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Title:
BREAST PUMPING SUPPORT DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/142240
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A breast pumping support device that supports a lactating mother in an ergonomically optimal and comfortable position, while using gravity to ensure a more efficient and accelerated process and enabling the mother to engage in other activities while pumping breast milk. The device includes a support structure having upper and lower body supports that position and support the mother in a forward leaning position and that provides an opening in the area of the mother's breasts so that one or more breast pumps may be attached

Inventors:
MILLER LAURA (US)
MILLER CONOR (US)
Application Number:
US2019/067526
Publication Date:
July 09, 2020
Filing Date:
December 19, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
MILLER LAURA (US)
MILLER CONOR (US)
International Classes:
A47C9/04; A47C7/38; A47C7/70; A47C16/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2008085174A12008-07-17
WO2018172830A12018-09-27
WO1986006940A11986-12-04
Foreign References:
US20100152652A12010-06-17
US5542746A1996-08-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOYCE, Jeffrey (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

Claim 1 : A breast pumping support device adapted to support a mother while pumping breast milk using one or more breast pumps, the breast pumping support device comprising:

lower body supports that support the mother’s lower body;

upper body supports that support the mother’s upper body and that have an area that is at least partially open so that the one or more breast pumps may be attached to the mother’s breasts; and

wherein the upper body supports support the mother’s upper body in a position that is at least slightly forward.

Claim 2: The device of claim 1 , further comprising at least one support tray.

Claim 3: The device of claim 2, wherein the at least one support tray includes two support trays, one support tray attached to the upper body supports and one support tray attached to the lower supports.

Claim 4: The device of claim 1 , wherein the lower body supports include a buttocks support attached to a lower body support frame, the buttocks support configured to cause the mother to sit in a position that is at least slightly forward leaning.

Claim 5: The device of claim 4, wherein the lower body support includes one or more knee supports, the one or more supports configured to cause the mother to sit in a position that is at least slightly forward leaning. Claim 6: The device of claim 1 , wherein the lower body supports and the upper body supports are collapsible in such a manner that the device may be collapsed for storage or transport.

Claim 7: The device of claim 6, wherein the lower body supports include one or more wheels.

Claim 8: The device of claim 1 , wherein the upper body supports include a hip support and a shoulder support, the hip support and shoulder support attached to an upper support frame, the hip support positioned on the upper support frame in a location that is approximately near the mother’s hips and abdomen, the shoulder support being positioned on the upper support frame in a location approximately near the mother’s shoulders and extending across the mother’s upper torso, the hip support and shoulder support leaving an opening in the upper support frame to allow the breast pump to attach to the mother’s breasts.

Claim 9: The device of claim 8, wherein the upper body supports include a head support.

Description:
BREAST PUMPING SUPPORT DEVICE

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

[0001] FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention relates to the lactation process, i.e. pumping breast milk using a breast pump, and, more particularly, to devices that support a nursing mother during the act of pumping breast milk.

[0003] DISCUSSION OF PRIOR ART

[0004] Breastfeeding has significantly increased in popularity over the last two decades with repeated studies detailing its short and long-term health benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in particular, strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the baby’s life and that breastfeeding be continued for at least 12 months. Breastfeeding is known to be beneficial for both babies and their mothers.

[0005] A mother’s breast milk contains an ideal mix of proteins, fats, vitam ins, and carbohydrates and a number of valuable substances that cannot be manufactured. It is the combination of these ingredients including

antibodies, living cells, enzymes, and hormones that set breast milk apart from formula and helps protect a baby against infection and disease.

Studies have found that breast fed babies have reduced rates of later health problems including diabetes, obesity, asthma, high cholesterol, Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, and lymphoma.

[0006] Studies have also found that women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and ovarian cancer. It is for these reasons, among others, that an increase in the number of women

breastfeeding is widely viewed as desirable. Therefore, assisting women in the breastfeeding process is a driver that deserves considerable attention.

[0007] One means of facilitating the supply of a mother's milk to an infant is to use a breast pump. A breast pump is used by extracting breast milk into a receptacle for immediate use or for later consumption by the baby. For working mothers, a breast pump is the lifeline that connects her to her baby while they are separated. Other reasons a mother may pump breast milk may be to stimulate milk production and increase milk supply, to collect milk to feed a baby who is unable to latch, and to relieve the pain and pressure of engorged breasts.

