Now that I’ve been using my Elvie pumps for a longer time now, I thought I would put in some updated thoughts to my initial impressions review. In general I’m still fairly impressed overall, and the quiet and discreet aspect of the pumps becomes more and more valuable to me the more different places I try pumping.
Pumping Discreetly: Total Gamechanger
Since I got my Elvie pumps, I’ve put them through their paces. I had to go to a week’s worth of all-day-long workshops with minimal scheduled breaks and which took place in buildings without nursing rooms. I was sitting in auditoriums all day long. I was able to pump discreetly in the back of the auditorium while continuing to listen to lectures and take notes. I don’t think anybody noticed or at least, I did not feel out of place. This was a total game changer! Before Elvie, I would have constant worries and anxieties about finding a place to pump, finding the right time to sneak off to pump, and missing critical information for classes/workshops/conferences. With Elvie, all of those worries could be laid to rest. I can concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing without constantly worrying about when and where to pump. I can setup easily under a scarf or kimono wrap, and when I’m done I’ll visit the ladies’ room to take down the pump setup, transfer the milk, and rinse out the parts. So easy!
I also flew internationally with the Elvie pumps and was able to pump easily in my seat. I booked a window seat and wore a scarf (which doubled as a travel blanket). When it was time, I just turned toward the window and discreetly setup my pumps, and just pumped away. I could either take it down in my seat (if my seatmate was snoring), or get up to go and do it in the airplane bathroom. Again, this made pumping while in transit (almost 24 hours of plane rides, stopovers, and all) so much less stressful.
Updated: Volume Estimation
In my initial review, I noted that the volume estimates were wayyy off and under the actual amount. After several pumping sessions where I diligently updated the volume pumped to the actual measurements, I am happy to say that the volume estimates have significantly improved. It’s still not accurate, but at least it’s not 90% underestimating it. Maybe my Elvie pump is learning from me after all!
Pump Strength and Volume Output
I was initially a little bit skeptical of the suction power perhaps being too weak. I think I would not be worried about my supply dropping with using this pump for several days in a row, so at least that anxiety can be laid to rest. It still isn’t quite as strong or efficient as my BabyBuddha, but it’ll do.
I was worried that the bluetooth connection with my phone my turn out to be finicky and frustrating, as it can often be with other bluetooth gadgets such as headphones. I am happy to report that most of the time Elvie connects to my phone fast and flawlessly. Only a few times did it take an extra few seconds to find both my pumps to connect to, but it was no big deal at all. I am very satisfied with this aspect of its performance.
Battery Life: Good Enough For A Day
Elvie advertises over two hours of pumping. Baby Buddha advertises about 1 hour of pumping. In practice, I think I got about four 20 minute sessions out of the Elvie pumps before it started to gave me a battery warning. I think still had about 20% battery left. This was enough to get me through about 16-18 hours of traveling, so I was happy with that. BabyBuddha definitely lasts not as long, but on the flip side because I can monitor when my letdowns start and stop with BabyBuddha, I can pump more efficiently and take less time each time. I would not travel without an extra battery pack with the BabyBuddha though, but I think I could forgo one for the Elvie pumps. I did notice that the Elvie pumps don’t seem to hold a charge for very long though. You can’t expect to charge them up to 100%, use down to 50%, unplug them, and then expect them to still be at 50% a couple of days later. Usually I try to charge them the night before I know I’ll be needing them.
I mentioned in my initial review how there were so many pump parts to wash. Yes, it is no less annoying now after additional time with it. I’ve gotten more efficient at pump takedown and milk transfer with managing disassembling all the pump parts and such, but it’s still less efficient and quick than with Kiinde bags. I do find that it is hard to clean the bottles though, because of their unusual shape. They like to hold on to milk and to water rather than emptying cleanly and completely, which makes washing them somewhat tedious. It’s hard to get all the residue off to get them sparkling clear again!
Elvie pumps are expensive, no doubt about it. Given how frequently I travel, go to conferences, and take classes though, I think it is totally worth it for me. The ability to pump from the back of a lecture hall, classroom, or auditorium without missing a beat is totally freeing. If you don’t find that you need to pump discreetly so much – i.e. if you are mostly pumping at home, or pumping in dedicated pumping spaces at work, then it might not be worth it to get it.