Pippy Sips is guided by a simple mandate: Make pumping easier for breastfeeding moms. We will be fulfilling that mandate in two ways. First, by developing pumping accessories that improve upon the status quo - starting with our first product, Maia, a patent-pending, all-in-one system for storing and cooling breastmilk. And second, through various breastfeeding-related philanthropic efforts. We want every mom to have the resources she needs to be able to #PumpAnywhere
The last few decades have seen significant advancements in the efficiency and capability of breast pumps ('double-electric,' 'cordless' and 'Bluetooth-enabled' features, etc.).
Unfortunately, when comparing pumps to pump accessories, a real innovation gap is evident. This is particularly so when one surveys available options for storing and cooling expressed breastmilk.
Storing and cooling options often are re-purposed products, meaning that they were not designed with all of the nuances of pumping in mind: Feeding bottles used as milk-storage bottles; coolers that one could find in the camping section of a department store; and variously shaped ice packs that bear no relationship to bottles containing breastmilk. Such accessory products, while generally serviceable, are far from optimal when it comes to mom safely storing and transporting her milk away from home, especially when there isn't a standard refrigerator nearby.
Amberlee Venti founded Pippy Sips because she believes that nursing moms deserve better. And because dozens of currently and formerly nursing moms told Pippy Sips the same thing, the company created Maia, the first in a series of products that address various pumping-related challenges.
Amberlee is the mother of two amazing daughters. After each birth, she took leave from work. Recognizing breastmilk's myriad health benefits - and, fortunately, receiving sufficient support (from her midwife, lactation consultant and family, among others) - Amberlee nursed her daughters throughout both periods of maternity leave.
After exhausting her leave and returning to work, it was important to Amberlee to continue feeding her children breastmilk. Doing so required a whole lot of pumping.
A pump may be used during the breastfeeding experience for one or several reasons, including to increase milk supply, to stimulate lactation, or to prevent engorgement. One of the more common reasons for a mom to pump is to make sure her child has access to breastmilk during time apart (work, school, events, travel, and so on).
While Amberlee was able to pump at her job - multiple times a day, for many months - the process invited a number of issues. Amberlee was often exasperated thinking about all of the stuff she needed to pack (pump, battery pack, flanges, hoses, several milk bottles, cooling apparatus, etc.), and all of the potential pitfalls of the pumping day. Had she remembered all of the bottles, or was one still drying on the counter? Would she have to carry her milk-filled bottles through a crowded conference room to get to the office refrigerator? Was she going to be off-site, without access to the fridge? If so, did she remember her cooler and ice pack? Were those products going to keep her milk at the right temperature all day? What if her return home were delayed for some reason?
She often wondered: 'What if one of the big breast-pump companies were developing a product responsive to all of those questions?' And then one day she thought: 'Why should I wait for someone else to do it?'
Amberlee is not an engineer. But she had a clear vision for how pumping accessories should look and work, and what aspects of pumping those accessories should support. So she formed a company with her husband (Pippy Sips - Philadelphia, PA) and eventually teamed up with some creative and skilled engineers (Pragmatc - Boston, MA). After a lot of designing, testing and redesigning the first product, Amberlee was satisfied that Pippy Sips was well on its way to fulfilling its core mission.
We call our flagship product "Maia." It's a name with a variety of meanings in different languages, many of which are apt to Pippy Sips's intended customer base: 'mother,' 'bravery' and 'love,' to name a few.
Maia is a patent-pending, all-in-one storing and cooling system for breastmilk. It features a vacuum-insulated stainless steel shell, into which is nested a BPA-free, high-grade plastic storage bottle that connects to industry-leading pumps (e.g., Medela, Philips Avent, Spectra). The storage bottle component holds up to 8 ounces of milk and has a unique design that maximizes cooling speed and duration.
The storage bottle has a cap with built-in thermometer, and it sits on top of a stainless steel cooling mechanism that is 'rechargeable' overnight in a standard freezer. The lid of the stainless steel bottle cannot be fully tightened unless all of the internal components are present and properly aligned, thus reducing the risk that one of the components will be forgotten at home.
With Maia, moms can be assured that their breastmilk was stored safely throughout the day when a refrigerator is not accessible. The milk will quickly get to refrigerator-level cool and stay there for over 10 hours. Want to make sure of that? At any time just check the digital temperature display on the cap, which is visible through a cutout in the lid of the stainless steel shell.
Pippy Sips is confident that Maia has a durability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal superior to other portable storing and cooling systems—all with fewer component parts. We can't wait for moms to try it!
Pippy Sips needs your help. Manufacturing is incredibly expensive. And we are a tiny, pre-revenue start-up. We are raising funds on iFundWomen so that we can provide Maia to nursing moms who want to improve their pumping experience. Thank you in advance for your support.
Pippy Sips is committed to helping breastfeeding moms in ways other than through product development. To that end, backers of our crowdfunding campaign who select a reward tier that includes a Maia have an option to donate it to a nursing mom in need. We are so pleased to be working with Northeast Mississippi Birthing Project - a volunteer organization in Tupelo, Mississippi that provides community-based doula and breastfeeding peer counselor programs - to identify eligible recipients of donated products.
Looking beyond our crowdfunding campaign, Pippy Sips will be dedicating a percentage of its sales from Maia (and future products) to various nonprofit organizations that provide support and resources for breastfeeding moms.