Breastfeeding is often the mother of invention. From awesome hands-free pumping supports to breast pumps to nipple shields, there are more and more products out there to support breastfeeding moms.
Tangela Walker-Craft, the creator of the GoPillow, was a SAHM that turned her idea for a breastfeeding accessory into a business. Here’s her story:
My daughter was born in the summer with a head full of hair. Each time I would breastfeed her, the back of her neck along the hairline would perspire and my arm would be damp.
I decided that I needed an arm cover – not just for breastfeeding, but for cradling my baby. I told my husband about an idea that I had. He and I began playing around with various versions of an arm pillow.
I was watching a child product segment on a talk show when they plugged a website and explained that the company bought ideas from parent inventors. I emailed the site and asked for submission requirements and sent in my idea. The owner contacted me; she loved the idea. After finding out that I was a stay-at-home mother trying to replace my previous teaching salary she asked me if I could come up with my own “start up funds”. She later told me how to get the product made and how to market it myself.
The original intent of the pillow was for cradling babies for feedings. I knew it would also be an excellent travel pillow for moms and kids. The idea for adding the privacy blanket came later. It was added after I was caught in a crowded area during a rainstorm at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My husband hid me with his shirt so that I could nurse my daughter discreetly.
We realized then that a privacy blanket would separate my pillow from other nursing pillows. A privacy blanket that was accessible when needed, but stored away when not in use was not available on existing breastfeeding pillows. The GoPillow! solved several problems for mothers when away from home with a baby or toddler.
Tangela is a contributor for the Tampa Bay/Lakeland Parenting Examiner for Examiner.com. She draws from her experiences as a wife, mother, business owner, and former Language Arts teacher for her articles about breastfeeding and other family topics.