Runner Up Health & Wellness Award Core77 Design Awards 2019.
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The animal protagonist in Elvie Pump’s promotional video is a cow with heavily drooping udders, wearing suction contraptions pumping milk through laboratory-looking arrays of twisting tubes. As a troupe of women dance in front of it, a voiceover songstress declares: “These aren’t udders, they’re my boobs.”
Elvie’s tagline is Pumping Unplugged – and that’s exactly what it services. “The future of breast pumps is wearable,” says Chiara Technologies, the parent company to Elvie Pump. The pioneering nursing pump is the first silent, hands-free smart product in its category – and it’s nailing it with the a market of moms who are tired of feeling like a cow tied up to a science project when pumping.
“By placing women at the center of the design process we’ve been able to create a product that makes pumping as easy, convenient and comfortable as possible,” Chiara says. Involving over 200 expressing (or milk-producing) mothers in its product development, the design responds directly to the most frequent pain points of typical pumping mechanisms: the lack of discretion, the necessary disruption from routine, the uncomfortably mechanical noisiness, and the cumbersome nature of the product elements themselves.
Elvie Pump is designed in five easily washable parts, and fits comfortably inside the cups of most nursing bras. The corresponding app then has the ability to guide and track its behaviors, offering a hands-free experience and preventing the wearer from having to fiddle with it inside their shirt. For example, its technology intuits when the bottle (which is self-contained in the design) is full, automatically ending the pumping session. And during each session, women can view real-time milk volume, while tracking their pumping history for each breast after the fact.
“It was important that this pump fit into women’s lives, rather than altering” them, says Chiara. “This is the ‘iPhone moment’ for the category.” In other words, Elvie Pump is making pumping a more integrated part of nursing women’s lives; it’s granting the machine a newfound seamlessness, allowing women to go about their day-to-day without the disruption of its act, but with just as much attention to its product, not to mention its recipient. It’s a win-win all around, because when baby’s got milk, everyone’s happy.