Wearable breast pump are incredibly convenient for any pumping parent, but my biggest problem with them is how dear they are. The price point prevents them from getting the hands (and shirts) of parents who would benefit from them. So I started digging around for cheaper pumps that were available and found the Imani i2.
It has zero frills, and I mean zero: This sucker (pun intended) is just two pumps on top of two plastic cups with flanges that you put inside them. There’s no screen or timer to know how long you’ve been pumping, and no app or pairing to your phone, just four buttons on the top to control it. But even with the ultra-minimalist controls and a little troubleshooting, I found myself pumping as much milk—sometimes more!—as functional pumps that cost three times as much. at the price.
Small but Mighty
The Imani i2 has a simple design. It has a clear plastic collection cup with the motor on top, and the flanges and pump pieces are connected inside the plastic cup. The pump is built by Imani and distributed in the US by Legendairy Milk.
The motor is easy to turn on and off—so easy, you might think it’s not a strong connection to use. But I have seen great results using the Imani i2. My goal in a pump session is to get at least 3 ounces, but a few times with the Imani I’ve gotten over 5 ounces in the same amount of time I pump with a more expensive wearable. bombs. It’s also comfortable to wear, and while it’s a bit heavy on the top (definitely doesn’t slouch while wearing it), I find that the cups fit my bras better than the larger Willow pumps.
The Imani motor includes two modes, massage and expression. Imani recommends starting with massage, a low-suction mode with high speed, for a few minutes to activate the letdown before switching to expression mode, a higher suction but lower speed that mode. It’s supposed to mimic how the baby latch works throughout the pumping session, but unlike pumps like the Willow Go (8/10, WIRED Recommended), you have to switch the settings yourself. Willow lets you switch manually, but it does it automatically after two minutes.
For other pump parts, the rubber parts are similar to the usual breast pump duckbill and backflow protector parts. But you’ll want to restock them from Imani’s partners to make sure they fit the pump properly, as their versions have a slight edit to the standard design. They’re cheap—Legendairy lists various nonelectric pump parts for about $8 to $12 each—so it doesn’t hurt to stock up on backups.
The Imani i2 has a 25-mm breast shield, aka the part that sits on your chest and above your nipple, and a 21-mm insert, which can be added to the breast shield to fit smaller areolas. Measure yourself to see if you need a different size—Imani has 17-mm and 19-mm inserts sold separately, and larger chest shields, too. Wearing the right size is the key to collecting the most milk, and to avoid hurting yourself while pumping. Imani offers a measurement guide so you can see your size, but you need to give them your email to get the downloadable ruler in your email.
Unlike other major wearable breast pumps, this is not a smart pump. It doesn’t have an app, can’t track your pumping sessions or how much milk you’ve pumped, and can’t even tell you how long you’ve been pumping.
It has five buttons on top of the motor: one for each mode, two buttons to raise and lower the level of the mode you choose, and a power button. It also has five small lights that will signal what level you are at, and a light for the battery that will glow red when the battery is low or signal that it is currently charging.