[0008] Conventional breast pumps include breast shields (similar in look to suction cups) for engagement over the breasts, a pumping device connected to the breast shields, and breast milk receptacles. The pumping device may be an automatic device, generally electrical or battery operated, or it may be a manually operated device that a user operates by hand. For such flow to occur with reasonable efficiency, the breast shields must be oriented without any upward tilt, and preferably with a downward tilt. A downward tilt allows gravity to assist with both the flow of expressed milk away from the breast and significantly increases the rate in which breast milk is collected.

[0009] Imparting a downward tilt while pumping typically requires the mother to lean forward, or at least, sit upright. Since, pumping is, often, a tedious and time consuming process, most women find it uncomfortable to lean forward or sit up right without slouching for such long periods of time. Sitting in a slouched or forward leaning position puts immense pressure on the neck and spine. Additionally, for mothers to optimally express breast milk, a comfortable, relaxed environment with minimal stress free of distractions is recommended. [0010] What is needed, therefore, is a support device that makes pumping breast milk more relaxing and less stressful, thereby providing a more fulfilling, healthful pumping experience, which subsequently enables the mother to continue providing breast milk to her baby over a longer period of time, and ultimately ensures a happier and healthier mother and baby. What is further needed is a device that allows a mother to pump breast milk in an ergonomically supported relaxed position while using gravity to assist and accelerate the process. What is still further needed is such a support device that is convenient, adjustable, sturdy, collapsible, compact, and lightweight.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] The invention is a breast pumping support device that ergonomically supports a lactating mother’s body throughout the breast pumping process while using gravity to ensure a more efficient and accelerated process. The support device leans the pumping mother forward in a manner that is not only more comfortable but also, when used with suitable“hands free” equipment, allows the mother to pump milk while simply relaxing or engaging in relaxing activities such as reading, texting, or watching videos of her baby, or, if necessary or desired, while working or engaging in other productive activities.

[0012] The device includes lower body supports and upper body supports that position the mother in an ergonomically optimal position to facilitate efficient pumping. The lower body supports allow the mother to sit and/or kneel in a position that is at least slightly forward-leaning, with the supports being curved and padded both for comfort and to ensure proper ergonomic positioning. The upper body supports include a first support that is near the mother’s hips and abdomen supporting the mother’s midsection. The upper body supports also include a second support that is positioned near the mother’s shoulders, the first and second supports positioned far enough apart so as to create an opening where the mother’s breasts may attach to a pump. The upper supports also include a head support upon which the user may rest her head.

[0013] One or more support trays, shelves, and/or hooks may also be included to hold the pumps and/or other items such tablets, laptops, or books. For example, a support tray may be attached to the lower supports and/or to the upper supports to hold items that the mother may wish to interact with.

[0014] The device may also be adjustable in a number of ways. For instance, the angle at which the device leans forward may be altered by the mother. Additionally, the precise placement of the upper and lower supports may be adjusted, primarily to better accommodate users of varying size.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] The present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. The drawings are not drawn to scale.

[0016] FIG. 1 is a side view of the device according to the invention showing a user sitting on the device with a breast pump and a laptop.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a side view of the device.

[0018] FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of the device showing the rear, sitting, side of the device.

[0019] FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of the device.

[0020] FIG. 5 is a side view of the device in a collapsed position. [0021] FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the device in a collapsed position.

[0022] FIG. 7 is a top view of the device in a collapsed position.

[0023] FIG. 8 is a bottom view of the device in a collapsed position.

[0024] FIG. 9 is a bottom perspective view of the device in a collapsed position.

[0025] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the device having a plurality of holes illustrating one manner of constructing the device in an adjustable manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0026] The present invention will now be described more fully in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which the preferred embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention should not, however, be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, they are provided so that this disclosure will be complete and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art.

[0027] FIGS. 1 - 4 illustrate the breast pumping support device 100 according to the invention in an upright and fully operational position, with FIG. 1 including a lactating mother M on the device 100 using an automatic breast pump P and laptop computer L. The device 100 includes lower body supports 10, upper body supports 30, and may include one or more support platforms 50.

