Need immediate assistance? Call 1-518-730-0559 (Us-Canada Toll Free) or Contact Us


Even Three Decades after Their Launch, Breast Pumps Cause Discomfort to Users – What are Manufacturers Missing?

Blog Description

Although breast pumps hit the commercial scene in 1981 with Medela, a Swiss company, bringing a range of hospital grade pumps to the market, the evolution of these pumps has not kept pace with expectations. In the early 1990s, the same company stepped beyond hospital grade pumps to launch more compact electric breast pumps that women could use in their homes. The pumps, based on a vacuum suction mechanism that imitates the suckling action of a baby’s mouth, were targeted mainly at working women. The vacuum suction mechanism in these pumps is still widely used in the many breast pump models currently on the market.

Browse the full Global Breast Pumps Market Report:

What’s concerning is that for a product that has been on the commercial market for over three decades, breast pumps still cause lactating mothers a great degree of discomfort even today. Women using breast pumps face issues such as cracked skin around the nipples, abrasions, and bruises. Experts point out that breast pump makers still need to bring about more improvements to their products.

Better milk expression, quieter operation, and a contraption that’s less complicated overall is what users want breast pumps to offer. While there’s no denying that companies in the global breast pumps market are already working on these aspects, breakthroughs have been very sporadic.

Breast Pump Innovation – Trends and Trailblazers

It’s not just breast pump technology that has remained largely unchanged over the last few decades. The competitive scenario has not changed much either. Larger brands such as Medela and Evenflo continue to remain at the forefront of the market in terms of both sales and revenue. But the last few years have brought about a slight change to the way smaller companies are competing in the global breast pumps market. For these players, who do not enjoy the privilege of a rich business legacy like their larger competitors, innovation has been the sharpest competitive tool.

Nevertheless, more and more innovation is now being reported from the laboratories of both small and large players in the global breast pumps market. Here’s a round-up:

  • Limerick, Inc., one of the smaller competitors in the breast pumps market, developed a revamped version of the breast pump and even had their technology patented and approved by the FDA. The company then proceeded to launch a line of breast pumps that comprises products that closely imitate the suckling action of an infant thanks to their soft and flexible silicone breast cups (most breast pumps currently using rigid plastic flanges for breast caps). The product also has fewer moving parts, making maintenance easier and the weight of the product lighter.
  • Medela, on its part, recently released a breast pump based on extensive research centered on the feeding needs of women with preterm babies. The pump helps improve milk expression and takes less time to do so. However, the company has thus far not introduced any radically different technologies for breast pump design or operation.
  • Susan Thompson, an engineer who participated in a Breast Pump Hackathon held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) a couple of years ago, designed a breast pump that can be worn underneath clothing and offers hands-free usage. The innovative device essentially comprises electronic caps that are placed on the breasts; compression and suction technology that mimics a baby’s suckling action; flexible, round storage bags where milk is collected. Once full, the bags can be detached from pump and refrigerated.

Although greater innovation in breast pumps will likely benefit more working mothers, the lack of enough funding will impede ambitious projects in the market.

Browse the full Press Release of Global Breast Pumps Market :