Etta Watts-Russell, the founder of FemTech start-up Lactamo, is a finalist for the St.George KickStart PROGRAM 2020.
Here she shares the inspiration behind Lactamo and how she aims to give new mothers a more positive breastfeeding experience.
For many new mothers, the reality of breastfeeding their baby – particularly in the early days – isn’t quite what they expected. In fact, with supply issues, breast engorgement, blocked ducts, infection and pain all fairly commonplace, it can feel more like an endurance test.
Born from her own struggles with breastfeeding as a mother of four and the realisation that her experience was by no means an isolated one, Etta Watts-Russell invented Lactamo. A lactation aid specifically designed to address these problems.
“I went into motherhood thinking the birth was going to be the hard part but I found breastfeeding really difficult. I felt like a failure before I’d started my journey properly. The more mothers I spoke to, the more I realised it wasn’t just me – and as those conversations widened I began to see the extent of the problem,” she recalls.
Most advice around dealing with lactation problems focusses on using temperature, movement and compression for relief. Etta found that there was nothing that really facilitated that advice.
She saw the potential for a product that combined these three components in one, and after consulting widely with mothers, midwives, lactation consultants and healthcare professionals, produced a simple but effective solution: Lactamo.