cannot return the pump
Before you purchase the pump, know that it cannot be returned. This was something I did not know when I purchased. I am in love with my pumps and I would not return them, but I would have liked to have that knowledge before making my decision. Things happen and you never know why something may need to be returned. Willow should definitely give you that option even if it is for a trial period of time. (For example 15 to 30 days)
When the PROS outweigh the CONS, it makes your decision so much easier. I have used the pump for 3 weeks and my experience has been stellar. The pump is very easy to learn and assemble. It is even easier to clean. The decision to purchase was a big one, but one that has added my pumping sessions into the routine of my day. Not the other way around. For my Prince, I will do anything to spend more time with him and give him all that I can. I mean, Look at those eyes. My love forever..