Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2167622 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2167622
(54) English Title: DEVICE AND METHOD FOR SUPPORTING A BREAST SHIELD AND RELATED PUMP EQUIPMENT
(54) French Title: DISPOSITIF ET METHODE POUR L'INSTALLATION D'UN SUPPORT ET D'UNE POMPE TIRE-LAIT
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • A61M 1/06 (2006.01)
  • A41C 3/04 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • SILVER, BRIAN H. (United States of America)
  • WENIGER, GOTTHILF (United States of America)
  • LOCKRIDGE, KATHLEEN A. (United States of America)
  • WESTON, RICHARD S. (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • MEDELA, INC. (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
(74) Agent: CASSAN MACLEAN
(45) Issued: 1999-09-28
(22) Filed Date: 1996-01-19
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 1996-07-21
Examination requested: 1996-01-19
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
08/375,977 United States of America 1995-01-20
08/555,151 United States of America 1995-11-08

English Abstract




A device and method are provided for supporting a
breast shield of a breast pump upon a woman's breast in
a "hands-free" manner. Such a breast shield support
includes, for example, a base member, such as a garment,
that is adapted to be carried on a woman's torso. Part
of the breast pump, such as the breast shield, is
releasably attached to the base member and supports the
breast shield on the exposed breast. Embodiments include
corresponding fasteners on the breast shield and a
brassiere, a harness-type strap arrangement for holding
the shield against the breast and a breast shield which
slips through a flap formed in a brassiere cup and is
supported by the cup material.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.



-25-
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A device for supporting a breast shield on a
breast comprising:
a base; and
means for supporting the breast shield on the breast
which means is carried by said base.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said breast
shield is part of a breast pump assembly, and said means
for supporting comprises a strap connected to said base
which strap is engaged with a portion of said breast pump
assembly including the breast shield, and positions the
breast shield on the breast.
3. A device for supporting a breast shield of a
breast pump on a breast comprising:
a base member adapted to be carried on a human body;
and
means for of affixing a part of the breast pump to said
base member such that the breast shield is supported on
the breast.
4. The device of claim 3 wherein said base member
comprises a garment having means for exposing the breast.
5. The device of claim 4 wherein said means for
exposing comprises a flap, and further wherein said means
for affixing comprises an aperture formed by said flap
which has a smaller effective diameter than the breast
shield, whereby an inner surface area of said garment
surrounding said aperture overlies the breast shield and
holds the breast shield pressed against the breast.



-26-
6. The device of claim 3 wherein said means for
affixing comprises first and second corresponding
fastener elements, said first fastener element being
disposed on raid base member and said second fastener
element being disposed on a part of the breast pump,
whereby said first and second corresponding fastener
elements are fastened together to support the breast
shield on the exposed breast.
7. The device of claim 6 wherein said second
fastener element is disposed on the breast shield.
8. A breast pump support device, wherein said
breast pump includes a breast shield adapted to receive
a breast therein for expressing milk, comprising:
a garment adapted to be worn around a woman's torso;
and
means for fastening a breast pump to said garment
such that a breast shield is supported on an exposed
breast.
9. The breast pump support device of claim 8
wherein said garment comprises a brassiere with two
breast cups, said means for fastening comprises a flap in
material forming a cup which is operable to expose at
least the nipple and adjacent breast area of one of the
woman's breasts, and which flap defines an aperture
through which the breast shield passes, with material
forming said cup overlying the breast shield after
passing through said aperture such that said overlying
material holds the breast shield in place on the breast.

10. The breast pump support device of claim 9
further comprising a respective flap for each breast cup
formed on said garment.


-27-
11. The breast pump support device of claim 9
wherein said aperture is formed by a first section
connected to a cup, and a second section connected to a
cup in overlapping relationship with said first section,
whereby said first and second sections may be manipulated
past one another to form an opening in said cup to expose
the breast.
12. The breast pump support device of claim 11
wherein said opening is vertically oriented on said cup.
13. The breast pump support device of claim 9
wherein the breast shield comprises:
a flexible portion that is deformable to conform to
the shape of the exposed breast; and
a rigidified peripheral edge that is operable to
support the breast shield on the exposed breast between
the exposed breast and said overlying material.
14. The breast pump support device of claim 9
wherein the breast shield comprises:
a flexible peripheral edge portion that is
deformable to permit the insertion of the breast shield
through said flap and to conform to the shape of the
exposed breast; and
a rigidified portion inboard from said flexible
peripheral edge portion that is operable to support the
breast shield on the exposed breast between the exposed
breast and the inner surface of said garment.
15. The breast pump support device of claim 8
wherein said means for fastening comprises first and
second corresponding fastener elements, said first
fastener element being disposed on said garment and said
second fastener element being disposed on a part of the
breast pump, whereby said first and second corresponding


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fastener elements are fastened together to support the
breast shield on the exposed breast.
16. A breast pump assembly wherein a breast
shield is maintained positioned over a breast without
need of any manual force, comprising:
a base member adapted to be carried on a woman's
body;
a breast pump including at least one breast shield
adapted to be received over a breast nipple and adjacent
breast area, end a container for expressed milk in fluid
communication with said breast shield;
means for generating an intermittent vacuum in said
breast shield to thereby express milk; and
means for affixing a part of said breast pump to
said base member with said breast shield supported over
the nipple and adjacent breast area.
17. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises first and second
corresponding fastener elements, said first fastener
element being disposed on said base member and said
second fastener element being disposed on said breast
shield, whereby said first and second corresponding
fastener elements are releasably fastened together to
support said breast shield on the exposed breast.
18. The breast pump assembly of claim 17 wherein
said second fastener element comprises a band positioned
around the peripheral edge of said breast shield, said
band having a fastener element member disposed on the
band.
19. The breast pump assembly of claim l6 wherein
said base member comprises a garment having at least one
detachable flap operable to cover and to expose the
breast.


-29-
20. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said base member comprises a garment having two
detachable flaps, each of said flaps being operable to
expose a respective breast.
21. The breast pump assembly of claim 20 wherein
said garment comprises a brassiere.
22. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a button/buttonhole
fastener.
23. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a hook-and-loop
fastener.
24. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a buckle/belt fastener.
25. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a garter belt fastener.
26. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a magnetic fastener.
27. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a snap fastener.
28. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a re-usable adhesive
tape fastener..
29. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a zipper fastener.
30. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a hook positioned on


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said base member and an elastic band positioned around
the peripheral edge of said breast shield.
31. The breast pump assembly of claim 16 wherein
said means for affixing comprises a button/adjustable
strap fastener, the adjustable strap comprising a
plurality of holes, each of the holes being sized to
accommodate the button.
32. A method for supporting a breast shield on a
breast, comprising the following steps:
providing a base member;
providing affixation means for mounting the breast
shield to said base member; and
mounting the breast shield to said base member using
said affixation means such that the breast shield is
supported on an exposed breast.
33. The method of claim 32 wherein said base member
comprises a brassiere-type garment having a bra cup with
a detachable flap for exposing the breast.
34. The method of claim 33 wherein the step of
mounting comprises sliding the breast shield through said
flap with material of said bra cup holding the breast
shield in place upon the breast.
35. The method of claim 32 wherein said affixation
means comprises first and second corresponding fastener
elements, said first fastener element being disposed on
said base member and said second fastener element being
disposed on part of a breast pump, whereby said mounting
step comprises fastening said first and second
corresponding fastener elements together to support the
breast shield on the exposed breast.


