Necessity is the Mother of my Invention! By Gemma Beriman (Hudsonâ€™s Mum & Owner of Moon Mama)
Thatâ€™s right, this housewife is now officially an â€˜inventorâ€™. Of sorts. The Australian Patent Office recently granted me an Innovation Patent, making me the intellectual property owner of the first All-In-One Diaper Bag, Feeding Pillow and Play Mat.
In a nut shell, Iâ€™d decided it was time these 3 essential baby items were combined into one product which I dubbed theÂ Take-Off Tote, a.k.a TOT. â€˜Look after your tot with our TOT.â€™ Iâ€™m launching it under my own brand,Â Moon Mama, named to honour the fact I went into labour during a full moon.
We have the patent, now we need the product. Thatâ€™s why weâ€™re campaigning onÂ KickstarterÂ to raise $10,000 towards the manufacture of our first shipment. We have the patent, trademark, website, prototype and the supplierâ€™s ready to go. People can make a pledge, anything from $1 and up, to help fund our new business and score themselves aÂ Take-Off ToteÂ in the process!
So how did this all come about? Rewind to May 2013. I was travelling in Italy with my mum, husband and our four-month-old son and we were fed up with lugging around loads of extra baby baggage. It was ridiculously uncomfortable hunching over to breastfeed on the go and we didnâ€™t take a play mat with us, so our little Hudson missed out on vital tummy time because we didnâ€™t have a clean place for him on the ground.
On our return to Australia, I began thinking: â€˜Surely thereâ€™s a simpler way to escape the house and breastfeed out and about without taking the whole kitchen sink with me?â€™ After an exhaustive internet search, I enlisted the help of a patent attorney and he discovered there was no existing product that featured a bag, pillow and mat in one design.
Thatâ€™s when I decided to invest in my idea. Did you know Australian women spend on average 1 year of their lives breastfeeding their babies? Thatâ€™s 1.5 per cent of their lives. According to the World Health Organisation, the global average duration of breastfeeding is 4.2 years. And yet, until now, women didnâ€™t have a comfortable portable feeding option when heading out with baby.
Sure, thereâ€™s those bulky nursing pillows. Theyâ€™re great for when youâ€™re lounging around at home. But what about when youâ€™re out? What then? You donâ€™t want to drag that around with you, not when youâ€™ve already got baby, stroller, diaper bag and all its contents, handbag, toysâ€¦ I think you get the picture. No wonder it takes us mothers so long just to make it to the car door – only to have the little one projectile vomit and then youâ€™re back to square one.
Health experts are always banging on about how us lovely ladies need to look after ourselves.PANDA (the Post and Antenatal Depression Association) is the only specialist national perinatal depression helpline support service. Demand for its services has increased by 70 per cent in the last two years. With rising birthrates this number is set to grow even further, with predictions of nearly 50,000 women affected by postnatal depression in 2015. Concerning figures.
Iâ€™m no doctor, but spending time bonding with baby in the fresh air has to help set mums on the right track to good health. Thatâ€™s why I decided to incorporate a play mat into the design of theÂ Take-Off Tote. Itâ€™s stored in a convenient base compartment of the bag, ready for those impulsive adventures.Â Taking baby to the park and encouraging â€˜tummy timeâ€™ helps ensure theyâ€™ll develop the back strength theyâ€™ll need for their future stability and balance.
And donâ€™t even get me started on vitamin D. Do you know one in three Australians is low in vitamin D?Â We need it to maintain good health and to keep bones and muscles strong and healthy. The best source of vitamin D is UV-B radiation from the sun. To get a healthy dose of this essential vitamin we only need a few minutes of exposure to the sun during summer and up to three hours in winter, according to the Cancer Council Australia.Â Just use your commonsense, people! Grab yourÂ Take-Off ToteÂ and head out in the sunshine!
Lastly, breastfeeding – the key reason behind my invention. Itâ€™s such a great way to bond with baby. Plus, the health benefits for both mother and baby are huge. You can visit the Australian Breastfeeding Associationâ€™s website to read about the upsides in greater detail, but hereâ€™s a few: Itâ€™s convenient, portable, soothing, increases babyâ€™s resistance to disease and infection, satisfies both hunger and thirst and itâ€™s a complete food containing all babyâ€™s nutritional needs for the first six months of life. Amazing!
The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies to six months of age. (Exclusive means baby only receives breastmilk and nothing else.)Â Australian breastfeeding statistics indicate we are falling well short of these recommendations. Statistics from theÂ 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding SurveyÂ results indicate that 96 per cent of mothers initiate breastfeeding.Â Thereafter, exclusive breastfeeding rates drop off. Less than one quarter (15 per cent) are still breastfeeding by 5 months.
Thatâ€™s why theÂ Take-Off ToteÂ features a feeding pillow, to encourage mothers to breastfeed longer by giving them a comfortable, portable option. Simply secure the bag strap around your waist and unzip the front pocket to reveal the plush pillow. As itâ€™s removable, it also doubles as a tummy time pillow, great when used in combination with the play mat. Iâ€™ve even designed a toy bar to affix to the pillow.Â Â No excuses ladies, youâ€™ll have to head out with bub once you get aÂ Take-Off Tote!
However, not everyone can breastfeed. Recurring nipple infections, low supply of milk, returning to work, stressâ€¦and there are many more reasons. Plus, itâ€™s a motherâ€™s choice. Some women choose to go with the bottle and thatâ€™s fine too! You have to do whatâ€™s right for you and your little one. The great thing about theÂ Take-Off ToteÂ is that itâ€™s a handy support when breast or bottle feeding baby. Initially weâ€™ll releasing it in a gender-neutral colour so itâ€™s daddy-friendly too. Yes, we have thought of everything!
So, itâ€™s over to you. If youâ€™re still reading, thatâ€™s a great sign. You want to be part of the revolution. Head to ourÂ KickstarterÂ page,Â FacebookÂ andÂ websiteÂ to be one of the first to get your hands on aÂ Take-Off Tote. Youâ€™ll be supporting an Aussie mumâ€™s new business and simplifying your life, all in one!
What are you waiting for? Ready, setâ€¦TAKE-OFF!
(This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional. All information is written from the experience and knowledge of the person writing the post).