After trying the Elvie breast pump for the last month or so, I wanted to give you an honest review of my experience. Hopefully this gives you a well-rounded idea of the product, so you can decide whether it’s worth the high ticket price or not!
While we were still at the hospital recovering from Alina’s birth, it became pretty clear I would almost exclusively be pumping and bottle feeding. Alina wasn’t transferring milk very well so we started bottle feeding pretty immediately. When we got home, we started using the Spectra 9 Plus (retails at $180). This was the medical-grade pump we got through insurance. It was kind of a pain having to sit there and hold the breast pump. It made me feel a little stir crazy and trapped because I couldn’t do anything else while I pumped.
I heard of the Elvie breast pump and have seen some of my friends reviews of it, so I thought I’d give it a try. I ended up purchasing the double electric Elvie breast pump Buy Buy Baby for $499.99 (you can also order directly from Amazon). After testing it out for a month or so now, here are my thoughts.
- The Elvie breast pump is hands-free, so you feel more mobile while using it. You can walk around and get stuff done without feeling tied down. Just make sure to wear a tighter bra over the pump so it stays in place!
- It is fairly discreet. I say fairly because I have a caveat to it later on. The Elvie breast pump is quiet and more discreet than the Spectra S9. It is also less bulky and cordless.
- The battery life on the Elvie breast pump is pretty substantial. It lasts long and charges quickly. A thumbs up from me.
- While the Elvie breast pump is more discreet than the Spectra and other medical grade pumps, it’s still quite bulky. This is especially the case if you have larger boobs because it just adds more bulk to the chest area. I felt like I looked like one of those robot women from the Austin Power movies (😂). The Elvie also has lights, so you can kind of see them through your bra / tank.
- Because I was producing way more milk than Alina was taking in, and I wasn’t pumping as much as I needed to, I ran into a lot of plugged ducts, which required me to wear looser bras. Since the hands-free feature of the Elvie requires tighter fitting bras, I couldn’t really take advantage of that.
- Unlike the Spectra S9 where I could massage out plugged ducts as I pumped, the Elvie doesn’t help with that. But if you don’t have a problem with plugged ducts, #2 and #3 won’t be an issue!
- Personally, I didn’t think the Elvie pulls as much milk as the Spectra S9, even at the highest setting (in the first few weeks while your nipples are adjusting , you wont even be able to tolerate it at the highest setting anyway). It’s also harder to check on what your pulling out, unless you completely take off the pump – which can be inconvenient. The app is supposed to give you an accurate reading of the milk amountas you go but i noticed after a week or so it started not reading the milk amount correctly.
- I found the Spectra S9 to be less painful if you suffer from nipple or breast tenderness.
Overall Thoughts on the Elvie Breast Pump
I think it is great as a secondary pump, especially if you think you’re going to be out of the house for a while. It’s so easy to pop in your diaper bag or purse. If you are going back to the office or have an additional child you are caring for while trying to pump for a newborn, I think this is a great asset to have if you can afford the price point or have an HSA that will reimburse for it.
Also, from a privacy standpoint, it is more subtle than the Spectra S9. I felt more comfortable pumping with the Elvie when I had company over, especially my dad or the inlaws. While it’s not the MOST discreet, it is MORE discreet than the Spectra S9 because it hides your nipples. Another plus is you don’t have cords coming out of your breasts – lol.
Overall, I think the medical grade pumps, such as the Spectra S9 and the Medela, are more effective. The Spectra will be used as my main source of pumping. I think 1) it pulls more milk and 2) it helps with my plugged ducts and 3) is less painful while adjusting to tender breasts and nipples.
Your Breast Pumping Must-haves
I’ve gone ahead and linked all of my must-have breast pumping products below. These are the items I have used the most (and I have purchased a LOT of things that I have never ended up using). Also, if you want to know what I packed to the hospital, check out that blog, here.
I also wanted to link a milk storage system that I think is the most efficient and easy to use. It’s actually by Medela, the other breast pump I was considering. It gives you everything you need to store milk properly and to take the guesswork out of what milk to use when.