Hands up if you thought breastfeeding would be easy – but then struggled? This was the experience of Mum of 4, Etta Watts-Russell. “Breastfeeding wasn’t even on my radar as a potential problem, and I think I just assumed there would always be exactly the right amount of milk that my babies needed, on demand!”
But on finding that breastfeeding wasn’t straightforward, and struggling, Etta said she “felt like a failure, right at the start of motherhood”. Etta was disappointed with the lack of solutions and support to help Mums.
So in 2019 Etta resolved to give mums who choose to breastfeed a better success in breastfeeding, together with a better experience. She put together a team of experts including lactation consultants, healthcare professionals and industrial designers, and developed a world-first in breastfeeding, Lactamo, which was brought to market in 2021.
And since launching a year ago Etta is achieving exactly that: leading lactation consultants are calling Lactamo “a game-changer in breastfeeding”, with an independent clinical trial concluding that Lactamo is a “valuable breastfeeding aid”. But more importantly, mums themselves are being helped, giving feedback that Lactamo has “saved” their breastfeeding journeys.
Specifically developed and designed for the elasticity of lactating breast tissue, Lactamo facilitates breast massage and temperature: this combination has long been known to address the common breastfeeding problems (including oversupply, undersupply, blocked ducts, engorgement, mastitis) proactively and reactively, with studies showing significant benefits. However, without Lactamo many mums struggle to reap the benefits of breast massage: using hands to massage breast tissue can often cause damage as hands can be too hard and damage fragile breast tissue, using hands doesn’t incorporate the optimal temperature needed, and also many mums aren’t sure of the massage technique to use for breast tissue.
This year, Lactamo decided to check in on how Australian breastfeeding mums are doing, so carried out a survey. Already knowing mums needed more help and support in breastfeeding, but didn’t think that the results would be as bad as they were.
In the survey, 92% reported negative experiences as part of their breastfeeding journey, with 67% of these being physical problems (oversupply, undersupply, blocked ducts, engorgement, infection). Women listed endless negative experiences, and a whopping 49% had had mastitis.
On top of these struggles, women said they had “problems with returning to work while breastfeeding” (21%), “issues with breastfeeding in public” (27%), and “felt negatively judged about how long they breastfed for” (30%). As if new mothers didn’t already have enough on their plate. A depressing 81% of mums reported that they wanted more breastfeeding support.
Modibodi also recognised that new mothers needed more support during this difficult (and leaky) time, creating innovative Breastfeeding Bra's and Cami's that have leak-proof lining which absorbs breast milk and sweat within the bra cups, so you'll feel dry and protected. Check out the nursing styles here.
Let’s empower mums who are struggling, not just with breakthrough new product innovation (thanks, Lactamo and Modibodi!), but also by giving them more help and support: let’s cut the judgement and scrutiny and join together to support mums at the start of motherhood.