KoalaKin is committed to helping moms reach their breastfeeding goals. Whether it’s because of a poor latch, arm, back or shoulder pain, other kids to look after, or overall lack of support, too many moms are giving up breastfeeding before they are ready. Vivian, creator of KoalaKin, was one of those moms and it is her sincere hope that the KoalaKin would be a helpful tool that assists nursing mothers everywhere as they strive to give their babies the absolute best.
TLB: Hello Vivian. It’s been a little while since we’ve had a KoalaKin giveaway – what would you like TLB readers to know about KoalaKin?
Vivian: I created the KoalaKin because of the difficulties I had when nursing both of my sons. I had everything, ranging from arm pain, poor latch, sore back and with my second son, another child to look after during the day. I tried nursing in slings and carriers, but I couldn’t get them to work for me, so I decided to create my own “sling”. I was so relieved and happy that I finally had something that allowed me to breastfeed without pain, that I showed it to lactation consultants at two local hospitals. They loved it! In fact, they made excellent suggestions for improvements and encouraged me to make more because they saw moms on a daily basis that were going through the same challenges I was, and therefore could benefit from my invention. And thus, the KoalaKin was born!
TLB: What is the inspiration behind your brand name?
Vivian: Babies love to be carried and moms love to carry their babies. It’s instinctual, which made me think of the animals that also carry their young. I realized that my nursing pouch mimics the way a marsupial carries their young. I then consulted with an Australian friend of mine on what would be a good name for my product. We realized several baby products have kangaroos in their names already. A wombat didn’t feel super warm and fuzzy. Plus, who would buy a product called “wombat kin”? And then we thought of koalas and I immediately knew that was the right name. Koalas are so sweet and they look adorable, I just knew it was the perfect name for my product.
TLB: I understand that you have some exciting news to share! Something about safety testing and a new product line?
Vivian: Yes! We are very proud to have passed the ASTM standard for slings. This is a very stringent test that is conducted on the product to ensure moms and babies are safe when using it correctly. The KoalaKin has been tested for up to 35lbs, so we are confident even those moms with bigger babies can safely and comfortably nurse in the KoalaKin.
Over the last couple of years, we also heard from our plus sized mamas asking us to create a vest that would fit them too, and I am very excited to announce that since October, we have come out with a plus sized vest that fits moms sizes 16 and up.
TLB: Where can our Leakies go to purchase this new Plus Size vest (and your other products too!)?
TLB: Christmas is right around the corner, and many of us are anticipating spending more time with family, which can either be wonderful or extremely difficult. What kind of advice would you give a new mom who is having to face breastfeeding with their extended family for the first time?
Vivian: I know exactly how that feels, as I was breastfeeding a two month old incessantly during Christmas the year he was born.
I have 3 main advices for new moms during this festive, but potentially challenging time:
1) don’t hesitate asking for help. Many moms just try to do everything themselves, but it’s ok to relax and let someone else take the reins once in a while. And the important thing here is to let go of expectations, because other people will never do things the way we would, so don’t try to control the outcome of any situation. Just appreciate that you’re being given time to focus and bond with your little one.
2) don’t take too much on. This is not the time to have 20 people over for a formal sit down dinner. This is a recipe for failure and frustration. Let the grandparents host Christmas, or if you’re like me and don’t have any family in town, chose a simpler menu, something you know how to cook (this is not the time to experiment!) and you know the family will approve. I made a cheese fondue, salad and bought some smoked salmon and it was a huge hit. In fact, we’ve had it almost every Christmas ever since. You can keep it simple and still have a festive meal that everyone will love.
3) don’t be too hard on yourself. OK, so dinner got served 30min later than expected, or the mashed potatoes are now cold, or your baby is fussing and extended family is giving you all sorts of well-intentioned, but unwanted advice. I have this exercise that I do when I find myself in a potentially stressful situation called “What Am I Aware Of Now?”. I ask myself this question over an over and the answers go something like this: I’m aware of my heart pounding, I’m aware of a wonderful smell coming from the kitchen, I’m aware of my baby’s soft skin, I’m aware I’m irritated with Uncle Pat’s boring office party story, etc… This exercise helps me come back to myself when I feel like I’m being pulled in 10 different directions, and it really calms me down.
Vivian is giving away a KoalaKin, Hands Free Nursing Pouch of your choice. Retail Value: $89.99
Currently Leakies can find all KoalaKin items on the KoalaKin website.
Good luck to everyone! Please use the widget below to be entered. The giveaway is open from December 10, 2013 through December 16, 2013. A big thanks to Vivian and KoalaKin for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity. You can also find KoalaKin on Pinterest! Happy Holidays!
This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.