I tend to do a lot of research and question asking when it comes to buying pretty much anything. Breast pumps though, well, really most baby products, I feel like was on a whole other level for me. I will say though, once I learned about the Elvie from a great friend of mine, the decision was quite easy.
A couple of things that were important to me when looking at all of the (many) different options: I wanted something cordless, easy to clean/sanitize, and something that I could use hands free.
A lot of my friends either have the Spectra or the Medela and overall, I think they did/do the job well for them. But when I found out that there are options on the market that are completely cordless and tubeless which makes them much easier to clean, that narrowed the options down drastically for me.
The two options that I learned about are the Elvie and the Willow breast pumps. They are both cordless, tubeless, and can be used hands free. The main difference between the two is that the Willow requires bags which are about $24 for a 48. Ain’t nobody got time for that! The Elvie comes ready to use out of the box so Willow… Out. ** Update: Willow has a bagless version but I’m still happy with the Elvie!
Both the Willow and Elvie are $500. Yeah, they’re expensive. Stephen and I both agreed though that this was worth us investing in for the hands free convenience (a big deal to us) and the ease of cleaning.
A lot of insurance companies will pay for breast pumps which is great! Each one will do things a bit differently so you’ll have to check with your provider. For Tricare Prime, they will completely cover a lot of pumps and even breast milk storage bags. If you have Tricare and want to get a breast pump for free, you can go easily through one of these sites (among others) to do that:
The Elvie is not completely covered, however, because it is considered an upgrade. Tricare Prime will cover a good chunk of the cost though. It says HERE that they’ll cover $312.84 but from what I’ve learned, those rates change and it also depends on the pump. For the Elvie, Tricare covered $219.30 of it which means I paid $280.70 out of pocket. My friend that paid the full amount for the Elvie says that it was worth paying the $500 for so the fact that we could get something back we thought was good.
Tricare also covers storage bags! I ordered the Kiinde Twist Pouches by filling out this form through Baby Pavilion. I suggest ordering your pump through them too because if you do, you’ll be able to get the entire Kiinde system (which you’ll most likely need anyway) for free, not just the storage bags. I filled the form out the day Ellie was born and the bags were waiting on our doorstep when we arrived home from the hospital two days later. We use them all the time. They are super convenient! Just store your pumped breastmilk in one of the Kiinde bags, stick that in the fridge or freezer, then pop in the Kiinde bottle system when you’re ready to feed.
Baby Pavilion’s customer service is exceptional. If you do end up using them, tell them I sent you! I gain nothing whatsoever from it! It would just make them happy to hear.
I have been using the Elvie for about a month now (I used it for weeks leading up to delivery) and I really love it. It’s very user-friendly, easy to clean + sanitize, and extremely convenient to use. There’s an even app you can use to track how much you have pumped (although – I don’t find the need for it). I have never used any other type of pump so I can’t compare it to anything else but in terms of how powerful it is, it does the job well for me! I don’t feel like I need something more powerful but I do know that it’s less powerful than a medical grade pump. It took a little practice to get efficient at putting it on but after a while it became easy. I love that I can get so much work done while pumping and if I didn’t mention it, you’d probably have no idea that I was doing both (my mom had no clue until I told her!). I feel like I could do an entire workout while wearing the thing… Only partially kidding.
I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions by commenting on this post or messaging me on Instagram at @jordyjean! Stay well, friends.