She’s passionate about helping moms.
“Breast feeding and breast pumping, what I started to realize as that the technology was very antiquated, it hadn’t changed in almost 20 years,” said Adriana Vazquez.
So innovator Vazquez decided to change that.
“The number one issue why so many moms are quitting breast feeding earlier than recommended its because they don’t have the time to pump at work, its too difficult, its painful,” she said. “We figured, how can we make it easier?”
Vazquez started with a prototype, then after lots of trial and error and plenty of focus groups, she came up with a more advanced model next and finally, after several years, a the final product imagined and made right here in Philadelphia.
Moms can wear her bra and put the pump inside. Not only is it hands free, but it also massages the breasts while pumping so its less painful and helps produce more milk.
“It took a lot of research, it took lots of talking to different moms about their experience and also to medical experts,” said Vazquez.
Her company is Lilu, and her massaging breast pump bra won the Philadelphia Innovation of the Year award in 2019.
“It took all the support from a city to spur this kind of innovation so it really means a lot to us to get that support,” said Vazquez.
She’s sold thousands of bras and as she continues her success, she’s working to train up the next generation of Latino innovators and encourages others to do the same.
“Very specifically in innovation, we want to see women, we want to see men of diverse backgrounds be the ones that are creating the products of tomorrow,” she said. “We can pay it forward, so if you’re in your career and you find that you’re the only Latino or hispanic in your job, well find someone that you can mentor.”
Lilu is still growing and Vazquez is always innovating.
“We’re going to continue to expand our product line,” she said. “We actually got funding from the National Science Foundation to create a smart bra that will have a lot of health insights for mom and baby.”