Before launching Lilu, our founders spoke with hundreds of mamas across the country and learned so much about what their day-to-day breastfeeding journey looks like. No two mamas are the same and so no two journeys are the same, either. Yet, there was one common challenge that kept resurfacing: not being able to pump enough milk, especially with the limited time moms have in a day
Many moms were exhausted. They also felt guilty or frustrated and that pumping felt like a chore. For many, it felt like they were trying to fill up a leaky bucket. And invariably, many moms felt alone in that process and felt maybe pumping was difficult but just for them. But that is not true—more often than not, pumping is a challenge.
We began digging deeper into what tricks moms were using to make pumping work for them, we set out to find out what helped. Moms reported spending most of their time massaging their breasts for full expression. That’s a whole lot of work and sometimes, with little reward.
Additionally, a large percentage of moms were pumping from ill-equipped offices. Instead of pumping from a dedicated mother’s room, they were pumping from bathrooms, unused offices, the file room and even closets. Motherhood can feel so isolating and having to do that makes it feel worse.
Outdated breastfeeding technologies paired with a lack of compression and breast massage products out there make things extra difficult, even now. That’s why we created the Lilu Massage Bra. It is the first ever bra that does the massage for you, empowering moms on their pumping journey, allowing them to pump more milk in less time, all while going completely hands-free. That, plus knowing that you've fully emptied your breasts and won’t have to worry about leaking during your next work meeting is a game changer.
Moms are often excluded from the narrative
First off, let’s state the obvious: when it comes to advancing technology, new moms have been vastly ignored from the narrative. Many moms today are holding down jobs and achieving their breastfeeding goals. Technology simply hasn’t caught up to addressing their needs.
If you look at the history of breastfeeding in the United States, a lot has changed. Moms of the previous generation primarily used formula and therefore didn’t need to worry about finding a place to breastfeed or pump every couple of hours. The generation before that did breastfeed, but as most women didn’t hold jobs, they had the time and also the freedom to nurse in the privacy (and comfort) of their homes.
As a breastfeeding mom in 2021, returning to the office (and even if you’re working from home) can be challenging. Breast pumps aren’t as efficient as baby nursing, so the majority of moms rely on breastfeeding massage while pumping to produce enough milk to feed their babies. Breast pumping is exhausting as it is, let alone when you throw hand massage into the mix.
The technology is pretty new
Our technology is designed with the feedback and support of hundreds of moms and backed by science, so that breast pumping is comfortable and compatible with all of life’s successes. This is important because, as some of our moms have shared with us, not all companies producing breastfeeding products are doing so with their needs or comfort in mind.
One Lilu Mom, Dina notes that breast pumps aren’t always well designed. A big problem with pumping is that you need to lean forward for the milk to flow downwards, which is bad for the back. Whereas, flanges that angle downwards are more comfortable and allow you to sit up with your back straight while pumping.
You’re only pumping some of the time
Any mom that pumps can benefit from using the Lilu Massage Bra. There are so many reasons why you might choose to pump, even if you don’t pump everyday. For example, maybe you’re heading out of town for a few days and want to plan ahead, you’re going on a date night and someone else is taking care of your little one, or perhaps you pump occasionally at work. It could be any number of reasons.
You didn’t know you needed it
Yes, breast massage is a major time and energy saver, but the benefits don’t stop there. Breast massage has been shown to produce milk, reduce pain and engorgement, encourage better milk flow and better latching.
One study showed that moms who received a thirty-minute massage two times a day had lower sodium levels in their breast milk. They also had higher levels of lipids, solids, gross energy and casein.
In the same study, moms experienced reduced pain while breastfeeding. A big reason for this is because the baby was able to consume more milk and it was easier to drain the breast. Massage works to loosen clogged ducts so things can flow smoothly again. Furthermore, breast massage helps produce oxytocin, which relaxes the milk duct muscles.
The Lilu Massage Bra enables pumping moms to express up to 50-percent more milk per session. It mimics a hand massage, making it easier to relax and fully emptying your breasts. This encourages milk production, ensuring that you can not only maintain but increase your milk production if you want to, even while being away from your baby.
Emptying your breasts fully also allows you to feel more comfortable as you go about your day and decreases the possibility of leaking, engorgement and painful clogged ducts.
The Lilu Massage Bra will give you the peace of mind to know that you can still go about your day, while continuing to provide your milk for your baby and it's a way of taking care of yourself without feeling all that mom guilt.
Lilu is a Women’s Health company building tech-enabled devices to empower new moms. Our first product, the Lilu Massage Bra, mimics compression massage, so you can empty your breasts fully to establish, increase and maintain your milk supply. Pump up to 50% more milk each session, all while going hands-free.
The Lilu Massager + Bra is designed to make pumping moms’ lives easier. It works with your pump so that you can produce up to 50% more milk per pumping session completely hands-free. It enables you to actually get stuff done or simply relax while pumping. Reach your pumping goals, with Lilu.