Technology is innovating and reinventing how mothers breastfeed. Meet Nurture by Imalac, the world’s first nursing and pumping bra with an attachable, hands-free breast massage system that simulates hand expression. While humans have been breastfeeding since the beginning of time, few innovations have made the job easier for women. That changes with Nurture. Behind the product is a mission-driven mother and daughter team who created a better solution for moms’ needs.
Noreen, besides being a mother yourself, did your experience with co-founding Noven Pharmaceuticals contribute to your passion to create this product? Also, how has working in the industry shaped your point-of-view on the breastfeeding issue recently brought up by the media ?
My experience with Noven Pharmaceuticals plus my work in Israel with a med tech accelerator gave me the confidence to create my own company. This was reinforced by my experience in the Babson WinLab accelerator program for female entrepreneurs. I feel I have an excellent understanding of the scope of knowledge necessary to successfully execute Imalac’s business plan.
My passion originated both from my position of advocacy for breastfeeding and my increased awareness of the need for innovation in the field. As female entrepreneurs, I feel that we are uniquely positioned to create a product that breastfeeding women will find efficient and user friendly. The recent media attention surrounding guidelines for breastfeeding and for discouraging the use of formula was both surprising and distressing. The health benefits of breast milk and breast feeding for both the infant and mother are well established and extensively documented science. It is a shame to see something so basic and important be politicized in this manner.
Who was Nurture designed for? With an increasing number of moms returning to work post-baby as well as moms who are super busy and trying to do all, how can Nurture help the mom on the go?
Nurture was designed specifically with the mother returning to work in mind as well as the woman who is constantly on the go. Nurture is a truly hands free experience with the massage component simply snapping on to the nursing bra that we provide. It enables the woman to have her hands free to work as she pumps. It’s benefits include decreases in both pumping time and incidence of clogged milk ducts so that she is out of commission for less time.
Can you explain the technical part behind Nurture and how the bra works alongside the massager? Was a certain design kept in mind to optimize the experience?
We wanted something as easy as possible for a working mother to use, so that she would not have to completely undress at her office. We also wanted to design a bra that was comfortable for a woman to wear all day.
When the mother is ready to pump she unsnaps the nursing cup and replaces it with the massaging cup and attached module. This cup is designed to accommodate the nipple shield of the pump. We designed this product to be portable for moms on the go. Nurture will also have an app so that women can save their preferences on speed and force to customize the expressing experience.
With so many companies getting into the breastfeeding movement, does Nurture have any potential partnerships that are currently in development and how do you plan to use your position to create buzz around breastfeeding?
We are working on a few hospital relationships for testing and potential investment and plan to be reaching out to strategic companies in the near future.
How has the technology surrounding breastfeeding products changed over the years, as well as the industry? How is Nurture shaping a new kind of product that is being introduced to the marketplace?
The technology surrounding breastfeeding has not changed enough and that is why we have entered this growing international market which is creating an increased opportunity for innovation.
Lastly what word/ phrase captures how you think of pregnancy or motherhood?
Wondrous experience. It’s amazing to see your body change and to feel a child grow inside of you. It’s also scary not knowing whether the baby will be healthy. Overall, motherhood is the most fulfilling and challenging experience that any woman can go through.
To learn more about Noreen’s background, visit her LinkedIn page and be sure to check out Miami Herald’s CEO Roundtable every week for Noreen’s point-of-view on relevant South Florida topics.