-31-
36. The method of claim 35 wherein said second
fastener element is disposed on the breast shield.
37. A device for supporting a breast shield of a
breast pump upon a breast comprising:
a garment; and
strap means for supporting the breast shield on
the breast;
wherein said strap means is attached to said garment.
38. The device of claim 37 wherein said strap means
comprises a first strap having a loop portion within
which loop portion a part of said breast pump is
received, said first strap being attached to said garment
above the breast, a second strap attached to said loop
portion and which second strap is further attached to
said garment below the breast, and means to adjust said
first and second straps to press the breast shield
against the breast.
39. A device for supporting a breast shield upon a
breast comprising:
a base member; and
a strap connected to said base member, said strap
including means for supporting a part of the breast pump
with the breast shield on the breast.
40. The device of claim 39 wherein said base member
comprises a halter top.
41. The device of claim 40 wherein the halter top
includes a breast cup having a flap for exposing the
breast.

-32-
42. The device of claim 39 wherein said strap has
a loop portion adapted to receive and hold the breast
shield against the breast.
43. The device of claim 42 wherein said base member
comprises a hand adapted to conform to a woman's body
below the breasts, and a halter portion which extends
from a first loop portion on one breast behind the neck
of the woman to a second loop portion on the other
breast, said loop portions being attached to said halter
portion and said band, and means for adjusting said loop
portions to press respective breast shields against the
breasts.
44. A device for supporting a breast shield upon a
breast comprising:
a garment comprising a first base adapted to be
carried on a human body below the breast, and a second
base adapted to be carried on the body in the area of the
shoulders; and
a first strap for supporting one breast shield on a
breast and a second strap for supporting a second breast
shield on another breast, each of said first and second
straps including a loop portion adapted to receive and
hold the breast shield against the exposed breast, each
said loop portion being attached to said second base, and
auxiliary strap portions respectively connecting
respective loop portions to said first base.
45. The device of claim 44 wherein garment is a
brassiere-type garment having breast cups, said first and
second straps. and said auxiliary strap portions are
connected to an inside surface of said brassiere-type
garment and are accessible through a flap formed on each
breast cup.




-33-
46. The device of claim 44 further including means
for adjusting each of said first and second straps so
that said first and second straps press said breast
shields against the breasts.
47. The device of claim 45 wherein said garment
comprises a halter top.
48. A breast pump assembly including a device for
supporting a breast shield on a breast comprising:
two breast pumps each having a breast shield within
which a breast is received for expressing milk, and a
container in fluid communication with said breast shield
for receiving expressed milk;
means for generating an intermittent vacuum in said
breast shields to express milk; and
a strap arrangement for supporting said breast
shields on the breasts, said strap arrangement including
a first loop portion adapted to receive and hold one
breast shield against a breast, a halter portion which
extends from said first loop portion on one breast to a
second loop portion adapted to receive and hold the other
breast shield against the other breast, and auxiliary
portions respectively connecting said first and second
loop portions to a band adapted to be worn below the
breasts.
49. The breast pump assembly of claim 48 wherein
each of said auxiliary portions have a first end and a
second end, said first and second ends of said auxiliary
portions being connected to said band, and an
intermediate part of said auxiliary portions between said
first and second ends being connected to a respective
loop portion.
50. The breast pump assembly of claim 49 wherein
each of said loop portions have upper loop ends which are


-34-
attached to a halter portion strap which extends behind
the woman's neck.
51. The breast pump assembly of claim,48 including
means for adjusting said strap arrangement.
52. A method for supporting a breast shield of a
breast pump on a woman's breast, comprising the following
steps:
providing a garment having a strap arrangement for
supporting the breast shield on the breast; and
placing said strap arrangement around the breast
pump such than said strap holds the breast shield on an
exposed breast.
53. The method of claim 52 wherein said strap
arrangement includes a loop portion within which a part
of the breast pump is received.
54. The method of claim 53 further comprising
placing said loop portion under a rearward portion of the
breast shield and behind a downwardly extending portion
connecting the breast pump with a collection bottle.
55. The method of claim 52, further comprising the
additional step of adjusting said strap arrangement to
ensure that the breast shield fits snugly against the
breast.
56. A breast pump assembly support device for
holding a breast shield in place on a breast for
expressing milk, comprising:
a garment to be worn around a woman's torso;
a pair of loops attached to said garment in opposed
spaced relation;
a band attachable to each of said loops; and




-35-
a mounting element having a plurality of posts
extending from said breast shield to which said band is
further attachable.
57. The breast pump support device of claim 56
wherein a band is removably attached to each of said
loop.
58. The breast pump support device of claim 56
further including a third loop and another band
attachable with said third loop, said third loop being
releasably attachable to said garment by interengaged
fasteners having elements thereof on each of said third
loop and garment.
59. The breast pump support device of claim 58
wherein said band for said third loop is attachable by
said another band to a hook formed on said mounting
element.
60. The breast pump support device of claim 58
wherein said pair of loops are located in said garment
such that they are on lower opposite sides of a breast
received in said garment, and said third loop is
attachable to said garment above the breast.
61. The breast pump support device of claim 56
wherein said mounting element is releasably attached to
said breast pump assembly.
62. The breast pump support device of claim 61
wherein a rib is formed in said mounting element to which
an additional band is attachable for connecting said
additional band to a third loop, said third loop being
releasably attachable to said garment of a point above a
breast received in said garment.




-36-
63. A breast pump support device, wherein said
breast pump includes a breast shield adapted to receive
a breast therein for expressing milk, comprising:
a garment to be worn around a woman's torso, said
garment including a pair of anchoring members formed in
opposed relation within a part of the garment adapted to
receive a breast therein;
a mounting element removably attached to said breast
shield, said mounting element having a plurality of posts
extending therefrom; and
at least one band attachable to said anchoring
member and said posts of said mounting element.
64. The breast pump support device of claim 63
wherein a plurality of elastic bands are respectively
attached to an anchoring element.
65. The breast pump support device of claim 64
wherein said endearing members are fabric loops to which
said bands are respectively tied.
66. The breast pump support device of claim 64
wherein said mounting element includes a hook, with an
additional loop being releasably attachable to a portion
of said garment located above the breast in use, said
releasable attachment being made by interengageable
fastener elements provided on each of said garment and
additional loop.
67. The breast pump support device of claim 66
wherein said additional loop is releasably attached to
said garment via a hook and eye fastener.
68. The breast pump device of claim 65 wherein said
mounting element, plurality of elastic bands and fabric
loops are provided in a kit, said loops being sewn by a
user in place within a garment.




-37-
69. The breast pump support device of claim 64
wherein said mounting element has a conical portion which
is adapted to conform to a conical back of the breast
shield, said conical portion having said posts formed
thereon, and said mounting element has a split tubular
portion which is adapted to fit around a cylindrical part
of the breast pump.
70. The breast pump support device of claim 64
wherein said mounting element has a rib defined therein
for connecting a band thereto, with an additional loop
being provided and releasably attachable to said garment
at a point located above a breast in use.
71. A device for supporting a breast shield of a
breast pump assembly in place on a breast, comprising:
a garment having a breast-receiving portion adapted
to receive a woman's breast therein;
a mounting element on said breast shield, said
mounting element including a plurality of posts extending
therefrom;
anchoring members on said garment on opposed sides
of said breast-receiving portion; and
at least one band attached to said anchoring members
and said posts for fixing said breast shield within said
garment against said breast.
72. .The breast shield supporting device of claim 71
wherein said band is an elastic band which is stretched
taut about said posts and against said anchoring members
to fix said breast shield in place.
73. The breast shield supporting device of claim 71
wherein one of said anchoring members is a loop, and
further including means for releasably fastening said
loop to said garment at a point that is above a breast in
said breast-receiving portion.


