Is the Babyation Pump Worth It??
Is the Babyation pump worth it?? At $500 it’s one of the more expensive pumps on the market. The Babyation pump is different than any other pump New Little Life has reviewed before! This pump was made by women engineers. It has quite a few unique parts and functions that we’ll cover in this review. Let’s talk about how it works, what makes it different and then at by the end decide who this pump would be good for and who it wouldn’t be the best for. Remember, unique doesn’t always mean better!
(This post was originally a video. Check it out, here!)
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What Makes the Babyation Different?
Let’s dive into what makes this pump different than other pumps on the market.
First, this is an all-in-one pump system. It’s got bottles, a milk cooler, flanges, and small tubing. There is a nice handle on top. Everything is all in one.
The Babyation is a larger pump. Check out this side by side of the Babyation (left) to the Spectra (right):
The Babyation is a little bit longer width-wise, but it’s very skinny. Compared to the Spectra, the Babyation is about the same weight which is impressive because this is an all-in-one system. You would think being an all-in-one system that’s got your cooler and bottles and everything in there would be heavier! So it’s impressively lightweight.
One of the most innovative parts of the Babyation is the flanges. Compared to a manual/hand pump with a flange and bottle, the one from Babyation is a lot smaller!
There’s a huge difference in how the Babyation flanges work. Since these flanges are incredibly small and short, they’re designed to go in the bra. The Babyation comes with little breast pads to go along with their flanges. The breast pads and flanges sit right inside your bra.
This flange is so small! It differs from some of the other wearable pumps that we have. When you have a wearable pump like the Willow or the Elvie or something like that, the whole motor and everything is right in your bra, right up in your breast. Wearable pumps are a little bulky. They are more discreet than having like a flange hang off of you but it’s still bulky because it’s a lot to be in your bra. On the other hand, the Babyation is one of the most discreet things we’ve ever seen!
Another unique feature of the Babyation is the suction. It’s not a traditional pull release. It does have constant suction which attaches the flange to the breast so it can stay put, meaning you can pump braless. That’s awesome! You can also pump laying down, it doesn’t really matter because this is going to stick to the breast without anything holding it on. Traditional flanges do not do that.
Babyation Flange Sizing
There are three flange sizes available with the Babyation. You can choose two when you order it. For example, you can choose a small and medium or a medium and a large. The sizing is different than traditional flanges. You don’t have to have the exact number like we do on a lot of other flanges.
For more info on flange sizing, you can get out this video. A quick explanation: use the exact measurement of your nipple to measure your flange size.
- 17 millimeters or smaller, you would use a size small
- Between 18-23 millimeters, you would use a medium
- 23 mm or more, you would use a large
Jessica Anderson with Genuine Lactation tried out all three flange sizes. It was really interesting to hear some of her thoughts! Here’s a link to her blog post. New Little Life loves working with Genuine Lactation! They also do a lot of pump stuff which is really cool.
Tubing for the Babyation
Next, let’s dive into another big part of this pump which is the tubing. The Babyation has a little bag with a magnet where you can store the tubing in between pumping sessions. This unique tubing is what makes the whole pump work. It has two tubes. They’re very small and they’re attached to one another. One tube is for air, one tube is for milk.
One end of the tubing goes in the bottom of the flange. (There is a quick guide in the instructions it comes with. It shows you how to set it up!) Then there’s a little hard part that goes on the flange, too. The hard piece is needed to make the Babyation work effectively.
The Babyation is actually a multi-user pump because you can just get your own set of tubes and flanges and there is nothing is going through the mechanism. When you’ve finished your pumping journey you can pass this on to another mom. You could share it at work if you wanted to! (You’d have to double check what the motor life is on it but sanitation wise you could totally use this for multiple users).
How to Set Up the Babyation
To continue, set up starts with the flange, that’s the part that goes in your bra. Then, there’s a part that goes on the little post. You can turn the post on or off so if you only want to pump one side, you totally can, just turn the post off or on. The post is where this suction is. You’re going to hook it the tubing on the post and the other end goes in the bottle.
