How Elvie is using wearables to make life easier for new mums

CEO Tania Boler talks Pump and the future of female health tech
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

There’s plenty of technology on the market designed to look stylish, make a bold statement or shake up your current routine. But we love learning about the wearable tech that’s been conceived to address some of our biggest day-to-day challenges and fit around our lives – rather than the other way around.

That’s why we’ve been interested in the thinking behind the Pump from Elvie, a new wearable device that could make a big difference to the lives of mums.

Essential reading: Living with Elvie's women's health wearable

The Elvie Pump is the world’s first silent, wearable breast pump. It’s designed to make newbie mums’ lives much easier by giving them a solution to pump milk that’s not only hands-free, quiet and convenient but can be done pretty much anywhere.

To those who haven’t had to pump milk before, this may sound a bit “so what?” But up until now, pumping milk for your baby has been awkward and inconvenient for some mums as it can be loud, the pump itself can be cumbersome to carry around and you often have to break from your work, routine, train of thought or wake up your baby to do it because it’s so loud and requires both hands.

We spoke to Elvie CEO Tania Boler about the thinking behind the Elvie Pump, the future of Elvie and the company’s mission to combine tech and design smarts to create products that could make a real difference to women’s lives.

Shouting about silent tech

How Elvie is using wearables to make life easier for new mums

There are plenty of breast pumps currently on the market, but their design is often bulky and the way they operate can be loud. But the technology inside the Elvie Pump is different to what we’ve seen from breast pumps on the market before, and it’s been engineered with convenience for women in mind.

“It’s a complete departure from existing pump technology,” Boler explains. “It creates suction with a differentiated technology that makes it virtually silent so that mothers can pump in peace anytime and anywhere.”

Right now if women want to pump milk they have to do it in a private space and step away from their desk or their plans. But Elvie plans to change that, allowing women to pump milk at work, at home, while out running errands, wherever they are, because it’s wearable and can be hidden within a nursing bra.

How Elvie is using wearables to make life easier for new mums

It’s not just the design and method of pumping milk that’s convenient, but every step after too. Elvie connects up to an app that allows you to view real-time milk volume and track your pumping history for each breast.

The Elvie Pump also uses proprietary tech to detect how much milk is in the bottle, enabling it to notify you when the bottle is full and it then automatically pauses the pump. You can also control the Elvie Pump with your phone for less hassle too.

Measuring up against the competition

How Elvie is using wearables to make life easier for new mums

Elvie’s technology and design may be very new, but it’s not the first smart breast pump to hit the market. Willow launched a product with a similar look and mission last year, so we asked Boler about the different approaches to refreshing breast pump technology for the modern day.

Read this: The best smartwatches for women

“While Willow share’s our ambition to solve women’s frustrations with pumping and also arrived at the wearable concept, the way we went about solving the problem was completely different,” Boler tells us, and it’s all down to the suction tech inside.

“Willow relies on a traditional mechanical motor to create suction. We create suction in a completely new and unique way, making Elvie Pump silent, as well as substantially smaller, lighter and easier to use,” Boler says. “Ultimately, this delivers a completely different user experience.”

Elvie sounds like a solid wearable tech device that could provide the answer to lots of the challenges new mums face.

Defining the future of female health tech

How Elvie is using wearables to make life easier for new mums

If the Elvie brand sounds familiar, that’s because it’s also the brains behind Trainer, which was launched last year. The Kegel trainer and app combo promises to make exercising the pelvic floor fun and easy to do wherever you are.

Like the Pump, the idea is it’s designed to fit tech into our busy lifestyles – not change up our routines to crowbar shiny new tech in. “Both products are solving real problems that these women are facing daily,” Boler says. “They build on our vision to transform the way women think and feel about themselves.”

Boler is a firm believer in using tech to improve the health and lives of women at all stages of their live, which means we can expect the Trainer and the Pump to be just the beginning.

“We plan to have four products on the market by 2020,” Boler says. “Ultimately, the vision is for Elvie to be the ultimate hub for women’s connected health and lifestyle products.”

How we test

Becca Caddy


Becca has been writing about technology for nearly ten years. In that time she’s covered topics from robotics and virtual reality to simulated universe theory and brain-computer interfaces for a wide range of titles, including TechRadar, New Scientist, Wired UK, OneZero by Medium, Stuff, T3, Metro and many more.

She’s passionate about helping people wade through tech jargon to find useful products they’ll actually use – with a focus on health and wellbeing.

Becca is also interested in how scientific developments and technological advances will impact us all in the near future. Many of her features ask big questions about what’s in store for wearable technology, especially the potential of virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

She spends a lot of time interviewing researchers and academics to explore the ethical implications of a world increasingly filled with tech. She’s a big fan of science-fiction, has just traded in her boxing gloves for weight-lifting gloves and spends way too much time in virtual reality – current favourites include painting in TiltBrush and whizzing through space in No Man’s Sky.

Related stories