Are you considering investing in an Elvie breast pump? Here is a detailed Elvie breast pump review, covering everything you need to think about when you make your decision on your new pump!
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What is the Elvie Pump?
The Elvie pump is an innovative breast pump that is completely wireless and hands-free. Instead of hooking yourself up to a pump with tubing and breast pump parts, you just place the entire pump in your bra.
This means that to pump both sides at once, you actually use two separate Elvie pumps.
The pump can be operated with an app on your phone; the app can also tell you how much milk you’ve pumped.
What are the advantages of using an Elvie Breast Pump?
Some of the advantages of using an Elvie include:
- The biggest selling point is obviously that it’s very portable. You can easily walk around and take care of things around the house while pumping, and even pump in public without anyone knowing what you’re doing.
- Because it’s so easy to pump wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, it’s easier to be consistent with pumping. It’s a lot simpler to stick to your pumping schedule when you can pump anywhere, versus needing to be close to an outlet.
- The Elvie is a very gentle pump, and it’s designed to feel like a baby nursing.
- It’s almost noiseless. (They say it’s silent; users generally say it’s very quiet but not completely silent.)
- The Elvie comes with two chargers and sets of everything you need. (Willow only comes with one charger.)
What are the disadvantages of the Elvie Breast Pump?
There are a few things to be aware of when you’re considering buying an Elvie.
- The pumps can spill if you bend over while using the pump, so your movement is somewhat restricted.
- Elvie’s bottles are 5oz (150ml); if you typically pump more than that on one side, you would need to switch out the bottles during your pumping session.
- Some women noted that pumping took longer with the Elvie than with other pumps. (However, because pumping is much easier to do with an Elvie, the extra time generally wasn’t an inconvenience.)
- The Elvie is obviously at a higher price point than many breast pumps.
Is the Elvie pump worth it?
This is impossible to answer definitively, because a lot depends on how much money you’re able to spend, how often you’ll need to pump, and where you’ll be pumping.
For example, if you don’t have a lot of extra money and will only need to pump at home for an occasional night out, I would say it’s probably not worth it.
However, if you’re a teacher and the only way you can get pumping sessions in is to pump while teaching, then it’s probably worth it. (Over time, the Elvie is likely a lot cheaper than formula.)
The good news is that there are a few ways that you might be able to make the Elvie more affordable:
- Aeroflow Breastpumps stocks the Elvie, and you may be able to get it at a discounted price through them by upgrading your covered pump. If you haven’t gotten your pump through insurance yet, fill out the linked form and see if you can get one at a discount.
- If you have an FSA or HSA, you can use that to pay for the pump.
- You may also be able to get reimbursement through insurance if yours covers out-of-network pumps.
Will the Elvie work for everyone?
The Elvie will work for most people; however, it’s important to make sure that you can pump with one of the available breast shield sizes.
Breast shield size reflects nipple size, not breast size. See how Elvie suggests measuring your nipples here.
Elvies come with 24mm and 28mm breast shields. You can also purchase 21mm breast shields separately.
Will the Elvie work for women with large breasts? What about very small breasts?
Yes, it’s designed to work with all cup sizes. The issue you many need to be concerned with is nipple size (as discussed above), not breast size.
Tips and tricks for using an Elvie Pump
Here are a few tips to using the pump from veteran Elvie users:
- Using the app frequently during pumping sessions can sometimes impact the battery life of the pump. If you find the pump isn’t staying charged as long as you’d like, try limiting use of the app.
- Make sure that your bra is tight enough. Sometimes a tighter bra is needed to allow the pump to “latch” correctly.
- If you’re having any pain with pumping, try using a different flange size or BeaugenMom cushions.
- Make sure that the green valve is always above the hub, or the pump won’t have any suction.
- The suction is much better when the pump parts (especially the green valve) are completely dry.
- You may get a more accurate measurement as to the amount of milk you’ve pumped while wearing a darker bra (because the contrast with the milk makes it easier for the pump to sense the volume in the bottles).
- Many parents noted that customer service on Facebook messenger was very responsive.
Should you get a single Elvie or a double Elvie?
If you’ll be pumping at work or exclusively pumping, I would get two pumps.
If you’re planning on staying home and nursing at least some of the time, a single Elvie can work fine. Some Elvie users reported that they used their single pump in public while wearing a scarf on their chest so that they didn’t look lopsided.
Pumping on the go with an Elvie
The Elvie can be worn out of the house without being obvious.
One mom in our Facebook group has a Willow, Elvie, and a Freemie, and took photos of herself without a pump and then with each of them. You can see how they compare below:
Elvie Breast Pump review – what’s the bottom line?
The Elvie is an awesome portable pump. It’s truly life-changing to be able to pump and move around with this much flexibility.
If you’re on the fence about getting an Elvie versus a Willow, you can read a more detailed comparison here.
Did I miss anything that prospective Elvie buyers should know? Feel free to leave your Elvie breast pump review in the comments!