Hands-free breast pump vs. cord mess?

I'm interested in the simplicity of a hands-free breast pump, like Willow, but I am curious to hear from real people who have used this product and compared it to the Medela Symphony or other stationary/corded pump?

  • Sara
    Jan 07

    I bought a Willow and never got around to figuring out how to set it up. I still use the Medela Symphony though it's a hassle to lug around so I one for at home and for the office (I rented them both).

  • Nupur
    Jan 07

    I bought willow in June. It worked well for me ! Loved the cord free feature. Very simple to use but needs practice.

  • Irina
    Jan 07

    I have a Willow - its a breeze! I also have Medela Freestyle. I dont care for Medela much the one good thing about it is that you can combine pumped milk from few sessions in a day. Willow - tons if pros. The Con is that you cant add milk together after multiple pumping sessions since its in a sealed bag. Well you can, but have to cut the bag open and pour into a container.... If you produce enough milk at each pumping session then its no prob. I just have to add it all up since I can only pump little at a time :/

  • Lisa
    Jan 08

    @irina, can you re-use the bags, if you wash them out? Or are they impossible to re-use because you have to cut them open?

  • Irina
    Jan 08

    Bags are one time use only. They are vacuum sealed, so once you cut them open - they are done.

  • Irina
    Jan 08

    Also here is a bit more comprehensive Pro/Cons for Willow. Pros: -easy set up, put them in your bra and lean back to relax! (Really you cant lean back with any other pump) -you can move around, clean, wash dishes, bend over, etc. no milk spilled! -easy clean (take the bag out, clean 2 pieces of each pump or put then in a dishwasher). No tubes, flanges, cords, none of that mess. -Ive pumped in the car, while traveling, at work, pretty much anywhere Cons: -if you have large breasts, its not discreet. I look like I had a boob job when Willow is on HAHA its pretty bulky and has some weight to it, sits on top of the breast. -will get expensive since bags are 1 time use (but no bottles to clean while pumping, so I guess convenience = price) -you need a nursing bra, since it has to stretch to hold it in place. I use iLoveSia ones.

  • Lisa
    Jan 08

    Thanks @Irina! Super helpful.

  • Kay
    Jan 09

    Hi there, I’ve been using the Willow since November and have had nothing but issues. I have three kids so I was so excited to use a hand free pump! The first time I got mastitis I stopped using the Willow and used my standard Medela instead. The issue would get resolved by pumping with the Medela or being put on a prescription. I’ve had clogged ducts due to using the Willow pump as well. After getting mastitis for the second time, I’ve decided I’ll never use it again. For anyone that’s had mastitis you can understand how terrible it is! Since I’ve had mastitis twice, which is odd, I have to go for a mammogram and an ultrasound to make sure there isn’t an abscess. I was hopeful the Willow was going to be a huge help to our busy family but it’s done the opposite. I’ve exclusively pumped with my first two children with the Medela and never had any issues. I’ll be sticking with what I know works from now on.

  • Kay
    Jan 09

    Congrats by the way!