Babyation’s breast pump gives mothers dignity and dignity – TechCrunch

“Dairy cows don’t tolerate what women tolerate,” sighs Samantha Rudolph, CEO of Babyation, a St. Louis, Missouri-based company that is today launching a brand new solution for breastfeeding mothers. The company takes a more holistic approach than most, with an all-in-one system specifically focused on stealth. The solution comes in an all-in-one carrying case with cooling packs, storage space and low-profile breast shields that are worn inside a bra. The setup is controlled from an app, making it possible to pump quietly and comfortably, even when you’re out and about in the world.

A recent study found that the vast majority of women say pumping is the worst part of breastfeeding. That’s a great statistic considering 95% of nursing mothers pump, and as someone who hasn’t had to use a breast pump, it doesn’t take a lot of research to confirm: it sounds pretty awful. However, the milk has to come out somehow – you can’t change the biology. Babyation’s view is that if they can’t make it a beloved process, they can at least do what they can to make sure it isn’t outright hated.

“We have designed our product to be optimized for all day pumping. We minimize what’s on the body, and then we have built-in storage,” explains Rudolph. It’s hard to overestimate how useful that is; many breast pumps only sell a bottle and a pump, but you’re left with a storage problem and the potential awkwardness of leaving a bottle of milk in the office fridge. “With other solutions, if I forget one of these small parts, my pump won’t work, and I either feel uncomfortable, or my milk supply is reduced. We optimized everything and put it in one place.”

The innovation is that it is possible to wear the wearables under your clothes and to run a small, inconspicuous tube in the storage bag on the floor. The suction itself comes from a new technology that mirrors nature, rather than taking a page out of the dairy industry’s playbook. The company has 11 patents that protect its technology.

“The way we derive our suction is that the device actually collapses on the nipple. That’s how babies suck. The FDA allows us to say our suction mimics babies. No other product can do that,” Rudolph says, taking take me on a journey into how the competition is doing.“If you look at [competitor’s] patents, most are based on dairy cow technology.”

Thanks to Babyation’s breast pump and storage solution, mothers can ensure they have everything they need at a glance. If something is missing from a storage slot, it’s obvious. Image Credits: Babyation

In the industry, most lactation experts will tell you that breast pumps can’t express as much milk as a baby, but the Babyation team has a trick up its sleeve – both proverbial and literal – with extraordinary effectiveness.

“During testing, 100% of the women received the same amount of milk from our flask as compared to the flask they usually use. Fifty percent of the time, our pump was getting more milk than a baby,” says Rudolph. The team is proud of its efficiency and angry that it took the industry so long to get there. “Innovation in this area takes time, but I think part of the reason it’s taken so long is that it’s been ignored for a long time. I think we solved this in a way that has never been done before. I think our numbers prove the game is changing. But it’s also no higher math to be quiet, discreet, and smart. We have not reinvented the way milk is produced. So the fact that women have had to live with these outdated solutions for so long is just insane to me.”

Part of the company’s commitment to stealth meant moving device controls to an app, rather than users rummaging under their clothes. The app keeps track of how much milk has been expressed, can control the pump remotely and can keep track of the stock. That way, nursing mothers can know how much milk is in the fridge and freezer and keep track of consumption.

Babyation optimizes for discretion. Image credit: Babyation

“We actually built an entire feed app. So if I have a caregiver, I can ask the caregiver to provide a specific bottle of milk, and then that will run out of my inventory. We also monitor breastfeeding and we also monitor bottle feeding. We really tried to think carefully about the app,” explains Rudolph. “We also have auto-start and auto-stop; if I’m on the phone at 3pm, but I know I usually pump at 3:30pm, I can do that without fiddling with the pump – that would be the opposite of discretion. Discretion is our north star.”

The company told me there are more than 4,500 people on the waiting list for its product, which bodes well for its launch today. Babyation is primarily a direct-to-consumer brand, and the company sells its system for $499.

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