Mammojo Co-Founder Melita Shirley had her first child in March 2013. Finding the postnatal period to be an exhausting and somewhat isolating time, Melita recounts her journey and the experiences that led to her and her husband Jonny starting the business.
"I found the early postnatal period to be a fairly isolating time. I was chronically sleep deprived, and lived on caffeine. Although I craved the connection with other mums, the idea of taking my newborn out of the house seemed so utterly exhausting that I spent a fair bit of time on my own with my baby. I was also fairly self conscious about breastfeeding my baby in public and this added to the feelings of isolation.
Exercise had always been an important part of my life but now I needed to be able to feed my gorgeous, but highly parasitic child at the drop of a hat and traditional activewear was completely impractical for a new mother. A simple, sanity-saving walk around the block could very quickly escalate into a highly stressful and at times thoroughly indecent situation! (Sorry to all the people I inadvertently flashed in 2013 while trying to feed my panicked, wailing baby!) I never thought I'd have to choose between two things that were good for me and good for my baby: breastfeeding and exercise. It was at this point that the initial idea of Mammojo was conceived.
Research indicates that one in five mothers suffer from some kind of maternal mental health issue like postnatal depression and two of the big risk reduction factors for this condition lie in exercise and feeling connected to others. The Mammojo Lactivewear® range was designed to support new mums to live the kind of active and connected life they choose without compromising on breastfeeding their babies.
A cornerstone of the business has always been about giving back to causes that support mothers and babies. We're proud that our business operates as a social enterprise where our proceeds can contribute to alleviating the same kind of maternal stress and isolation that I experienced.
In 2020, I had my fourth (yes, fourth!) little cherub and am proud to say that over the past four years our social impact has been threefold:
1) Our range removes breastfeeding as a barrier to living an active and connected life - something that is so critical for the mental health and wellbeing of mothers. Mothers matter and we are here for that!
2) Every purchase from our range has contributed to maternal health initiatives through a range of charities - including Mater Little Miracles and The Australian Birthing Kit Foundation.
3) Sustainability is at the heart of our business. We use sustainable fabrics which are recycled wherever possible and our products are made in ethically certified factories. Wherever we can, we support local Australian businesses or other social enterprises in our supply chain."