-38-
74. The breast shield supporting device of claim 71
wherein said anchoring members are a pair of fabric loops
sewn in said breast receiving portion on lower and
opposed side thereof, and a third loop which has a
fastener that is releasably attachable to said garment at
a point that is above a breast in said breast-receiving
portion, said mounting element further including a hook
located in use of said mounting element at a point upward
relative to the breast, and further including three
elastic bands which are respectively attached to one of
said loops, one of said bands furthermore connecting said
third loop with said hook.
75. The breast shield supporting device of claim 71
wherein the breast shield has a conical shaped back part
and a cylindrical part extending therefrom, said mounting
element comprising a conical shell part which is adapted
to conform to said back part of the breast shield, said
shell part having a plurality of posts formed thereon
along at least a portion of said shell part, and a
tubular portion extending therefrom which is adapted to
conform to said cylindrical part of the breast shield,
said mounting element tubular portion being formed of a
rigid but flexible material and split along a length for
engagement of said tubular portion about said cylindrical
part.
76. The breast shield supporting device of claim 71
wherein said mounting element is separate from said
breast shield and includes means for releasably attaching
said mounting element to the breast pump assembly.
77. A breast pump assembly which is supported in
place on a breast, comprising:
a garment having a breast-receiving portion adapted
to receive a woman's breast therein;




-39-

a plurality of posts extending from a breast shield
which is adapted to overlie and receive a breast therein
for expression of milk;
anchoring members on said garment on opposed sides
of said breast-receiving portion; and
at least one band attached to said anchoring members
and said posts for fixing said breast shield within said
garment against said breast.

78. The breast pump assembly of claim 77 wherein
said band is an elastic band which is stretched taut
about said posts and against said anchoring members to
fix said breast shield in place.

79. The breast pump assembly of claim 77 wherein
one of said anchoring members is a loop, and further
including means for releasably fastening said loop to
said garment at a point that is above a breast in said
breast-receiving portion.

80. The breast pump assembly of claim 77 wherein
said anchoring members are a pair of fabric loops sewn in
said breast receiving portion on lower and opposed sides
thereof, and a third loop which has a fastener that is
releasably attachable to said garment at a point that is
above a breast in said breast-receiving portion, and
further including three elastic bands which are
respectively attached to an associated loop.

81. A kit for supporting a breast shield of a
breast pump assembly in place on a breast, comprising:
a plurality of anchoring members which are
attachable to a garment on opposed sides of a portion of
said garment adapted to receive a woman's breast therein;
a mounting element including a plurality of posts
extending therefrom and means for attaching said mounting
element to said breast pump assembly; and



-40-

at least one band which is attachable to said
anchoring members and said posts for fixing said breast
shield within said garment against said breast when said
mounting element is attached to said breast pump
assembly.

82, A kit for supporting a breast shield of a
breast pump assembly in place on a breast, comprising:
a plurality of loops which are attachable to a
garment on opposed sides of a portion of said garment
adapted to receive a woman's breast therein;
a mounting element having a conical portion
including a plurality of posts extending therefrom, said
conical portion adapted to conform to a similarly
conically-shaped back side of the breast shield, and an
attachment part for releasably attaching said mounting
element to the breast pump assembly;
a plurality of elastic bands each of which is
respectively ,attachable to a loop and about one or more
of said posts for fixing the breast shield within said
garment against said breast when said mounting element is
attached to said breast pump assembly.

83, The kit of claim 82 wherein said loops are
fabric loops which are to be sewn into the cup of a
bra-type garment on opposite lower sides of the cup, one loop
having part of a hook and eye fastener thereon which is
attachable to the other part of said hook and eye
fastener carried by said bra-like garment.

84. A device for supporting a breast shield of a
breast pump assembly in place on a breast, comprising:
a garment. having a breast-receiving portion adapted
to receive a woman's breast therein;
a mounting element on said breast shield, said
mounting element including a plurality of attachment
parts thereon;




-41-

anchoring members on said garment on opposed sides
of said breast-receiving portion; and
at least one band attached to said anchoring members
and said attachment parts for fixing said breast shield
within said garment against said breast.

85. The breast shield supporting device of claim 83
wherein said attachment parts comprise posts extending
from said mounting element, said anchoring members
comprise loops, and said at least one band comprises
three elastic bands which are stretched taut about said
posts and against a respective anchoring loop to which a
respective band is attached to fix said breast shield in
place.

86. A device for supporting a breast shield of a
breast pump assembly in place on a breast, comprising:
a bra-type garment having two breast-receiving cup
portions each adapted to receive a woman's breast
therein;
a mounting element removably received on said breast
pump assembly, said mounting element including a
plurality of posts extending from around a conical
portion of said mounting element which conical portion is
adapted to conform to the back of a similarly
conically-shaped breast shield, said conical portion having a
cut-out segment adapted to pass over a cylindrical part of
the breast pump assembly which extends from the breast
shield, said mounting element further including a tubular
portion which is split along its longitudinal length and
adapted to embrace the cylindrical part of the breast
pump assembly which is receivable therein;
anchoring fabric loops sewn into said garment on
opposed lower sides of each of said cups, and a free loop
which is releasably attachable to said garment at a point
above said cups;




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interengageable fastener elements on said free loop
and said garment; and
a plurality of elastic bands each attached to a
respective loop and about one or more posts for fixing
said breast shield within said garment against a breast
when said bands are stretched taut about said posts and
against a respective loop.

87. The device for supporting a breast shield of
claim 86 wherein said mounting element further includes
a hook formed. thereon which hook is oriented generally
above the breast when said mounting element is in place,
a band attached to said free loop being attached to said
hook.

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

2 1 67~22




DEVICE AND METHOD FOR
SUPPORTING A BREAST SHIELD
AND RELATED PUMP EQUIPMENT

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates generally to breast pumps,
and more particularly to a device for supporting a breast
shield, as well as related breast pump equipment, on a
woman's breast.
Breast pumps for expressing and storing breast milk
for later use are well known. Two types of breast pumps
are generally available for use by nursing mothers:
motor-driven pumps and manually-operated pumps.
Typically, these breast pumps include a funnel-shaped
shield or hood that fits over the nipple and a
substantial portion of the breast, some type of vacuum
pump (e.g., manually driven piston cylinder, squeeze bulb
or electrically driven vacuum device) which is connected
to the breast shield for generating an intermittent
vacuum in the breast shield, and a container for the
expressed breast milk. The intermittent suction
generated by the vacuum pump within the breast shield
causes a pulling or pressing of the breast, and is
intended to mimic an infant's suckling action to thereby
express milk from the breast. The expressed milk
typically flows from the breast shield to the collection
container for storage and subsequent use by the infant.
The collection container, such as a small milk bottle, is
ordinarily assembled in the breast shield as though an
intermediate milk-directing channel and valve
arrangement.
Brassieres, halter tops and other garments
specifically designed for nursing mothers are also well

2 1 67622


known. Generally, these nursing brassieres include flaps
which may be unfastened at one side from the brassiere to
expose the breasts for nursing by an infant, or for
enabling breast milk collection through pumping.
When desiring to use a breast pump to collect and
store breast milk while wearing such a nursing brassiere
or otherwise, a mother, after exposing the breast, holds
the breast shield in position on the exposed breast.
Obviously, depending on whether the breast pump is motor-
driven or manually-operated, and further on whether one
or two breast shields are being used at the same time,
one or both of the mother's hands will be needed to
perform the breast pumping operation. As can be readily
seen, the nursing mother, whether at home or at work,
will not have the use of at least one of her hands, such
as to perform other tasks when she is using her breast
pump. Therefore, it would be advantageous to develop a
method and device that will permit a mother to use a
breast pump while also allowing her the free use of her
hands to perform other tasks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is a principal objective of the present invention
to provide a device that supports a breast shield of a
breast pump upon an exposed breast in a "hands-free"
manner for the user. A related method is also provided.
As hereinafter disclosed, the invention in its broadest
sense contemplates any inanimate means whereby the breast
shield is held in place on the breast without the need of
the user or someone else to hold it in place. The breast
shield support may be carried on the mother's body, or on
a base which is movable to emplace the shield, or into
which the mother can insert her breast(s).
In one aspect of the invention, such a support
method and device contemplates a brassiere or other
similar garment serving as a base, and a means for

