First-time mum Renée Lapino gets to grips with the brand-new Elvie Stride.
[words by Renée Lapino]
I love being able to breastfeed my baby, but as a busy working mum, finding the time to pump has never been easy. When I heard about the Stride – the new breast pump from female wellness brand Elvie – I leapt at the chance to try it. I’d always wanted a hands-free option that was both quiet and lightweight enough for me to use discreetly at work and this seemed to tick every box.
With no restrictive wires or obscenely loud humming (IYKYK), the Stride really is something of a game-changer. It’s available as both a single or a double pump, and markets itself as an ‘in-bra device that sits comfortably under clothing and moves with you’, meaning mothers can express efficiently and discreetly wherever and whenever they need.
It also provides hospital-grade strength – up to -300mmHg (single) or -270mmHg (double) – and gives women the option to choose between 10 intensity settings in both Stimulation and Expression mode (so 20 in total), and you can connect to the free Elvie app which even allows you to control the pump remotely, save your preferred settings and track pump history.
Sounds like it could be complicated, right? It can feel a tad overwhelming when you first open the box – particularly if this is your first time using a breast pump – but once I got my head around all the parts, it’s super simple to use and I managed to get started without even having to read the instructions. You’ll also find tutorials on the app, which can be helpful to watch.
I opted for the Double, which fit neatly inside my bra with ease. With 20 different settings, it really allows you to be in control of your pumping. I found the suction to be gentle – so gentle that at first, I wasn’t sure if it was even on and had to check it multiple times.
But it does the job amazingly well – just as well as the hospital-grade pump I used just after my baby was born.
And it gives you so much freedom. Oh, the freedom! I could work in my clinic, move around the house, attend to my baby girl – no longer was I chained to the sofa like I had been all those months prior with my non-portable pump.
I loved that it was quiet (not completely silent, but much, much quieter than all other pumps I’ve known) and it felt as lightweight as it claimed to be, too (less than 150g per cup).
I did think it made my breasts look quite large, but I’m already wearing an H-cup so perhaps it wouldn’t look so obvious on anyone who’s a smaller cup size.
With no wires, I was concerned about battery life, but I needn’t have been. I managed to pump around two or three times before it needed a boost, so if I charged it every night after work, I was fine for the next day.
There was absolutely zero leakage, too, which surprised me, as I’d heard this was an issue with most hands-free pumps! If I had to pick a downside (and I am being picky) it was perhaps a little tricky to clean. But then, aren’t most products like this?
The truth is, breastfeeding is without doubt one of the toughest parts of motherhood, but innovative, empowering products like this one are giving mothers the freedom and the break they often so desperately need. No, it doesn’t come cheap but, in my opinion, this is one item absolutely worth the investment.
Elvie Stride is priced at £169 (Single) or £299 (Double), available at John Lewis, Amazon, Boots and Elvie.com.