Who invented the modern breast pump and when?
In 1942, the modern breast pump was created in Sweden by engineer Einar Egnell. Egnell’s work began in 1939, when a leading Swedish obstetrician asked him to make a better breast pump. The American breast pumps they had been using were painful and didn’t express milk well. Also, access to them was limited due to the bombing of cargo ships crossing the Atlantic during World War II.
After years of research and hundreds of pump trials, Egnell’s breakthrough came. His invention, the Ameda SMB Electric Breast Pump, was the first pump to be truly comfortable and effective. In 1956, Egnell published his ground-breaking research in the journal of the Swedish medical association. The pump suction and cycling parameters he described in this study continues to provide the standards by which breast pumps are judged.
But as satisfying as his breakthrough was, Egnell considered his advances as simply a means to an end. And we agree. Everything Ameda does—breast pumps and products, breastfeeding education, and support for lactation professionals—reflects our passion for breastfeeding. Ameda’s products and services exist to help breastfeeding families. And we are committed to helping you provide the help and support breastfeeding families need. We know how much breastfeeding matters.