More comfort, more milk

Avent Elodie Spencer Thomas
The Philips Avent Natural range and Comfort breast pumps are designed to help women breastfeed longer.

The comfort and simplicity of these multi-award winning pumps and bottles is the result of in-depth work by an innovative multi-disciplinary team and inspired by insights from healthcare professionals and first-time moms across three continents.


Focus groups of mothers across the world were asked to define what 'natural' felt like. "Adjectives like 'relaxed' and 'happy' came up regularly, while 'comfort' topped the list by some way," explains Avent Marketing Director Axelle Ducos.

Philips Avent Designing the Pump
That was the eureka moment that defined our work on the range from then on"

Elodie Spencer Thomas, Creative Lead Mother and Child Care

At the same time, a clinical study by Philips confirmed what mothers had long understood: comfort is physiologically essential to milk production. Pain, stress or discomfort hampers the release of oxytocin, the hormone responsible for triggering milk production.


The multidisciplinary team started pinpointing exactly what made the pumps uncomfortable and designing a better way. To tackle the cold feeling, they changed the texture of the cushioned silicone funnel that cups the breast, giving it a silky feel that is warm and gentle against the skin.

We wanted a pump that would feel easier to work, and allow mothers to sit more comfortably"

Dirk Brokken

The team’s studies showed that badly placed handles on the manual pump could cause cramp and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). And it was known that existing pumps required women to lean forward to ensure that milk flowed downwards into the bottle. With an average expressing session lasting 20 minutes, complaints of back pain were common.


The team devised a new handle for the manual pump and an improved grip. The team’s biggest breakthrough, though, was the compact shape of the pump itself. By allowing the nipple to get directly above the bottle they managed to ensure that all the milk flowed into it, regardless of the angle the mom chose to use the pump. Suddenly, it was possible for moms to sit back in a more relaxing position to express milk.

Philips Avent Angled ergonomic breastpump

The resulting Comfort manual breast pump, and its electric versions, were a huge hit with moms in testing. Home placement studies showed almost two thirds of mothers preferred it to its closest competitor the Medela Swing.


Building on the innovation’s success, the team applied the same principles to the electric pumps with the added challenge of making them less mechanical while also tackling teat acceptance and colic.


Their unique design is the result of clinical research at Philips into peristaltic suckling. Scientists discovered that, while traditional pumps pull the nipple in and out to stimulate milk, babies use their tongue to squeeze the nipple.


The distinctive petals around the teat play an important role in preventing teat collapse. They also provide an aesthetic signature to the whole Avent Natural range. Meanwhile, the reworked silhouette of the bottle itself – with a cinched waist – makes it more ergonomic and lends it a more contemporary feel.


“Our aim was to create a ‘new classic’ that felt good to both mother and baby, and looked good too,” says Bart Massee, Design Manager in Health & Wellness at the time.

Philips avent

Philips Avent invented the first anti-colic teat in 1984. The new teat builds on that heritage by incorporating a twin-valve system. It helps to prevent babies swallowing too much air when they are feeding by allowing the air to vent into the bottle rather than the baby's stomach. Twin anti-colic air valves and the petals that prevent teat collapse. Interchangeable bottles - swap easily from pump to feeding.


Since launch, the Philips Avent Natural bottle has received two prestigious design awards. And the Comfort breast pump has won four prizes for outstanding design.


Neither would have been possible without an enthusiastic and skilled team of innovators, an understanding of people and a vision to make breastfeeding more natural and effective.

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