2 1 67622
-



supporting the breast shield on the exposed breast
associated with the base.
In one embodiment, the support means takes the form
of a releasable fastener mechanism having interengaging
fastener elements on a brassiere and on the breast
shield. The brassiere has an aperture in the cup, such
as provided by a flap, to expose the breast for
emplacement of the breast shield of a breast pump.
Corresponding fastener elements on the brassiere and
breast shield are fastened together to support the breast
shield on the exposed breast.
A variety of fastening mechanisms can be employed.
For example, a removably mounted harness for the breast
shield has straps which are releasably fastened to the
brassiere/base, as by hooks, buttons, snaps and the like.
In another embodiment, a band surrounding the perimeter
of the breast shield carries fasteners which attach to
the brassiere. In still another embodiment, part of the
fastening mechanism is integrally formed with the breast
shield.
According to another embodiment of the present
invention, the support means takes the form of a flap and
flap opening found in a brassiere-type garment
specifically adapted to hold the breast shield in place.
For example, the opening provided by the flap is of a
smaller diameter in at least one dimension than the
breast shield. The breast shield is inserted and
slidably received through the opening, such that the
breast shield is supported on the exposed breast between
the breast and inner surface material of the brassiere.
The flap can be reattached for further support of the
shield. Alternatively, an adjustable strap can be
additionally inserted which connects to a brassiere
shoulder strap at one end and to the breast shield at the
other end, to adjust the fit of and support the breast
shield on the breast.

2 1 67622
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-- 4
In a related embodiment, overlapped portions of
material form the brassiere cup. The breast shield is
inserted through the opening provided by the overlap, and
then held in place on the breast by the brassiere cup
material. In another related embodiment, the breast
shield is provided with a teardrop-shaped rim, which
increases the surface area of the breast shield and
functions to better support the breast shield on the
breast. The rim may be made releasably attachable to the
shield. Moreover, the breast cup and the teardrop rim
can further be provided with mating fastener elements to
connect the breast shield to the breast cup.
In yet another related embodiment, the flap is
unfastened from the brassiere to expose the breast and to
allow the breast shield to be emplaced on the breast, and
then reattached to the brassiere to support the breast
shield on the breast. The flap may further be provided
with a small aperture to accommodate a tubular extension
of the breast shield, tubing or other breast pump
equipment that extend from the breast shield.
In another aspect of the present invention, the
breast shield support method and device utilizes a strap
arrangement for supporting and holding the breast shield
of a breast pump against the exposed breast. Preferably,
the device is fashioned to hold two breast shields, each
of which is supported by the a strap arrangement on a
respective breast.
In one embodiment, the breast shield support device
comprises a garment having one or more straps adapted to
position the breast shield, and preferably to press it
against the breast. Such a garment, for example,
comprises a harness having a band portion adapted to wrap
around the torso, and at least one strap adapted to
support the breast shield on one of the woman's breasts.
For example, a breast shield is held on the exposed
breast by the strap engaging the breast pump on the
outboard side of the shield, and holding the shield

2 1 67622

-- 5
against the breast. In one such embodiment, the strap
forms a loop within which the breast pump is supported
with the shield held against the breast. The loop is
attached to a base, such as a shoulder strap, at an upper
part of the loop. Auxiliary straps connect the lower
part of the loop to the torso band, to anchor and press
the pump into position. A three-point adjustable
anchoring arrangement for the harness is advantageously
provided.
In another embodiment, the breast shield support
device is adapted for use in a female athletic-type top,
which has a waist-band portion and a brassiere portion.
A breast shield supporting strap extends from the
shoulder to the area of the breastbone, forming a loop to
receive the breast shield. An auxiliary strap is
advantageously provided to anchor the loop to the waist-
band portion. A flap is formed in the cup of the
brassiere portion to access the breast and the foregoing
strap arrangement -- which is located within the
brassiere portion -- for emplacement of the breast shield
using the strap arrangement.
In yet another aspect of the invention, a device is
provided wherein the breast shields are mounted for use,
but which is not carried on the mother's person. For
example, the breast shields are carried on a pumping
mechanism in a manner whereby the mother simply inserts
a breast into a respective shield. The pumping mechanism
independently supports the shields.
The present invention permits a nursing mother,
whether at home or at work, to use a breast pump to
collect and store breast milk, while also providing her
with free use of her hands. In addition, the present
invention allows for hands-free "double pumping;" that
is, using two breast shields to simultaneously express
breast milk from both breasts. Also, the embodiments
using straps and strap fasteners preferably employ
adjustable straps to allow the mother to adjust the fit

2 1 67622
-


-- 6
or tightness of the breast shield on the breast.
Further, the present invention is easy to use and allows
the breast shield to be quickly supported on the exposed
breast.
The present application and invention is directed to
yet another variant on the inventive concept. The
embodiment of the present invention in one form has a
mounting element which fits onto the back of a breast
shield. The mounting element has posts thereon. Fabric
loops are sewn into a brassiere. Bands, such as rubber
bands, are knotted or otherwise attached to the fabric
loops. The bands are then placed around the posts of the
mounting elements in a manner that supports the breast
pump in position against the breast, so that the mother
does not have to use her hands to support the breast
pump.
The foregoing embodiment preferably uses a slip-on,
or snap-on, type mounting element which is contoured to
the shape of the breast shield back (or rearward)
portion. It can therefore be readily attached and
detached. A plurality of posts are further
advantageously provided to permit ease in adjusting and
attaching the bands.
In an alternate form of the present invention, the
posts of the mounting element can be formed integral with
the breast shield.
The mounting element, bands and/or the fabric loops
can be provided in the form of a kit. A mother can
thereby retrofit an existing nursing bra for use with the
present breast pump assembly support.
These and other features and advantages of the
present invention will be further understood upon
consideration of the following detailed description of
embodiments of the present invention, taken in
conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

2167622
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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a brassiere in use
showing the flap of the brassiere in an unfastened mode
to expose the breast for nursing or breast pumping;
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of a representative
breast pump assembly;
Fig. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a first
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
invention;
Fig. 4 is an exploded perspective view of a second
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
invention;
Fig. 5 is an exploded perspective view of a third
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
invention;
Fig. 6 is an exploded perspective view of a fourth
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
nvent lon;
Fig. 7 is an exploded perspective view of a fifth
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
nvent lon;
Fig. 8 is an exploded perspective view of a sixth
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
lnvent lon;
Fig. 9 is an exploded perspective view of a seventh
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
invention;
Fig. 10 is an exploded perspective view of an eighth
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
invention;
Fig. 11 is an exploded perspective view of a ninth
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
invention;
Fig. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the breast
shield shown in Fig. 11;

