Breastfeeding in public can be an uncomfortable experience for some mothers. Stories often emerge about women being shamed about feeding their child in public, despite it being the most natural thing in the world. Many go to extreme lengths to make it easier – whether that's wearing multiple layers, or seeking privacy in a quiet corner – and some are put off feeding in public altogether. But what if there was a nursing T-shirt that made life simpler?
That was the brainwave of UK entrepreneur and mum-of-two Lauren Hampshire, who decided after the birth of her second child that enough was enough. Ordering a T-shirt pattern, her and her mother-in-law came up with a design that would allow her to breastfeed easily: adding zips on either side of the T-shirt, adjusting its length so it didn't ride up, and using a non-toxic 100 per cent combed cotton to ensure no danger to the baby. When she was happy with the results, The Milky Tee company was born.
Comprising five designs, including one that says 'Mutha' and another that says 'Bossing It', the innovative T-shirts are on sale for £20, with new motifs and slogans planned for the next batch. She's sold over 500 so far globally, with big plans for expansion following investment from none other than Sir Richard Branson. The entrepreneur has caught the eye of businessman after she won funding through the Virgin Business Voom Awards.
"I was really shocked that in 2016 there was so little that existed to help mums breastfeed," Hampshire said in her Voom pitch.
"It looks like a normal T-shirt so you can wear it even after you've finished breastfeeding. The zips are placed just below the armpit so mums can pull them down, move the tee across slightly, and breastfeed without having to expose their chest or tummy. Also, as the zips are hidden, The Milky Tee looks like a normal T-shirt and can be worn even after a woman finishes breastfeeding."
Shipping costs outside the UK and EU countries is £13.50 and duty/customs charges are paid by the customer on delivery of the item.