You can probably guess that this pump is not hackable with other pump parts. So, you cannot use different flanges, different bottles, or different tubing. It is what it is.
The Babyation Learning Curve
The most common issue with the Babyation is a set up error. Either the tubing isn’t seated where it needs to go, or that part isn’t nested on the post correctly.
On that note, this pump does have a learning curve. Although all pumps have a learning curve. If you’ve pumped before, you can set this up and figure this out pretty quickly. If this is your very first pump, read the instructions. Honestly, if it’s your first time pumping, you’ll have to do that with any pump. Customer service at Babyation is fantastic! If you run into any problems at all, just reach out to them.
Next, you have a couple different pumping modes to choose from with the Babyation. Stimulation mode is one of the fastest speeds that the Babyation reaches. It’s kind of a pulsing motion. When Allison tried this out, her nipple only went in about halfway and then it just kind of pulsed. For a more in-depth look at this suction in stimulation mode, check out this Instagram video, here.
This suction pattern is different than other pumps. It’s not doing like that tugging motion that you see with other pumps. The suction is kind of ballooning or pulsing.
The company claims that it’s better for elastic nipples. Everyone has elasticity in their breast tissue, but if you have a lot and you consistently find with other pumps that your nipples are hitting the back or they’re stretching so far, you might have elastic nipples. This really shouldn’t be an issue with the Babyation because it’s not pulling your nipple at all. It’s just pulsing it, tugging it from the sides. It’s really cool to watch!
Sucks Like a Baby
In Allison’s opinion, the Babyation’s suction is more consistent to what a baby does. A baby is not actually pulling the nipple clear down and stretching it to crazy lengths like you see in a traditional pump. The mechanisms of a baby suckling at the breast is much more similar to this Babyation pump than traditional pumps. The creators of the Babyation did a lot of research on sucking and decided to make it this way on purpose, which is cool!
While you’re pumping, air is coming in one side and milk is coming into the other. Milk travels all the way down this tube and into the bottle.
Babyation also has an app. You can control all of modes on the app.
A Major Downside to the Babyation??
Alright, here’s where this pump gets interesting. This is probably one of the the biggest downsides to the Babyation. Although, you’ll just have to decide how big of an issue it is for you. If you get milk in the tube you cannot clean these tubes. They are too small and they will never dry. If you do try to do but don’t get them dry, that it will ruin your pump. Babyation’s guidelines are that these tubes need to be replaced every 24 hours.
If you’re using your pump throughout the day, you can store it in its container since it has a little cooler. This seems like the fridge hack. Also, breastmilk can sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours per the CDC. So, you can let your milk sit in the tube and then run it through another pumping cycle again. It’s not going to be a problem, especially if you’ve got a cooler pack in there.
If you go more than six hours between pumps, then you do need a new set of tubes. The milk just can’t sit in there that long. So, that’s the only major downside, in Allison’s opinion, to this pump. You will be using quite a bit of tubing.
Cost of Babyation Tubing
The tubing is not that expensive. It does come with 20 sets of tubing. You can use coupon code NEWLITTLELIFE to get 20 additional sets of tubing for free.
20 sets of tubing is $35 dollars. You’re looking at a $1.75 per set per day. Something you need to consider with this pump is the cost of use.
If you’re a working mom pumping five days a week for four weeks, you would need a set of 20 tubes a month for $35. (Other pumps that have a cost per use are the Willow. If you are using the Willow bags those are about 50 cents each. The Babyation is not the only pump that has additional costs.)
However, you have to take the cost of these tubes into consideration if you want this pump. Other tubing won’t work for the Babyation. And, you cannot clean these tubes and reuse them because you could get water inside the pump and ruin it.
Babyation does have a recycling program. You can partner with them to recycle the tubes which is cool.
Pros of the Babyation
Now, for the list of pros and cons:
First, the Babyation is super discreet, even more discreet than wearable pumps. You do have tubing but the bulkiness here is almost nothing. There are two different sizes of pads based on your actual breast size. You stick it right in your bra. It’s so easy! This is a really discreet design. You can actually have the tubing inside the pump itself, close it up and no one would know what this is. If you’re looking for something discreet for the workplace, the Babyation works really well.
