National medical authorities in the United States support the practice of breastfeeding. The U.S. Surgeon General’s office issued a Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding this week and the American Academy of Pediatrics published a Breastfeeding Initiatives website in 2012. According to the AAP’s Policy Statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk, the group recommends exclusive breast milk feeding for the first six months, with supplemental food added for the remainder of the first year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 2016 survey of mothers of babies born in 2013 showed that four out of five were breastfed for some period of time, hand half were breastfed for at least six months. Those numbers are up from 71.4 percent and 37.9 percent from 2002’s survey, reflecting a continuing gradual rise, but still not up to the levels suggested by the AAP.
Working mothers who wish to feed their children breast milk often find it difficult or inconvenient to pump breast milk when away from home. Willow is a company that has developed the Willow Wearable Breast Pump. The FDA-cleared device fits inside a woman’s bra while it collects milk in a 4-ounce, one-time-use internal bag. A smartphone app tracks the milk volume, and compares data from previous pumping sessions. The app can be used to set reminders and alerts. According to Willow, the app will also sense the woman’s let-down reflex and transition to expression phase based on her physiology, rather than just on a schedule.
The Willow Wearable Breast Pump has no external tubes, cords, or dangling bottles. It can be used hands-free and can eliminate the need to find a private place to pump. All parts that come in contact with milk are BPA free and the reusable pieces are dishwasher safe. The Willow Pump comes with two dozen milk bags, and additional supplies are available on the company website.The device is scheduled to ship in Spring 2017.