Breast pump simulating baby’s suckling launches in Israel


The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding babies until they’re two years old due to how breast milk significantly contributes to a baby’s health and development.

This has led to a spike in the number of breastfeeding women and, as a result, a jump in the breast pump market, which has spiked by about 7% every year.

The size of the global breast pump market, including accompanying accessories, is estimated to be around $4 billion. In Israel alone, the market is estimated to be around NIS 80 million.

In a survey conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it was revealed that 77% of women describe breast pumps negatively, saying they cause pain, aren’t efficient, are noisy and sometimes don’t work at all. 

However, stores under the Shilav group have launched Annabella, the first and only breast pump that simulates a baby’s suckling.

Baby bottle (illustrative) (credit: RAWPIXEL)

The manufacturer says that the Annabella breast pump provides a short, pleasant, quiet and comfortable user experience without pain.

The simulated suction is based on two steps: Applying a vacuum in pulses to the nipple and a wave action that simulates the tongue that creates the squeezing motion and hormonal stimulation. 

Using a unique mechanism simulating a baby’s tongue, the Annabella pumps the milk out and helps stimulate the body to produce the hormones needed to produce and release milk naturally, increasing the body’s milk production. Because of this, the pump can get nearly double the amount of milk in less time than the leading competitors.

No more cattle milking machines from 1864

Three companies currently dominate the global breast pump market.

  • Medela (a leading brand that accounts for 25% of the market share)
  • Philips Avent
  • Spectra (An American firm that mainly sells through insurance companies)

Other smaller companies do exist like Ardo, Lansino, Ameda and Chinese firms.

In addition, in recent years, there have been a number of wearable breast pumps like Willow and Elvie, which have begun gaining momentum in certain markets, mainly in the UK.

In Israel, there are three leading firms: 

  • Hegen (a Singaporean brand)
  • Medela
  • Philips Avent

All of the breast pumps sold worldwide are based on a patent copied from another patent, which was made for cattle milking machines in 1864. In the last 150 years, the basic principle behind the patent, vacuuming, hasn’t changed.

But Annabella is the first breast pump to buck the trend, utilizing a tongue-like mechanism to help produce milk. 

For some women, this can be the difference between producing some milk and producing none at all. For others, it is a significant difference between a full serving of food for a baby and a partial serving that won’t be enough.

“More independence and inner peace”

“As a leading brand in Israel, we carry a sense of innovation and professionalism and quality to provide the best for parents and babies,” said Shilav CEO Roni Dohan. “Annabella, the innovative Israeli venture, presents Shilav’s values and allows us to give parents and babies another option in breast pumps.”

According to Annabella CEO Uri Yaffe, “Annabella will change the breast pump market forever. We’ll be able to develop more products to put mothers at the center and provide a pleasant, efficient and safe user experience for mothers all over the world.”

“I know I’m only at the beginning of the road and there are countless more ideas and innovations and improvements that I am going to achieve, but the first dream is already here: An easy to use breast pump that produces more milk,” said Annabella founder and vice president of product Masha Waldberg. “Annabella is also the full name of my daughter, Anya. She’s the inspiration for this big project and I hope I was able to give her, and many other women, a slightly different breastfeeding experience, with a little more independence and with a little more inner peace.”

Impressive achievements, flight and vision

The Annabella company includes a team of professionals and investors, but the one who conceived of it is Masha Waldberg with the help of her husband Sania, and in collaboration with mechanical engineer Ron Edelman and CEO Uri Yaffe. 

The company successfully completed clinical trials in collaboration with Shamir Medical Center and has met all strict quality tests from Israel and international medical standard ISO13485.

The launch price is NIS 1,290 (instead of NIS 13,90). Available exclusively in Shaliv stores and websites as well as on the company’s website.