When my second son was born, I was worried that I was going to have the same breastfeeding experience I had with my first son: mastitis, cracked nipples, poor latch, poor milk supply, strain on my arms, neck and shoulder, you name it, I had it. After 3 weeks of pure torture, I gave up breastfeeding altogether and switched to pumping, but my poor milk supply ended up catching up to me and I had to give it all up before my 1st boy was 6 months old.
Two weeks after my 2nd son was born, I saw that I was headed down the exact same path as before. I suffered from mastitis due to a poor latch and the same, nasty arm, neck and shoulder pain. I wanted to breastfeed more than anything in the world, but I cringed every time I had to do it. The only ray of hope I had was as I visited with lactation consultants who helped me latch my son on properly and hold him securely in place while I nursed for once without feeling any pain. I realized I needed something to help hold my son safely in place so that I could free up my hands. I tried slings and wraps, but unfortunately was never able to figure out how to nurse in them. All of this left me feeling very frustrated, not to mention immensely sad that I wasn’t able to give my son what he needed most. Again.
It was during one of these sessions that a nurse mentioned that I was not alone: most moms give up breastfeeding before their babies are 3 months old. I also found out that almost 30% of pregnant women suffer from carpal tunnel or tendonitis and that this condition is worsened through breastfeeding. Those statistics shocked me. That night, at home, I decided I was going to try to do something about it. So I joined forces with lactation consultants and physical therapists and the KoalaKin, Hands Free Nursing Pouch was born (pun intended!!)
Not a sling, and not a carrier, the KoalaKin consists of a vest and a pouch developed specifically to mimic a mother’s hold, letting moms nurse completely hands free, thus providing a more relaxing experience. The pouch is also designed to hold the baby snugly and safely against mom’s chest, which may dramatically improve a baby’s ability to latch on and stay latched, as well as relieve arm, neck and shoulder pain. It was also important for me to create a product that would promote the healthy bonding that naturally occurs during breastfeeding and therefore the KoalaKin has a nice opening at the top so that moms can easily look at their babies during nursing sessions.
And finally, Mary Beth Ackerman, a physical therapist in Washington who specializes in pregnancy related injuries says, “The KoalaKin encourages a more ergonomic posture with feeding. It allows you to sit or stand more upright, reducing strain on your shoulders and neck. By freeing up your hands, it reduces repetitive strain on the wrists. Overall, the KoalaKin is a great tool in preventing post-partum injuries.”
It is my sincere hope and desire to enable moms to nurse their babies free from pain for as long as they desire, and not have to give it up before they are ready.
Vivian Muehlen, born and raised in Brazil, moved to the US in 2000 after living in Germany for ten years. She worked for Microsoft and other large companies for more than 15 years, until deciding to give up corporate life to focus her attention on developing a product to help nursing mothers … and so the KoalaKin Nursing Positioner was born. She currently lives in Kirkland, WA with her husband and four children, a cat and a dog.
Vivian has generously offered to give away a Koala Kin Hands-Free Nursing Carrier to one lucky Mommy News & Views reader!
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling us why you think the Koala Kin will help you to breastfeed your baby. **This is a mandatory entry in order to be entered to win**
And finally, for a 3rd chance to win, tweet about this contest. Please include a link to your tweet in your comment.
Please leave one comment for each of the three activities once they have been completed. And don’t forget to tell your friends – we want as many mamas as possible to have a chance of winning one of these great carriers!!
**This contest is open to residents of the US and Canada ONLY. Contest ends 11/5/11- winner will be chosen by random drawing. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.