`- 2167622
,
-- 8
Fig. 13 is an operational view of an tenth
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
invention;
Fig. 14 is an elevational view, partially in cutaway
5section, of the tenth embodiment shown in Fig. 13;
Fig. 15 is an operational view of an eleventh
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
nvent lon;
Fig. 16 is an elevational view of the eleventh
embodiment shown in Fig. 15;
Fig. 17 is a perspective view of a twelfth
embodiment of a breast shield support of the present
nvent ion;
Fig. 18 is an exploded perspective view of a
15thirteenth embodiment of a breast shield support of the
present invention;
Fig. 19 is an operational view of the thirteenth
embodiment shown in Fig. 18;
Fig. 20 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a
20breast shield support of the present invention, with the
breast shield assembly removed for clarity;
Fig. 21 is a perspective view of a brassiere showing
loop placement used in an embodiment of the present
invention;
25Fig. 22 is a perspective view of the brassiere of
Fig. 21 showing placement of the bands;
Fig. 23 is a perspective view of a mounting element
made in accordance with the present invention and the
breast pump;
30Fig. 24 is a side view of the mounting element of
Fig. 23;
Fig. 25 is a front view of the mounting element of
Fig. 24 with a band/loop attached;
Fig. 26 is a perspective view of the loop of Fig.
25;
Fig. 27 is a modified embodiment where the mounting
element is formed integral with the breast shield; and

21 67~22
-
g
Fig. 28 is a modified mounting element similar to
that of Fig. 25.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF
PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
For ease of illustration, the present invention is
generally shown and described below in terms of a single
breast pump used for expressing breast milk from a single
breast. However, as shown in Fig. 15 for example, it is
specifically contemplated that the present invention is
usable to simultaneously support a breast shield on each
of a woman's breasts for breast milk collection. In
addition, like numerals will be used to designate like
elements in the respective embodiments of the present
invention.
Turning now to the drawings, Fig. 1 shows a partial
view of a woman 10 wearing a brassiere 12. The brassiere
12 is adapted to conform around the breasts 14, torso 16
and shoulders 18 of the woman 10 to support the breasts
14. The brassiere 12 includes two breast cups 20
interconnected by a connecting band 22, a torso band 24
having two ends (not shown) which extend around and are
connected at the woman's back, and shoulder straps 26
(one of which is not shown) which are disposed between
the respective breast cups 20 and the ends of the torso
band 24. To the foregoing extent, the brassiere 12 is
conventional.
Even though the present invention is shown and
described herein in terms of the brassiere 12 shown in
Fig. 1, it is specifically contemplated that other types
of brassieres, for example strapless brassieres, and
other types of breast support garments, including halter
tops, camisoles, and the like may be used with the
present invention, as will hereinafter be further
understood.
As shown in Fig. 1, each of the breast cups 20
includes a flap 28 connected to the brassiere 12 near the
bottom of the respective breast cup 20. The flap 28 is

2 1 67622
,
-- 10 --
detachably connected to the brassiere 12 at a position
near the respective shoulder straps 26 by a short strap
29. The flap 28 is oriented on the brassiere 12 such
that it exposes the breast 14 for nursing or breast
pumping as it is moved from the shoulder 18 to the torso
16. The flap 28 may be connected to the brassiere 12 in
any suitable manner or orientation to expose the breasts
14.
A representative breast pump 30 for use with the
present invention is shown in Fig. 2. The breast pump 30
includes a breast shield or hood 32 adapted to receive at
least the nipple and some of the adjacent breast. The
breast shield 32 receives the expressed breast milk, and
directs the milk through a channel 34 to the milk
collection container 36.
While the invention is for supporting the breast
shield in place, in many if not most instances this will
also require supporting the entirety of the breast pump
(i.e. parts 32, 34 and 36 and related elements). Since
the container 36 may carry on the order of 5 ounces of
milk when full, the supporting device should be able to
carry the weight of the pump and full container
comfortably and with the breast shield properly
positioned throughout breast pumping.
A vacuum source 38 communicates with the breast
shield 32 and the channel 34 through tubing 39, and
creates the suction action in the breast shield 32 that
expresses the breast milk from the breast 14. The vacuum
source 38 comprises an electric motor-driven breast pump
vacuum source for generating an intermittent vacuum.
Furthermore, two breast shields 32 may be connected to
the vacuum source for simultaneous "double-pumping" of
both breasts 14. Other vacuum sources can of course be
used with the present invention, such as a battery-driven
pump, a manually operated hand-driven piston pump or a
squeeze bulb type pump. The latter two are not
considered to be particularly advantageous with the

21 67622
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- 11 -
present invention, however, since one or both hands may
be occupied with operating the manual pumps. For a more
detailed description of motor-driven, battery-driven and
manually-operated breast pumps, reference may be had to
U.S. Patent Nos. 4,857,051, 4,964,851 and 5,007,899.
Fig. 3 shows a first embodiment of the present
invention. As shown in Fig. 3, the breast shield support
- includes a brassiere 12 and a breast pump 30. The breast
shield 32 is connected to the brassiere 12 and supported
on the breast 14 by a plurality of fasteners in the
embodiments shown in Fig. 3 through Fig. 7. The
fasteners each include a fastener element disposed on the
breast cup 20 of the brassiere 12 and a corresponding
mating fastener element associated with the breast shield
32. The corresponding fastener elements are fastened
together to attach the breast shield 32 to the brassiere
12 and to thereby support the breast shield 32 on the
breast 14 in a "hands-free" fashion.
In Fig. 3, the fastener elements on the brassiere
cup 20 are shown to comprise buttonholes 158, and the
mating fastener elements 156 on the breast shield 32 are
shown to comprise a harness with a support strap 160
having a number of ad~ustable straps 162 connected to and
extending therefrom. The straps 162 include buttons 164
at their ends for insertion in the buttonholes 158. The
harness is releasably attached to the breast shield 32 by
sliding it over the tubular portion 34 into place or by
fastening the support strap 60 around the tubular portion
(using some commonplace means to interconnect the ends of
the strap 160, not shown herein). No modification of an
existing breast pump would therefore be required for use
of the harness. Alternately, however, a number of
different fasteners may be used to connect the breast
shield 32 to the brassiere 12 and to support the breast
shield 32 on the breast 14, including for example: a
zipper fastener, a slit/double-back strap fastener, a
buckle/strap fastener, a garter belt fastener, a magnetic

2 1 67622

- 12 -
fastener, a snap fastener, a re-usable adhesive tape
fastener, a Velcro (i.e., hook-and-loop) fastener, and a
hook fastener.
Fig. 4 shows a second embodiment of the present
invention. The breast shield support is very similar to
that shown in Fig. 3. The fastener elements 254, 256,
however, are connected to a band 270 disposed around the
peripheral edge of the breast shield 32. The band 270
may be formed from an elastic material. The band 270 is
held in place by friction/interference fit, or as here,
by hooks 26 0. In Fig. 4, the corresponding fastener
elements 254, 256 are shown to comprise mating Velcro
fasteners. As stated above, however, any suitable type
of fastening element may be used.
Fig. 5 shows a third embodiment of the present
invention. Again, the breast shield support shown in
Fig. 5 is very similar in construction to those shown in
Figs. 3 and 4. One difference, however, is that the
fastener elements located on the breast shield 32 are
connected to a middle region 372 of the breast shield 32.
In the embodiment shown in Fig. 5, the fastener elements
comprise studs or rivets 374 formed on or connected to
the breast shield 32 and studs or rivets 354 connected to
the brassiere cup. Adjustable straps 376 complete the
fastener, and each contain a plurality of holes 378 to
fit over the rivets 354, 374 to allow the fit of the
breast shield 32 on the breast 14 to be adjusted.
Fig. 6 shows a fourth embodiment of the present
invention. In this embodiment, the fastener elements on
the brassiere 12 comprise hooks 454, and the fastener
elements located on the breast shield 32 comprise an
elastic band 480 held in place by hooks 460. The elastic
band 480 is disposed around the peripheral edge of the
breast shield 32, and may be manipulated to fit around
the hook fastener elements 454 to support the breast
shield 32 on the breast 14.

