by Anmol AhujaDec 07, 2021
When London-based mom of two, Tania Boler, got pregnant with her first child, she struggled to find effective solutions that would ease the journey for her. What was available in the market in the name of pelvic floor trainers and breast pumps were gadgets that were too clumsy in their mechanism and which largely inhibited women to use them with confidence in public areas. The perception of these products as well as of women’s health during postpartum and breastfeeding experience were issues that were downright tabooed. Determined to stir a change, Boler, who has degrees from both Oxford and the Stanford Universities and a PhD in Sexual Reproductive Health, founded Elvie in 2013.
The first product coming out of the British health and lifestyle brand was Elvie Trainer, launched in 2015, that addressed the urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse that women often experience after child birth. Inserted like a tampon and designed to strengthen and tone the pelvic floor, the revolutionary Kegel training technology could be connected to an app where it guides you through fun workouts to track the contractions. From pelvic health, the focus shifted to breastfeeding, and led to the launch of a series of innovations. Kicking off with Elvie Pump, an ultra-quiet wearable design that offers mothers the ultimate pumping performance and discretion; one of their recent innovations in this domain is the Elvie Curve. A smart and hassle-free technology, Elvie Curve is a silicone breast pump that can be worn inside any nursing bra for a seamless milk expression. The discreet, hands-free device requires no cords, batteries or a motor, and it follows a simple mechanism. Once positioned on one breast, one could press the contours of the flexible silicone cup to trigger a natural suction that pumps milk. The beauty of it is that one could simultaneously engage one breast to express milk from the pump, and feed the child from the other. The product, as per the Elvie team, "is the ultimate tool for 'mom-tasking' — even when she is on-the-move."
Differentiated from the Elvie Pump in the absence of the need of batteries, both the innovations, however, allow flexibility and comfort for mothers to “pump anywhere, anytime”. The device is made of a compact plastic body housing the hemispherical silicone cup. A curved opening at the top of the product enables women to adjust their nipple, in position, before pressing the silicone surface for milk express. What makes Elvie Curve stand apart from the conventional breast pumps is the lack of a need of continuous pressing to suck the milk out. Upon squeezing the cup, Elvie Curve creates a vacuum that renders gentle suction on the breasts by the slow deformation of the pouch. One just needs to apply a tender pressure every one or two minutes for consistency in the milk flow. A valve built within the container, when pressed, allows one to easily take the product off, or to lessen the suction.
Elvie Curve is born from the efforts of a team of women designers and several mothers from across the globe whose thought-provoking insights helped building the final product. Other products launched as part of the breastfeeding range are the Elvie Catch (a set of breastmilk collection cups with slip-proof security) and Elvie Stride (a hand-free electric breast pump). The wearable technology marks a revolutionary step in de-stigmatising the notion of maternity aids by giving woman freedom to express milk wherever and however they like, without a speck of hesitance.