Necessity is the Mother of my Invention! By Gemma Beriman (Hudson’s Mum & Owner of Moon Mama)

That’s right, this housewife is now officially an ‘inventor’. 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, I’d decided it was time these 3 essential baby items were combined into one product which I dubbed the Take-Off Tote, a.k.a TOT. ‘Look after your tot with our TOT.’ I’m launching it under my own brand, Moon Mama, named to honour the fact I went into labour during a full moon.

We have the patent, now we need the product. That’s why we’re campaigning on Kickstarter to raise $10,000 towards the manufacture of our first shipment. We have the patent, trademark, website, prototype and the supplier’s ready to go. People can make a pledge, anything from $1 and up, to help fund our new business and score themselves a Take-Off Tote 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 didn’t take a play mat with us, so our little Hudson missed out on vital tummy time because we didn’t have a clean place for him on the ground.


3-in-1 Diaper Bag
1st option – Diaper Bag

On our return to Australia, I began thinking: ‘Surely there’s a simpler way to escape the house and breastfeed out and about without taking the whole kitchen sink with me?’ 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.

That’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? That’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 didn’t have a comfortable portable feeding option when heading out with baby.

Sure, there’s those bulky nursing pillows. They’re great for when you’re lounging around at home. But what about when you’re out? What then? You don’t want to drag that around with you, not when you’ve already got baby, stroller, diaper bag and all its contents, handbag, toys… 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 you’re back to square one.


2nd option – Breastfeeding Pillow

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.

I’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. That’s why I decided to incorporate a play mat into the design of the Take-Off Tote. It’s stored in a convenient base compartment of the bag, ready for those impulsive adventures. Taking baby to the park and encouraging ‘tummy time’ helps ensure they’ll develop the back strength they’ll need for their future stability and balance.

And don’t even get me started on vitamin D. Do you know one in three Australians is low in vitamin D? 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. Just use your commonsense, people! Grab your Take-Off Tote and head out in the sunshine!

Lastly, breastfeeding – the key reason behind my invention. It’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 Association’s website to read about the upsides in greater detail, but here’s a few: It’s convenient, portable, soothing, increases baby’s resistance to disease and infection, satisfies both hunger and thirst and it’s a complete food containing all baby’s nutritional needs for the first six months of life. Amazing!


3rd option – Play Mat for Tummy Time

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies to six months of age. (Exclusive means baby only receives breastmilk and nothing else.) Australian breastfeeding statistics indicate we are falling well short of these recommendations. Statistics from the 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey results indicate that 96 per cent of mothers initiate breastfeeding. Thereafter, exclusive breastfeeding rates drop off. Less than one quarter (15 per cent) are still breastfeeding by 5 months.

That’s why the Take-Off Tote 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 it’s removable, it also doubles as a tummy time pillow, great when used in combination with the play mat. I’ve even designed a toy bar to affix to the pillow.  No excuses ladies, you’ll have to head out with bub once you get a Take-Off Tote!

However, not everyone can breastfeed. Recurring nipple infections, low supply of milk, returning to work, stress…and there are many more reasons. Plus, it’s a mother’s choice. Some women choose to go with the bottle and that’s fine too! You have to do what’s right for you and your little one. The great thing about the Take-Off Tote is that it’s a handy support when breast or bottle feeding baby. Initially we’ll releasing it in a gender-neutral colour so it’s daddy-friendly too. Yes, we have thought of everything!

So, it’s over to you. If you’re still reading, that’s a great sign. You want to be part of the revolution. Head to our Kickstarter page, Facebook and website to be one of the first to get your hands on a Take-Off Tote. You’ll be supporting an Aussie mum’s new business and simplifying your life, all in one!

What are you waiting for? Ready, set…TAKE-OFF!


Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/moonmama/take-off-tote-3-in-1-diaper-bag-feeding-pillow-and

Website: www.moonmama.com.au

Facebook: facebook.com/moonmamahq


(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).