21 67622
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- 13 -
It should be understood that the arrangement of the
fastener elements shown in Figs. 3-6 may be interchanged
on the brassiere 12 and the breast shield 32, and the
number increased or decreased as desired. The kind of
fastener used is not limited, although those described
herein are considered to be the most advantageous. Also,
the fastening elements may be placed at any suitable
location on the brassiere 12 or the breast shield 32.
Furthermore, the fastening elements located on the breast
shield 32 may be connected to any other suitable location
on the breast pump 30.
As shown in Fig. 7, a fifth embodiment of the
present invention includes a breast shield 32 that is
slidably inserted through the flap 28 of the brassiere
12. This breast shield 32 is relatively flexible, such
that it contracts about the breast under vacuum. The
diameters of the breast shield and the flap opening are
sized such that after insertion through the flap 28, the
breast shield 32 is supported on the breast 14 between
the breast 14 and the inside surface of the breast cup 20
of the brassiere 12. That is, a portion of the flap 28
(i.e., near the bottom of the breast 14), the breast cup
20 material surrounding the exposed portion of the breast
14, and the stiffened peripheral edge 590 of the breast
shield 32 cooperate to support the breast shield 32 on
the breast 14.
In Fig. 8, which illustrates a variation on the
embodiment of Fig. 7, a flap 628 comprises two
overlapping sections 691, 692 (similar to those found in
mens~ briefs), each of which is connected to the breast
cup 620 of the brassiere 612. The breast shield (not
shown) is supported on the breast 14 by first inserting
the breast shield past one section 691 of the flap 628,
and then sliding it past and beneath the other section
692. The sections 691, 692 of the flap 628, the breast
cup 620 material, and the breast shield (not shown)
cooperate to support the breast shield on the breast 14.

21 67622

.
- 14 -
While the flap 628 shown above is vertically-oriented on
the breast cup 620, the flap 628 may be oriented in any
suitable direction, including horizontally.
Yet another embodiment of the present invention
includes a brassiere 12 having a construction very
similar to that shown in Fig. 7. The brassiere 12 shown
in Fig. 9, however, includes a flange 793 of semi-rigid
material that is disposed at the bottom of the breast cup
20 where the flap 28 connects thereto. When the breast
shield 32 is inserted through the flap 28, as described
above with respect to Fig. 7, the flange 793 functions to
further support the breast shield 32 on the breast 14.
In the embodiments shown in Figs. 7 and 9, the
breast shield 32 of the breast pump 30 may include, as
noted, a substantially rigid peripheral edge 590 and a
substantially flexible (e.g., "condom-like") interior
region 595. The flexible region 595 allows the breast
shield 32 to be easily inserted through the flap 28, and
to readily conform to the shape of the breast 14. The
rigid peripheral edge 590 cooperates with the flap 28 and
the inner surface of the breast cup 20 to provide
improved support for the breast shield 32 on the breast
14. Conversely, the peripheral edge 590 may be
substantially flexible and the interior region 595 may be
substantially rigid to support the breast shield 32 on
the breast 14.
As shown in Fig. 10, an eighth embodiment of the
present invention includes a breast cup 20 that is formed
with a criss-crossed overlap portion 803. The breast
shield 32 is supported on the breast 14 by inserting the
breast shield 32 under the criss-crossed overlap 803 and
the surrounding breast cup 20 material. The criss-
crossed overlap 803, the surrounding breast cup 20
material, and the breast shield 32 cooperate to support
the breast shield 32 on the breast 14. The breast cup 20
also includes an adjustable strap 805 attached thereto
by, for example, hook-and-eye fasteners 809. The strap

21 67622
.
- 15 -
805 is connected to the adjustable shoulder strap 26 via
fastening element 807 to support the breast cup 20
against the breast 14. After the breast shield 32 is
inserted under the criss-crossed overlap 803 of the
5 breast cup 20, the position of the strap 805 on the
breast cup 20 is adjusted via the fasteners 809 to
thereby adjust the fit of the breast shield 32 on the
breast (i.e., to tighten or loosen the fit of the breast
cup 20 on the breast 14).
In Figs. 11 and 12, which illustrate a variation of
the embodiment shown in Fig. 10, the breast shield 32
includes a substantially rigid rim 903 disposed around
the periphery thereof. The rim 903 is positioned on the
breast shield 32 such that a teardrop-shaped portion 905
fits under the criss-crossed overlap 803 when the breast
shield 32 is inserted under the criss-crossed overlap 803
and the surrounding breast cup 20 material. The rim 903,
and especially the teardrop portion 905 thereof, provides
the breast shield 32 with additional surface area, which
facilitates supporting the breast shield 32 on the breast
14. The rim 903 is connected to the breast shield 32 by,
for example, a "snap" fit, with a bead 904 around the
perimeter of the shield fitting into a matching annular
recess in the rim 903. In addition, to further support
the breast shield 32 on the breast 14, the teardrop
portion 905 and the breast cup 20 can be provided with,
for example, mating snap-fastening elements (not shown),
which are fastened together after the breast shield 32 is
inserted under the breast cup 20 material.
In a variation of the embodiment shown in Figs. 11
and 12, to further support the breast shield 32 on the
breast 14, the brassiere 12 may include an additional
adjustable support strap 995 connected to the shoulder
strap 26. The support strap 995 may be positioned
underneath the breast cup 20 of the brassiere 12, from
where it may be extracted when needed. The support strap
995 includes a button-hole type opening 996 therein and

2 1 67622
~.
- 16 -
is adjustably connected to the shoulder strap 26 by means
of a buckle 997. A hook 998 may be molded or connected
to the breast shield 32 or the rim 903 in any suitable
fashion. After the breast shield 32 is inserted under
the criss-crossed overlap 803, the support strap 995 may
be attached to the hook 998 to further support the breast
shield 32. Of course, the support strap 995 may then be
adjusted to adjust the fit of the breast shield 32 on the
breast 14.
Figs. 13 and 14 depict a tenth embodiment of the
present invention. A halter top garment 1010 -- such as
a female runner's top -- includes a band 1012 adapted to
fit around a woman's torso, two breast cups 20 connected
to the band 1012 and adapted to conform to a woman's
breasts 14, and two shoulder straps 1018 each connected
between the band 1012 and the breast cups 20, and adapted
to go around the woman's shoulders in brassiere fashion.
The garment 1010 includes a flap 28 operable to
expose the woman's breast 14 for nursing or breast
pumping. The flap 28 is connected to the garment 1010
along the bottom of the breast cup 20, and is detachably
connected to the garment 1010 at the shoulder strap 1018
(Point A) and at the top of the breast cup 20 (Point B).
In this arrangement, the flap 28 operates to expose the
breast 14 as it is moved from the shoulder strap 1018 to
the bottom of the garment 1010. Alternately, however,
the flap 28 may be oriented on the garment 1010 to expose
the breast 14 in any suitable manner. In this
embodiment, the flap 28 is connected to the garment 1010
by a Velcro fastener. Again, any suitable type of
fastener may be used.
As shown in Fig. 14, the garment 1010 includes a
strap 1022 connected to the inner surface of the garment
1010. The strap 1022 is located substantially behind the
breast cup 20. The strap 1022 includes three legs or
parts 1024a-1024c, each of which is attached to the
garment at different locations.

