Today there are lots of options for nursing clothing, breast pumps and even fashionable chic bags to hold your pumps. But back 22 years ago when I returned to work after my first daughter was born, there was one double electric pump on the market, no companies offering professional or stylish nursing clothing, and employers were largely unaware of the needs of pumping women, like appropriate lactation spaces. I lugged my large Medela Pump-in-Style pump to work, and expressed milk several times a day in an empty office with no furniture, while just outside my coworkers (mostly male) could hear the whirring of my pump in action.
It was not easy, and I had an idea that I could make things better for women by creating a line of fashions that were stylish, yet conducive to pumping and nursing, to give them confidence and freedom to feed their little ones wherever they went. Surprised that the maternity companies and major retailers were largely ignoring this niche, offering a few oversize styles with large obvious “nursing flaps,” (some even "dry clean only!") I knew women deserved better and would likely to stick with nursing for longer, if they had more support. I left my job and career path determined to launch a brand of clothing for nursing moms for work, for home, and for special occasions. I knew little about the garment industry but I had an MBA, years of business experience, and most importantly fierce determination. I created two successful nursingwear brands over the last 20 years, first with Expressiva Nursingwear, and more recently in 2008 with Milk Nursingwear.
Thankfully now there is so much more awareness of breastfeeding moms, of the need to support women returning to work and needing to pump, and more acceptance of women breastfeeding their children in public wherever they are. Today there are a plethora of companies at all price ranges selling stylish options for nursing moms, all kinds of pumps and fashionable pumping bags as well. Even though we have a way to go, companies overall are more aware of the need to provide lactation spaces for their employees. I am grateful that my two nursingwear companies were part of this change. At the heart of it I wanted to give women the tools to continue pumping and nursing for as long as they wanted, and to also help make it easier for moms to return to work - and the range of options available today are a testament to that.
The time has come for Milk Nursingwear to close our doors. I am grateful to each of you, our customers, I have loved being part of your nursing and parenting journey for the past 20 years. Thank you to the literally hundreds of thousands of customers we have served in over 125 countries. I have loved your emails, your reviews, and hearing your stories. Along the way I'm also proud that Milk Nursingwear was able to provide our employees flexible schedules that enabled them to raise their children while advancing their careers. I'm glad that I've been able to help other female entrepreneurs get started on their way.
Thanks to each and every one of you for supporting our company over the years. Now the GOOD news for YOU - go get some amazing deals at our Closing-Down Sale - where our high-quality, stylish nursingwear is priced up to 70% Off!!
Sincerely, Elisa Minsk Hartstein, President + Founder, Milk Nursingwear, Inc.