Breastfeeding is often a disconcerting experience for mothers, with stories often coming out about women being shamed about feeding their child in public, despite it being the most natural thing in the world. Many have to resort to extreme lengths to make it easier – whether that’s wearing multiple layers, or seeking privacy in a quiet corner – but what if there was a nursing T-shirt that meant you didn’t have to struggle?
That was the brainwave of 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 worked relentlessly on 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% 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 currently on sale for £20, with new motifs and slogans planned for the next batch. She's sold over 500 so far worldwide, 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.'