2 1 67622
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- 17 -
When breast pumping is desired, the flap 28 is
unfastened from the garment 1010 to expose the breast 14.
The strap 1022 is withdrawn from the interior of the
garment 1010 such that it extends through the opening
created by the flap 28. The breast pump 30 is placed
near the breast 14, and the strap 1022 is extended and
fitted around the breast pump 30 such that the strap 1022
presses and supports the breast shield 32 against the
breast 14. This is done by taking the loop formed by
strap parts 1024a and 1024b and placing that loop under
the rearward portion of the breast pump 30 and behind the
downwardly extending portion connecting with the bottle
36 (Fig. 13). Strap part 1024c serves to anchor the
foregoing loop in position. The strap parts 1024a-1024c
are then adjusted to ensure that the breast shield 32
fits snugly, but not uncomfortably, against the breast
14. Adjustment may be accomplished by providing an
elastic strap 1022, and/or adjustable extenders at points
of interconnection.
Figs. 15 and 16 depict an eleventh embodiment of the
present invention. This harness garment 1110 includes a
band 1112 adapted to fit around the torso and two
adjustable strap arrangements 1140a, 1140b for each
breast 14. The band 1112 has two ends that are connected
together at the woman's back by, for example, a Velcro
fastener 1138. The straps 1140a, 1140b each have first
ends 1142 connected to the band 1112 and second ends 1144
connectable to each other at hook fastener 1145. As
shown in Fig. 15, the second ends 1144 are connected
together behind the woman's neck. Alternately, the
seconds ends 1144 are connected to brassiere shoulder
straps (not shown). In addition, and as shown in Fig.
16, the first ends 1142 of each strap 1140a, 1140b
include two legs or parts 1146a, 1146b that are connected
to the band 1112, as by sewing. The two legs 1146a,
1146b of the respective ends 1142 are spaced apart on the

21 67622
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- 18 -
band 1112, and are here formed from a continuous piece of
material in a pair of loops.
The straps 1140a, 1140b-include two closed breast
loops 1148a, 1148b that are adapted to rest or press
against the breast 14. As shown in Fig. 15, the breast
loops 1148a, 1148b are each sized to fit around and to
hold a breast shield 32 on an exposed breast 14. Each
breast loop 1148a, 1148b is connected to a respective
pair of legs 1146a, 1146b (each pair forming a loop) via
a ring connector 1152.
In use, the breast pump 30 is placed near a
respective breast loop, such as loop 1148a, and the loop
1148a is extended and fitted around the breast pump 30 in
the manner previously described with respect to the tenth
embodiment, such that the loop 1148a presses and supports
the breast shield 32 against the breast 14. The strap
1140a, and thus the loop 1148a, is then adjusted, via an
adjusting buckle 1150, to ensure that the breast shield
32 fits tightly against the breast 14. A similar buckle
1154 on each leg 1146a allows adjustment of the loops
formed by legs 1146a, 1146b.
When "double-pumping" is desired, as shown in Fig.
15, each breast loop 1148a, 1148b is extended and fitted
around a separate breast pump 30 to support the breast
shields 32 on the breasts 14.
While the tenth and eleventh embodiments of the
present invention have been shown and described above in
terms of a halter and a harness garment 1010, 1110, it is
specifically contemplated that any suitable type of
garment may be used with the present invention, including
standard brassieres, strapless brassieres, camisoles, and
tank tops, to name a few. Furthermore, the harness and
halter top garments 1010, 1110, including the straps
1022, 1140a, 1140b, may be formed of any suitable elastic
or other material.
Fig. 17 depicts a twelfth embodiment of the present
invention. The breast shield support 1210 includes a

21 67622

-- 19
base member 1212 to which two breast shields 32 are
connected by air tubes 1214, each of which has a flexible
portion 1216 and a rigid portion 1218. The rigid
portions 1218 of the air tubes 1214 hold the breast
shields 32 up and away from the base member 1212, and the
flexible portions 1216 allow a woman to adjust the breast
shields 32 on her breasts to insure a tight yet
comfortable fit.
The air tube 1214 of each breast shield 32 is
connected via a conventional coupling arrangement to a
milk collection container 1220 located externally of the
base member 1212. Alternately, the collection containers
1220 may be located inside of the base member 1212.
As explained below, the air tubes 1214 connect a
vacuum source 1222 located in the base member 1212 to the
breast shields 32 to produce the suction action in the
breast shields 32. The breast milk expressed from the
breasts during breast pumping is collected in the
collection containers 1220. After breast pumping is
completed, the collection containers 1220 are
disconnected from the air tubes 1214, and the breast milk
is removed for storage.
As described in U.S. Patent No. 4,929,229, the
breast shields 32 each include an internal baffle and a
valve. The baffle and valve cooperate to direct breast
milk through the air tube 1214 and into the collection
container 1220, thus preventing the breast milk from
being drawn into that portion of the air tube 1214
extending past the collection container 1220 and into the
base member 1212.
A coupling 1219 connects the rigid portion 1218 of
each air tube 1214 to the base member 1212 to hold the
breast shields 32 in place. The air tubes 1214 pass
through a front wall 1221 of the base member 1212 and
terminate at a vacuum source 1222. The air tubes 1214
are connected to the vacuum source 1222 by conventional
connectors 1223. The couplings 1219 and the connectors

2 1 67622
- 20 -
1223 allow a user to disconnect the air tubes 1214 and
the breast shields 32 from the breast shield support 1210
for cleaning, repair and/or replacement. Access to the
interior of the breast shield support 1210 is provided by
5 a panel 1211.
Each of the air tubes 1214 includes a liquid and/or
bacterial filter 1225. The liquid filter prevents breast
milk or other liquid from passing through the air tubes
1214 and damaging the vacuum source 1222. The bacterial
filter prevents the expressed breast milk from being
contaminated by bacteria that may be present in the air
tubes 1214 and the vacuum source 1222.
The breast shield support 1210 includes an
electrical power cord 1227 connected to the vacuum source
1222. The power cord 1227 is connected to a power source
(not shown) to drive the vacuum source 1222. The breast
shield support 1210 may also include a battery for
powering the vacuum source when an external electrical
power source is not readily available or when the power
supply has been interrupted.
The base member 1212 includes two vacuum control
knobs 1231 associated with the vacuum source 1222. The
control knobs 1231 may be manipulated to increase or
decrease the suction produced in the respective breast
shields 32 by the vacuum source 1222.
In an alternate embodiment, a cradle-like device
(not shown) may be attached to the base member 1212 by a
flexible and/or pivotable support arm (not shown). A
breast shield 32 and tubing as shown in Fig. 13 may be
held in the cradle-like device and supported against a
woman's breasts for breast pumping.
The base member 1212 may be supported atop a table
1224, and a woman may sit or stand next to the base
member 1212 and position the breast shields 32 against
her breasts for hands-free "double pumping."
A lap support 1226 having recessed areas 1228 to
accommodate a user's legs may be used instead of the

