Breastfeeding in public can be quite taboo in some places. Weird looks, raised eyebrows - quite common especially a few years ago. Times have changed and with women's rights at the forefront, things are slowly beginning to change. And with the explosion of nursing covers in the market, breastfeeding in public is slowly becoming a normal sight. I mean running for cover at the toilet or nursing rooms at the mall while holding your screaming baby is not an easy feat. What more if you don't know where the nursing room is or if they even have one. #mummiesstruggles
A nursing cover is a mother's dream. No need to make that sprint. You may perhaps still get that occasional side eye by a prude but hey, at least you're not flashing.
One such store that caters to this group of young moms is Mummies' Munchkins. A Singapore startup that well started cos of the same mother's pain.
Meet Wati - the founder and creator of Mummies' Munchkins. She, just like the mother's out there, had her fair share of side eye. She couldn't find a nursing cover to suit her needs cos at that time, nursing covers were few and far between, so she made them herself. Now she makes customised - yes, CUSTOMISED - nursing covers for mom's who don't just need to nurse their babies but want to do it in style.
How did Mummies' Munchies begin?
Mummies' Munchkins started two years ago. After I gave birth to my son in May 2015, I thought I would return to the working industry after my maternity leave ended. Like any other mother, I wanted to be the main care taker to my son and didn't want to miss any of his milestones. So I decided to be a stay at home mom instead. It was a tough decision to do so after working and having a monthly salary since I was 18 years old.
It was tough to be a SAHM as I would not have a fixed income, plus I had negative comments thrown at me. I then decided to acquire sewing skills which I've always wanted to during my younger days. A supportive man my husband was, he encouraged and signed me up for sewing classes during my confinement days. Still remembered on days that my husband was working, I had to bring my newborn along to my sewing classes.
Since I had my son, I did not purchase or have any nursing cover to use in public. I would normally run to the nearest nursing room in shopping malls or rush home just to breastfeed him. Probably I knew nothing about nursing covers until I received a nursing cover as a free gift during a breastfeeding event. I then thought it was so much easier having one and could nurse on the go.
The idea of Mummies' Munchkins came one day when my newborn son was wailing for milk while I was on the train during peak hour and what was worse I was stuck on a long train ride. I had no choice but to nurse him there and then on the train while standing utilizing that pretty small nursing cover that I received at the event. And because my newborn was so impatient, part of my breast was exposed. Needless to say there were death stares from the people around me.
I remembered another time when I wanted to nurse my son while I was having my meal alone and a man came over to my table with a disgusted look on his face and told me off by asking me to breastfeed my baby somewhere else. I was taken aback when he pointed to the direction of the toilet. So I assumed it was probably due to the size of the nursing cover that I was using then. So I then decided to search for nursing covers with wide coverage at malls and mother/child essential stores but we couldn't find the right one. It wasn’t just the size but the colors and designs weren’t attractive at all too. Price was way beyond budget for me as well.
After I completed the sewing course, I decided to sew my own nursing covers that fit my needs. After all, I couldn’t find any that I liked. When I used them in public, I had a few mothers approach me and ask where I got my covers from. My husband then gave me the idea to sell them on Carousell. After trying for a couple of weeks, I was surprised that it was well received so I decided to expand sales on social media.
Aside from having extra income for myself, I thought it would be good to fill my time at home as well. I was happy to share this new found venture with friends and family but it was disappointing to hear some negative comments and remarks like "Oh you took your Bachelor’s and you’re now a seamstress." Or "when are you going work? Go and work outside and contribute to the family. This is such a waste of time." All the negativity turned out to encourage me to work harder for Mummies’ Munchkins.
What sets Mummies' Munchies apart from similar shops online?
Our nursing covers are customized according to the mother’s needs. From the need to be wider and longer or having additional accessories just so they can have a unique piece.
Mummies' Munchkins’ also caters to mothers who are not able to purchase nursing covers at a high price. Hence we have a series that are cheaper and affordable. We do not want to disappoint moms who need a customized nursing cover but can’t afford them. With a cheaper fabric range, they are also able to nurse with style. I believe this will somehow give a little motivation to breastfeeding mothers. The reason I decided to have this series is because I received quite a handful of messages from moms who wanted customized nursing covers but couldn’t quite afford the hefty price tag.
Aside from that, Mummies' Munchkins have more than 3 series of nursing cover style that mothers are able to choose from.
One of the unique styles we have is the ‘MOODS’ Series. It's a detachable nursing cover that allows you to change the fabric according to your mood. One detachable strap with a variety of fabric covers.
As for the fabrics, we have wide range of material that mothers are able to choose from. We have also taken into consideration mothers and babies who have skin allergies. I know cos my son is allergic to certain cotton and I totally understand how hard it is to get a material that works well for the little one. So we have organic cotton nursing covers that are suitable for sensitive skin .
How has the response been since you began this home-business?
Alhamdulillah, it has been really good. For now, we have our in-stock covers that are available at two stores in Singapore (Buat Si Manja and Swing By Suhaim). We usually replenish our in stock nursing covers every two weeks on top of our weekly orders that we received via our social media.
We also have followers who are from Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and Qatar. That said, we ship worldwide too.
What does the future hold for Mummies' Munchies?
As for now, we have more than 3 kinds of nursing covers that are available for customization. We also have our Cuddlmebymm Blankets that are well received as well. On top of that, we do have the traditional Barut for newborn and gift set that are one of the popular picks.
We’re definitely looking into expanding by having other essentials such as swaddles and bottle cooler bags for working mums who needed to store their breastmilk at work.
We’re currently working on having a delivery tracking system for our customers and our in house delivery personnel. Mummies’ Munchkins website is also in the pipeline. InSha'Allah.
To get your hands on Mummies' Munchies merchandise, their nursing covers will be available at:
- Celebfest @ Swing by Suhaim store from the 10th to 12th November
- The Market Place for New and Expecting Parents at Singapore Expo Hall 4A booth D10A from 24th to 26th November
Follow them on:
Instagram at @mummiesmunchkins
Facebook at www.facebook.com/mummiesmunchkins1/