World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first six months and then breastfeeding combined with solid foods till two years. However, working mothers often find it a challenge to do so. They either rely on formula milk or take a break from their careers to ensure that their children get the right nutrition. In this regard, Technopark has created history in the country by setting up Domatio, a lactation pod in the Park – a first-of-its kind in India.
An initiative by ‘I Love 9 Months’ , an all-women startup, Domatio will
enable working mothers to pump and store breast milk for later use
Kerala-based women-led venture ‘I Love 9 Months’ (IL9), incubated by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), has set up a Lactation Pod which will enable working mothers to pump and store breast milk for later use. The state-of-the art facility, ‘Domatio’, which comes as a trailblazer in mother and child care in the country, can be used by all Technopark-based mothers free of cost, initially. The facility, set up on the ground floor of Thejaswini block at Technopark, was inaugurated by Dr. Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM, and Tina James, President, e-WIT (Empowering Women in IT) Trivandrum Chapter.
“KSUM is proud that ‘I Love 9 Months’ has taken the initiative. We hope that this model will be emulated at all work places including IT parks in Kerala,” said Dr. Saji Gopinath. Taking the safety and privacy of mothers into consideration, the pod comes with a two-way lock facility as well as a hygienic state-of-the-art breast pump. Comfortable chairs with footstools are provided for the mothers to relax and do breast pumping. The initiative will also provide emotional and informational support for mothers. WHO has identified breastfeeding-friendly work place policy as a critical component in mother and child wellness.
“We believe no child of a working woman should be deprived of breast milk. Let us make workplaces more breastfeeding-friendly for happy and engaged employees,” said Suma Ajith, Co-founder & Director – Operations, IL9. Binu Shankar, Kerala CEO of Ernst & Young; Jena Peter, HR Director, Navigant India; Ashok Kurien, Business Development Manager, KSUM; IL9 CEO B K Raj Kumar, COO Ganga Rajan, Kerala Operations Head Varsha K R and Kerala Field Manager Mahesh SS also attended the inaugural event.
‘I Love 9 Months,’ is a maternity wellness startup incubated by KSUM. It is co-founded by three women entrepreneurs, Ganga Raj, Anjali Raj and Suma Ajith. The company provides products and services that help improve maternal and infant outcomes, and was selected as the best startup in the wellness sector in the India-Israel Innovation Challenge. The company is also one among the winners of Destination Kerala Startup Awards 2017.
The startup earlier launched ‘Sahodari’, to assist mothers with vital checks, and physical, emotional and breastfeeding support. They plan to partner with corporates and government offices to make the workplace more mother, baby and breastfeeding-friendly.