21 67622
- 21 -
table 1224 to support the breast shield support 1210. A
woman who desires to breast pump while sitting may
position the lap support 1226 on her lap, and rest the
breast shield support 1210 on the lap support 1226. The
breast shields 32 are then manipulated into position on
the breasts for breast pumping.
Figs. 18 and 19 depict a thirteenth embodiment of
the present invention, which is a variation of the
embodiment shown in Figs. 11 and 12. As shown, the
brassiere 12 may include an adjustable support strap 1372
connected to the shoulder strap 26. The support strap
1372 may be positioned underneath the breast cup 20 of
the brassiere 12, from where it may be extracted when
needed. The support strap 1372 includes a button 1374
and a button-hole type opening 1376 spaced therealong,
and is adjustably connected to the shoulder strap 26 by
means of a buckle 1378. After the breast shield 32 is
inserted under the breast cup 20, the support strap 1372
is extended around the breast shield channel 34 and
attached to itself (via the button 1374 and button hole
1376) to support the breast shield 32 on the breast 14.
Of course, as shown in Fig. 19, the support strap 1372
may then be adjusted (via the buckle 1378) to adjust the
fit of the breast shield 32 on the breast 14.
In an alternate embodiment, the support strap 1372
may be formed into a loop, thereby eliminating the need
for the button 1374 and the button hole 1376. Further,
the support strap 1372 may be elasticized. Additionally,
instead of the button 1374 and button hole 1376
arrangement, any other suitable types of fasteners may be
used.
Fig. 20 shows a first embodiment of the present
invention of this application. The breast shield and
assembly support includes a brassiere 12, a mounting
element 1400 and attachments for the mounting element.
As shown in Fig. 23, the mounting element 1400 is
connected or attached to the breast shield 32 by fitting

. 2167622
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- 22 -
the mounting element 1400 snugly around the breast shield
32. This is accomplished in this embodiment with a
tubular partial-cylinder portion 1401 of the mounting
element which fits around the channel part 34 of the
breast shield assembly in a slip-on or snap fit. The
mounting element 1400 further has a shell portion 1402
which is contained to match that of the back of the
breast shield 32. A cut-out 1404 accommodates the snap-
fit for the mounting element over the cylindrical channel
part 34. The mounting element is made of a rigid
plastic, with sufficient flexibility to widen the split
tubular portion 1401 to pass over and then embrace the
breast pump cylinder portion 34. The mounting element
1400 is connected to the brassiere 12 and supported on
the breast 14 by a plurality of loops and bands as will
be more clearly shown hereafter.
Referring to Fig. 21, loops 1406 are connected to
the breast cups 20 of the brassiere 12. The loops 1406
are made of fabric and sewn into the breast cups 20.
Bands 1408 (Fig. 22) may be permanently attached to
the loops 1406, or as presently preferred, the bands 1408
may be removably attached to the loops 1406. In the
embodiment where the bands 1408 are removably attached to
the loops 1406, a band 1408 is inserted through the loop
1406 and then the end of the band 1408 that has been
inserted through the loop 1406 is then inserted through
the opening of the other end of the band 1408, thereby
removably tieing the band 1408 to the loop 1406. The
bands 1408 are of an elastic material, such as rubber
bands.
As best shown in Fig. 24, the mounting element 1400
has a plurality of posts 1410, preferentially situated
around the perimeter of the shell portion 1402 of the
mounting element in regular spacing thereabout. The
parts 1410 extend rearwardly relative to the shell
portion 1402. With the mounting element in place (Fig.
20), the bands 1408 are placed around the posts 1410 in

2 1 67622
- 23 -
a manner that supports the breast pump 30 against the
breast 14 so that the woman 10 does not have to use her
hands to support the breast pump 30. The number of posts
1410 provided enables ready and various attachments of
the bands 1408. The bands 1408 are anchored by the loops
1406.
In addition to the two points of attachments via the
sewn loops 1406, the mounting element has a further
attachment point via hook 1412.
. Hook 1412 is provided to orient the mounting element
1400 and attached breast pump, with the hook 1412 being
upward, i.e., above the breast. This provides a more
sure point of attachment where the majority of the
weight/torque will be applied, particularly as the bottle
36 fills during breast pumping. As seen in Fig. 20,
posts 1410 may additionally be used in conjunction with
the hook 1412 to secure the mounting element in place.
A fabric loop 1406' is associated with the band 1408
that is attached to the hook 1412. That loop 1406 ' may
be removably attached to this band in the manner
previously described. However, the loop 1406' that is to
be secured to the shoulder strap 26 may be permanently
attached to its band 1408, as shown in these FigS., as by
sewing the loop together about the band. The loop 1406
is removably attached to the shoulder strap 26 using a
hook fastener 1414, as shown in Fig. 26. The shoulder
strap 26 has corresponding eye fasteners 1415. The hook
fastener 1414 and the corresponding eye fasteners 1415
allow the fabric loop 1406 ' to thereby be removably and
adjustably attached to the shoulder strap 26.
In another embodiment shown in Fig. 27, the mounting
element may be eliminated by constructing the breast
shield 32 with the posts 1410 and hook 1412 formed
integral with breast shield 32. Fig. 28 shows a modified
version of the mounting element 1400, where the hook 1412
has been replaced in function by a pair of parallel slots
1416, which define a rib 1417 therebetween. Band 1406 '

2 1 67622

-
- 24 -
can be removably tied to the rib 1417 in the manner
described with respect to the fabric loops. Rib 1417 is
in essence a hook.
As stated above, the present invention permits a
nursing mother to use a breast pump to collect and store
breast milk, while also providing her with free use of
her hands to perform other job tasks or chores. In
addition, the present invention allows for hands-free
"double pumping." Further, the present invention is
simple to use and allows the breast shield to be quickly
supported on the exposed breast.
It should be appreciated that the present invention
may be modified or configured as appropriate for the
application. The embodiments described above are to be
considered in all respects only as illustrative and not
restrictive. Changes may be made without departing from
the spirit of the invention. The scope of the invention
is indicated by the following claims rather than by the
foregoing description. All changes which come within the
literal meaning as well as the range of equivalency of
the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 1999-09-28
(22) Filed 1996-01-19
Examination Requested 1996-01-19
(41) Open to Public Inspection 1996-07-21
(45) Issued 1999-09-28
Lapsed 2013-01-21

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $0.00 1996-01-19
Registration of Documents $0.00 1996-10-03
Registration of Documents $0.00 1996-10-03
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 1998-01-20 $100.00 1998-01-13
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 1999-01-19 $100.00 1999-01-12
Final $300.00 1999-06-29
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 4 2000-01-19 $100.00 2000-01-04
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 5 2001-01-19 $150.00 2001-01-03
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 6 2002-01-21 $150.00 2002-01-03
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 7 2003-01-20 $150.00 2003-01-02
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 8 2004-01-19 $200.00 2004-01-02
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 9 2005-01-19 $200.00 2005-01-06
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 10 2006-01-19 $250.00 2006-01-05
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2007-01-19 $250.00 2007-01-02
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2008-01-21 $250.00 2008-01-02
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2009-01-19 $250.00 2008-12-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2010-01-19 $250.00 2009-12-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2011-01-19 $450.00 2010-12-30
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
MEDELA, INC.
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
LOCKRIDGE, KATHLEEN A.
SILVER, BRIAN H.
WENIGER, GOTTHILF
WESTON, RICHARD S.
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Document
Description
Date
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Description 1996-05-15 24 1,113
Cover Page 1996-05-15 1 18
Abstract 1996-05-15 1 20
Claims 1996-05-15 18 687
Drawings 1996-05-15 22 505
Claims 1999-02-11 18 736
Drawings 1999-02-11 14 412
Cover Page 1999-09-21 1 36
Representative Drawing 1998-01-30 1 22
Representative Drawing 1999-09-21 1 6
Correspondence 1999-06-29 1 29
Correspondence 1996-02-16 1 14
Correspondence 1996-04-17 1 34
Correspondence 1996-09-24 1 10
Prosecution-Amendment 1999-01-21 2 37
Prosecution-Amendment 1999-01-12 1 32
Prosecution-Amendment 1998-10-14 3 90
Prosecution-Amendment 1998-04-15 2 45
Prosecution-Amendment 1996-08-12 23 551
Correspondence 1996-04-04 1 30