Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Savon Medimart will soon have the “Freemie” available in stores. The Freemie® is a new breast pump system which effectively allows a woman to pump breast milk without taking her shirt off. Moms working hard to provide breast milk for their babies know that two of the biggest impediments to pumping are finding the time and an acceptable place. Dan Garbez, co-founder of Dao Health, the California company that developed the Freemie system, points out the obvious, “We do have the only viable breast pump system that does not require a woman to take her clothes off to use it. At the heart of the Freemie pumping system are cup-shaped devices with specially integrated breast funnels. The old horns and milk bottles are no more. The Freemie cups fit inside a woman’s regular bra, connect to her breast pump for suction, and collect her milk in the cups – right there inside her bra, underneath her clothes.
The Freemie system is the brainchild of Garbez’s wife, Stella Dao, an emergency physician who delivered the couple’s twins prematurely. Dr. Dao was dependent on a pump for several months to help her make the milk her 3 pound preemies so desperately needed. “I could not use the equipment that was available at that time and go back to work in an emergency room. Having to undress and find a private room in such a chaotic place, and be unavailable to nurses and patients was - to put it kindly - completely impractical,” said Dr. Dao. After developing the concept, the couple then recruited a world class team of medical device and startup professionals to perfect the idea and bring it to the world.
The cups have to be big enough to hold the milk, and to accommodate a breast funnel in order to be effective at extracting milk. But for the user, the Freemie cups and her milk are secure in her bra, and she can keep her shirt on. With the right attire, many women are able to pump in public environments, and nobody’s the wiser. Since the concept is so new to a mass audience, the company believes it is important to help potential customers visualize this new style of pumping. You can view the system online at http://www.savonmedimart.com/freemie.html
The Freemie® cups are available with a quiet electric pump (Freemie Freedom) and the world’s only concealable, one-handed, double manual pump (Freemie Equality). But the biggest surprise - in a market where almost every company’s pump and milk collection systems are proprietary, and not interchangeable - is that these revolutionary collection cups are compatible with the most popular pumps on the market. Garbez said, “A lot of companies make a pretty decent vacuum pump that will extract breast milk. It’s pretty basic technology, and has been in use for more than a century. It doesn’t need to get too complicated. What was missing was a modern user interface.
Many women also seem surprised that they found the Freemie cups more comfortable than their old pump equipment. They collect and hold the milk right around the breast, secure in a woman’s bra, just as her breast is supported by that bra. The center of gravity that her bra is supporting barely moves as the milk collects, so the shifting weight of her milk is insignificant. Dr. Dao is quick to point out that pumping is a very personal endeavor, and the company is only providing one set of tools among dozens in the market for customers to choose from. “Mom still has to do all the work. And some women have routines or habits or other needs that may require a different set of tools than the hands free tools we’re focused on. But for the vast majority of women around the world and across cultures, where electrical power may or may not be available, or where cultural norms require modesty, pumping can be a whole lot easier. We are helping thousands of moms meet their breastfeeding goals who couldn’t continue lactation without us. Soon, we will be helping millions. It’s humbling. But it’s also exciting!”