- Next, the Babyation is multi-user. That is a cool pro!
- Another pro is that the all-in-one pump, with bottles, and cooler storage is all you are going to need to take with you. Headed for a day out when pumping? Everything you need is all in one. There’s no bulky parts.
- The Babyation takes a minimal amount of cleaning. It’s pretty much one piece to clean because you don’t clean the tubes and the bottles are all stored in there. That’s crazy cool!
- The customer service Babyation provides is excellent!
- You can use whatever bra you want or even no bra!
- Babyation has an app for use and tracking your milk.
- Forget a lot of the other stuff you’ve dealt with regarding flange sizing, Babyation flanges are very forgiving. The different suction pattern allows for a smaller flange. It’s not that tug and release system like most pumps. Instead it’s pulsing (which is another pro: this pulsing is very similar to the way a baby eats at the breast!)
- The battery option is great so it does not need to be plugged in.
- The Babyation is also very quiet!
Cons of the Babyation
Here’s our list of cons/considerations that you just need to be aware of
- The operating cost is pretty high with this pump. The tubing has to be replaced every 24 hours. That does add up.
- There is a learning curve just because it’s an atypical design. (It’s not hard to figure out though and they include all these little quick guide cards with it so it makes it really easy).
- The Babyation is not hackable with other parts. So, if you really like Lacktech flanges, you will not be able to use that here. (But, honestly you won’t want to because these Babyation flanges are great!)
- It does turn off with any kind of minor tilting. And, you’re still hooked up to tubing.
These cons are just some things to consider for the Babyation pump.
Overall, the Babyation is a really cool pump! The design is innovative. It could be one of the most comfortable pumps we’ve tried because of the unique suction style. The all in one design is great, too.
A downside is how often you have to replace that tubing. That design feature is how they were able to get some of these other features that moms have been asking for. It’s a give and take, right?
Is the Babyation Good for Working Moms?
This pump would be great for working moms, moms who are pumping often or moms that are exclusively pumping. You could get a full day’s worth out of your tubing or if you’re gonna be pumping at work, use the same tubing for the whole day. It’s super discreet, it’s quiet, and it would be ideal for working moms.
The Babyation is a great compromise between a traditional and wearable pump. It’s discreet and mostly wearable (except for the tubing) but it still empties efficiently like a traditional pump.
There’s also a lot more room for hands-on pumping. A common complaint about with the wearable pumps is that there’s just not enough room to get your hands on and help with that flow. But Babyation flanges are so tiny that you have room to adjust things without taking the pump off.
If you want minimal parts to clean, this is that pump! The Babyation has by far the fewest number of cleaning parts that we’ve seen.
The Babyation is all in one which makes it great for traveling. You don’t have to pack multiple sets of flanges, bottles, or bags.
Is the Babyation Good for Someone that Doesn’t Pump a Lot?
However, there are a couple of scenarios where the Babyation would not be the ideal pump for you.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom or you’re just going to be pumping here and there, the cost of of running the Babyation is something you really need to consider. You have to get a new tubing every 24 hours and that’s a cost to consider.
But, the major cost of the Babyation is the pump itself. At $500, it is not cheap! You just have to weigh what your lifestyle is like, what your pumping needs are going to be. If you’re not pumping a lot, or you don’t need to have a discreet pump, the Babyation may not be necessary for you.
Is the Babyation Good for Someone with an Oversupply?
Also, something to note, the bottle capacity on here is 5 ounces. If you are a mom who consistently pumps a lot more than 5 ounces on one breast, this may also not be the ideal pump for you. You will have to change that bottle which would be a little bit annoying mid pump session.
Overall, the Babyation is a really interesting pump! There’s a couple scenarios where this would be a dynamite option for you.
If you’re interested in more deep dives on pumps like this one, you should subscribe to New Little Life’s private YouTube community! New Little Life’s founder Allison, along with Jessica from Genuine Lactation, review pumps and give you all the super specific details each pump has to offer!