Milkdrop Breast Pump Cushion

  • 2021

  • Product
    Medical and Scientific

Designed In:


Milkdrop Breast Pump Cushion is a soft silicone cushion designed on the physiology of a baby suckling. Developed in Australia, this product stretches over existing breast pump heads to be softer and far more comfortable for women using pumps to express milk.

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Image: Rhiannon Taylor
Image: Rhiannon Taylor
Image: Rhiannon Taylor
Image: Rhiannon Taylor
Image: Rhiannon Taylor
Image: Rhiannon Taylor
Image: Rhiannon Taylor
Image: Rhiannon Taylor
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  • For every ten women using a breast pump, seven will have nipple pain or discomfort, and eight will feel like a cow. Why? A pump repeatedly drags a woman's nipple against an unnecessarily hard plastic flange. Paired with a clinical and old-fashioned visual design, most women associate pumping with frustration, isolation and pain. Over 85% of babies have mothers who pump, which means that millions of women globally are having their pain and discomfort overlooked by poor design. Our challenge was to change how women feel about breast pumps by improving both the physical and emotional experience of using them.

  • Our plan was to redesign the pumping experience from the nipple up. Our initial concept was a pump that was wearable, quiet, soft, elegant, and bespoke to each woman's anatomy and physiology. We used rapid prototyping (with 3D printing) to develop the design in tight iterations. By iteration #3, we realised that a standalone cushion fitting existing pumps would solve the problem of nipple pain faster and for more women. By iteration #20, we were ready for manufacture. We paired our design with beautiful packaging and user experience. Now, nine out ten women find pumping more comfortable with a Milkdrop.

  • Socially, Milkdrop has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of women, globally. Only just launched, women are finding that it gives them relief, reduces pain, and allows them to continue breastfeeding. We start export this year. Commercially, Milkdrop has allowed us to build loyalty and market share as a new entrant. We have invested two years in creating a high quality, patented product and experience. Environmentally, we set a new benchmark for sustainable design of medical devices, by establishing a circular product reuse and recycling scheme, designing recycled and recyclable packaging and manufacturing locally.

  • Tackling a problem that affects women around the world, and after experiencing pain and damage using pumps herself, Milkdrop founder and engineer, Alexandra Sinickas, worked with medical doctor Andrew Mason and Swinburne University designers Daniel Prohasky and Ravi Bessabava to design an ultra-soft silicone cushion that fits the head of common breast pumps. The soft cushion moulds to the breast and is designed on the physiology of a baby suckling, both cushioning the nipple and providing compressive action around the areola. Milkdrop estimates 140,000 women in Australia and four million women in North America and Europe alone have a poor pumping experience each year. The cushion has already received overwhelmingly positive reviews: "That was the most comfortable pumping experience I've ever had" "It's so cushiony and soft, I had to check it was working" "It really did feel like a little cushion for my breast." "It felt like a nipple hug and made pumping far more I have just fed my baby" "The Milkdrop cushion is the softest, most comfortable attachment for my pump. It has made pumping far more pleasant, reducing all pain and chaffing I normally get with pumping."