A wearable breast pump is a portable, hands-free breast pump that fits completely in your bra to let you go about your day while you pump. A popular choice among new nursing moms, these pumps make it easy to pump on the go. But a wearable pump isn’t for everyone, so it’s important to consider your options before deciding on one.
Most wearables have a motor that hangs between your bra cups and has flanges that attach to each nipple, which then connect to a handheld control that allows you to set the level of suction and program how long you want to pump for. Some also have a button you can press to start and stop pumping, but that’s not a necessity for most users.
While there is some tubing involved, most wearables are designed to be discreet so you can still move around while you pump. You’ll need to route the tubing under your clothing for added discretion and to prevent it from catching on things, but that shouldn’t be too difficult to do.
You’ll also want to be sure your wearable will work with the size of your nipples, as the flanges are not adjustable like on a traditional double electric pump. If the flanges don’t fit well, they can lead to pain and even nipple damage. If this is an issue for you, consider purchasing a different flange size or meeting with a lactation specialist during your pregnancy to be sure the fit is correct.
Another consideration is that wearables don’t fully empty your breasts the same way as a traditional pump, and this may affect your milk supply over time. If you’re an exclusive pumper or pumping often for work, a wearable may not be enough to meet your milk production goals, and it would probably be best to get a traditional pump in addition to the wearable.
If you love the idea of a hands-free pump but don’t have the budget for the high-end models like the Elvie or Willow, we recommend checking out the new Willow Go, which offers many of the same features as the original Willow pump for a lower price tag. This model is also cord-free and designed to be hands-free so you can pump while preparing dinner, cooking or even working on a headstand in yoga class.
Lastly, be aware that most wearables require you to use the included rechargeable battery, so it’s best to plan accordingly for how much you’ll be using it. If you’re planning on pumping a lot, we recommend investing in an external power bank or getting an extended warranty to protect your investment.