[0028] The structure of the device 100 allows the mother M to sit and/or kneel on the lower body supports 10 while resting her head and shoulders on the upper body supports 30. The device 100 positions the user in an at least slightly forward position that allows her breasts to hang downward towards the support platforms 50, thereby allowing gravity to assist in the act of pumping. When using an automatic breast pump P the pump P is placed on one of the support platforms 50, the support platform 50 and at least one pump arranged in a position so as to pump breast milk without any further support or interaction from the user. As shown and noted, one of the support platforms 50 may also be used to support items such as laptops, tablets, games or books so as to help the user relax and be productive while pumping. It is envisioned that conventional automatic breast pumps are used, including those that are connected to an external power source as well as those that are powered by batteries. And, while the device is intended to use electric or battery operated pumps for hands free operation, the device may also be used with manual pumps.

[0029] The lower body supports 10 may take a number of forms to comfortably support the user’s lower body. In the embodiment shown, the lower body supports 10 include buttock supports 12 and knee supports 14, each of the supports 12, 14 connected to the device 100 by lower support members 16 that form a lower support frame.

[0030] The upper body support 30 includes a hip/abdomen support 32, shoulder/upper torso support 34, and a head rest 36. Each of supports 32, 34, 36 are each constructed in a manner that is intended to be supportive and comfortable for the user M, and may be curved and/or padded to conform to a user’s shape. In the embodiment shown the upper support frame 38 is an interconnected set of support members 38 or support rods, which are constructed and connected using conventional means, however, other conventional means for creating the upper support structure 38 may also be used. The hip support 32 and shoulder support 34 are spaced apart and positioned in a manner that creates an open space O in the area where the mother’s chest is positioned so that it is easy to connect the pump to the mother’s breasts. [0031] The supports 32, 34, 36 may be constructed in an adjustable manner using conventional means so as to accommodate users of varying sizes. For example, FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment having a plurality of locking pin holes 66 that allow the supports 32, 34, and 36 to be positioned at different locations along the upper support structure 38. The angle of the upper support structure 38 is also likely to be adjustable using any suitably conventional means so that each user may find the most comfortable and productive angle. For example, locking clamps 62 secure the upper support structure 38 in its fixed operational position at hinge points, allowing those support members 38 to be fixed in a wide range of angles. In the embodiment shown, the user M is positioned at a roughly 30 degree angle, however, virtually any angle that has the user positioned at least slightly forward is likely to be acceptable and functional.

[0032] The head support 36 may take a number of forms. For example, in the embodiment shown it is a padded bar upon which the user rests her head.

Flowever, it may also take other forms, for example, it may be a conventional head rest that is used in many situations where a user needs to lie face down such as with a message chair.

[0033] In the embodiment shown there are two support platforms 50, each of which may either be an integral part of the device 100 or they may be detachable and/or adjustable in height or angle. One support platform 50 is affixed to the upper supports 30 and is sufficiently strong to hold at least one automatic breast pump and/or support items such as laptops, tablets, games or books. A second support platform 50 is attached to the support structure of the lower body supports 10 and is sufficiently strong and sufficiently level to hold at least one automatic breast pump. The support platforms 50 may also be separate components. For example, the support platform 50 may be a separate standalone platform that has adjustable legs to accommodate the position of the users’ breasts beneath the upper body supports 30. Or, the user may choose to use an existing platform, such as a coffee table, desk, or dining table. The support platforms 50 may also be hooks from which a pump may hang.

[0034] Regardless of the choice of support platform 50 and the specific manner in which the lower body supports 10 and upper body supports 30 are configured, the space O is generally located in the area where the mother’s chest is positioned and is at least partially open so as to facilitate the connection between the mother’s breasts and the pump or pumps. It is also important that the lower body supports 10 and the upper body supports 30 position the mother in a manner that allows the breasts to hang downward so that the force of gravity may assist in the pumping action.

[0035] Additional hand supports and/or accessory trays may also be provided to aid the mother’s comfort. In use, the breast pumping support device 100 allows for hands-free pumping in a relaxed ergonomically supported manner.

[0036] The support device 100 may also be constructed in a manner that is collapsible so that it is easily stored and transported, as illustrated in FIGS. 5 - 9. This embodiment of the device 100 includes a number of locking mechanisms 62 that are used to secure the lower body support 30 and upper body support 50 in the working position. When each of these locking mechanisms 62 are unlocked the various components may collapse into the flattened position shown in these illustrations. Wheels 64 and a handle 68 may also be provided for ease of transport.

[0037] It is understood that the embodiments described herein are merely illustrative of the present invention. Variations in the construction of the breast pumping support device may be contemplated by one skilled in the art without limiting the intended scope of the invention herein disclosed and as defined by the following claims.