Are Elvie pumps worth it?
If you’re a mom-to-be or new mom, you’ve probably heard of Elvie breast pumps. They are a relatively new product on the market, at least compared to Medela, and they have been getting a lot of buzz. So are they worth the hype? Here’s my take!
Hands free pump – that’s great, but worth it?
I started using Elvie pumps while my baby was still in the NICU. I had been exclusively pumping with the hospital Medela up to that point, but I needed to be able to pump on the go with all the driving back and forth each day. Our NICU stay was in the early stages of the pandemic, so my husband and I were never able to be at the hospital at the same time, which meant driving to/from the hospital every day to visit with my baby. I had done a lot of research on breast pumps and decided that Elvie was the best option for me (in addition to my hospital grade medela). I had heard that suction for some pumps may not be sufficient in the early stages of establishing your supply, but I would rather have something vs nothing when my drive time for my turn with my baby coincided with a pump session.
The biggest selling point for me was that Elvie pumps are hands-free and very portable. So I could drive with them on. And if I needed to catch up on housework, I could put the pump on, do other things around the house, and not have to worry about it.
Do they leak?
Elvie pumps are not totally leak-proof, but the only time I ever leaked was when I’d bend over completely (like to load or empty the dishwasher). It was rare that they leaked from being too full, because they have sensors on them to prevent that.
I would say that they are about on par with other similar pumps in this regard – there will be some leaks. However, the silicone flanges and breast shields seem to do a good job of collecting milk. I have found that as long as I’m fairly upright, there aren’t usually any leaks.
How’s the suction?
A lot of concern with pumps are around the suction. I honestly felt they were great. I would typically get a bit more output with my hospital grade Medela pump, but it wasn’t such a difference that it concerned me, especially since I didn’t use them for every pump session. I have to say, as great as they are, I’m not sure I’d recommend them as your only pump if you’re exclusively pumping. If you’re nursing and just want to pump occasionally, I think these would be great for you! If you’re an EP, I would have these as an option – but not the main pump.
Are they hard to clean?
One thing about exclusive pumping that I didn’t know what to expect was, cleaning all the parts! I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the Elvie was to clean. There are only a few parts (the breast shields, collection cup with spout, and silicone valves) and they come apart easily. The cups come with storage lids too, which is great for what I needed since I was traveling back and forth when I used them.
I will say just be careful and make sure you put it all back in correctly. I have had to re-assemble mine a few times because I didn’t get the valve back in right and then it wouldn’t create suction.
Can everyone hear them?
Something I was asked often about the Elvie pumps was “Are they loud?” I understand the concern if you’re going back to work and plan to use them in the office – will everyone know that I’m pumping?!! No. They won’t. They’re not 100% silent, but pretty close. TMI, my letdown spraying into the bottle was louder than the pump itself!
How obvious do they look?
Another question that comes up often is “Will everyone know I have them on?” In short, no. I don’t think so. The part that actually goes over your breast is pretty small and not overly noticeable (in my opinion). Of course, every body is different, but for me they were not too noticeable.
So, are Elvie pumps worth it?
To me, YES.
I was able to use them hands-free, which was a lifesaver for my pumping journey during our NICU stay. I loved that I could put them on, drive, and not have to worry about them. And they’re small and portable – great for traveling or if you’re going back to work and want to be discreet.
If you’re thinking about getting the Elvie pumps, I say go for it! You won’t regret it.