No, this is not a coconut. This is the Gala Pump! It’s a breast pump that can be worn INSIDE your bra so that you can pump discreetly. AH-MAZING, right?
When I first heard about this, I was floored! I really thought that the current breast pumps were it and that using a breast pump would always be cumbersome, annoying, and just super complicated. Who wants to be washing a zillion different parts while caring for a newborn? Who wants to have to go to the public bathroom to pump milk while at work? Who wants to sit in a chair or a car looking like a cow getting milked by a machine?
Breastfeeding was hard for me, but I really wanted to keep at it. My mom had formula fed my brother and myself, but I really wanted to give this breastfeeding thing a try. It was hard and no one showed me how to use a pump. I didn’t have time to figure it out at the hospital after Ninjette was born since I was still trying to figure out how she was going to latch on to my boob! I will spare you the details about the rawness and eventual nipple bleeding for another post.
I still remember crying and calling my friend who had her baby just 4 months before and asking her how to use the pump since I could not find the manual and when I did, the manual was full of too many words that could not be read through teary new mom eyes. My milk had not come in and I was trying to get it to come in through a combo of breastfeeding and pumping. When the milk did finally come in, I was determined to pump so that Ninja could also do some of the feedings.
I have to say, it’s a confusing process – how long can the milk be out, what’s the best way to store it, what should be cleaned and when, how do you know if it fits right over your boob, and why is the breast pump talking to me?!
Since I was a stay-at-home mom, I did not continue the pumping (which was tough because Ninjette did not wean until 15 months!). My eyes were opened to the difficulties of pumping again when I was at work and our CEO was pumping at work after coming back from her maternity leave. It left me longing and thinking about how there must be a better way or how there should be pumping rooms with sinks and fridges at all companies for moms to be able to pump and store their milk. It never occurred to me that you could change the pump itself!
Once I got introduced to Susan from Kohana (formerly DS Labs, Inc.) and was told that she needed someone to help with social media, I jumped and waved my hands saying, “Pick me!” How could I NOT be a part of this? I truly think that this will change the world for all moms who decide to breastfeed! The technology is different from current breast pumps on the market and you can read more about it here. You can also find out more information by liking Kohana’s FB page or following us on Twitter!
We’re also looking for students (both undergrad and graduate students) who know a lot about Kickstarter and is interested in entrepreneurship – if that’s you, give me a holla!
Fun facts: Did you know that Gala is the Greek word for milk? Hence, Gala Pump! Also, the founder named her company Kohana because she really wanted to inspire a sense of family (Ohana is all family -including extended! – in Hawaiian) and the K is for her son.
The Gala Pump is being tested by nursing moms right now and we hope to get FDA clearance soon!
Til then, most insurance companies will cover your breast pump (Most moms seem to end up with the Medela brand) and usually the ob/gyn will write a prescription for it. Mine was delivered to my hospital room after delivery.
I would also recommend seeing a lactation consultant at the beginning – they are super helpful! Also, if you would like some Korean seaweed soup, I can make it for you and deliver it to you if you are in the Boston area. My lactation consultant said to keep eating it and my grandma and mom are convinced that it’s the best thing for a new mom to be eating – for at least a year! 🙂 (Now it is one of Ninjette’s favorite soups to eat!)
The combo that I found to be helpful was a nursing stool plus the Boppy, but it’s because I’m short in height.
I hope you’re excited about this revolutionary breast pump as I am – even if you are not a breastfeeding mom. Plus, I love women entrepreneurs! So inspiring!!!