Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) September 15, 2009
In what may be a first, an ER Doctor demonstrated a breast pump - on herself - on live television in full view of the camera during a morning interview. And no, it wasn't cable.
The interview with Dr. Stella Dao by local CBS morning anchor Lisa Gonzales took place on affiliated station CW31's Good Day Sacramento, the largest morning show in central California. But the interview is unlikely to generate any complaints to the station, since Dr. Dao, the inventor of a patented new system called the Freemie, was fully clothed during the entire interview. (Watch the interview with Dr. Dao on the show's Momtrepreneur$ feature page.) The patented features of the Freemie system make it possible for a woman to comfortably pump hands-free, with her clothes on, at her desk or workstation or some other non-private setting, if she prefers or must.
Traditional breast pump systems require a woman to undress and expose themselves, which is why many larger employers are required to provide private lactation rooms for women returning from maternity leave. Nonetheless, most new moms still have a difficult time finding an adequate place or enough time during the day to pump breast milk.
Dr. Dao's Freemie system (click here to go to the Freemie website) utilizes a novel way to collect breast milk, while still using the more desirable large electric breast pumps like those used in most hospitals and carried to work by millions of moms. There are no milk bottles. The Freemie system is used in place of the breast pump's funnel and bottle assemblies. The devices are bowl-shaped and incorporate a breast funnel and valve system into a milk reservoir that is shaped to fit over the breasts and inside a woman's ordinary bra. When the woman has finished pumping, the devices can be easily removed, and the milk is then stored in a bottle or bag.
During the live television interview, Dr. Dao was giving an overview of how the system works. When she connected to the pump's tubing, Gonzales asked, "Should I turn it on?" Dr. Dao replied, "You could!" So she did - possibly making history for both of them. The Freemie was just unveiled late this summer but has already been described as "brilliant" by medical professionals.
In preparation for the live interview, Gonzales, who has a baby at home, pumped with the Freemie system and collected milk on camera while reviewing it for the TV show's internet audience. She enthusiastically concluded, "It works!" (Watch Lisa's Review of the Freemie system on her Prego & Beyond Posse blog.)
While Gonzales pumped hands free in the video, she was able to operate the computer and video equipment on her own, display the product manual and give her impressions of the Freemie system simultaneously. Gonzales admitted that she is uncomfortable nursing in public, but for some women the invention "would be great for the workplace." Later in the video Gonzales reported again, "It's actually working right now."
When asked by her co-anchors during the live interview if she had earlier pumped on the air, Gonzales said, "There is no truth to that rumor. No, I was not pumping during the CBS 13 news this morning, but I could have been!"
Dr. Dao watched Lisa's video review after the interview, and added, "Lisa's my hero. It took courage for a shy woman to pump on camera and then post it on the internet for a large audience. Her situation, with her time so tightly constrained, is an extreme example, but millions of women like Lisa also have no time and no place to pump at work. And most are uncomfortable even making their coworkers aware of what they are doing. She just showed women everywhere who are uncomfortable about breastfeeding and pumping at work that they can do it!"
The Freemie system is designed to be used with some of the most popular pumps on the market, and Dr. Dao's company is working on compatibility with more pumps. "Many women have spent quite a bit of money on expensive pumps, only to find that they are not practical in their situation. Moms need more options to actually be able to use those pumps, especially in these tough economic times, so that they can still get the job done without giving up their breastfeeding goals."
After giving birth to premature twins, Dr. Dao conceived the system because of the demands of her job in the ER, and then developed it because as a physician she felt a responsibility to help moms that did not have the proper tools to succeed at breastfeeding. Dr. Dao hopes the Freemie system will make a contribution to public health, given that the increase in breastfeeding rates has stalled in recent years. "There's only so much time in a day for new moms. I believe if we can provide them better tools that make them more productive, we just might make a difference."
Learn more at the company's website, http://freemie.com.