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Jenna Bra - World’s first 3-in-1 fully adjustable Nursing, Pumping and Weaning Bra. This Patented bra is a very personal product for me.
In September 2012 after years of trying to have a baby, a surgery and one round of unsuccessful IVF treatment we decided to take a break from family planning.
A few months later, to our utter surprise, we found out that we were pregnant. We were ecstatic! Everything was normal and fine until the day of our 20-week ultrasound in January of 2013. We were eager to find out the gender. It was a girl!!!!! She's all we wanted. We couldn't be happier.
As the ultrasound tech told us the gender she also said the doctor needed to talk to us. It turned out I was having a miscarriage. My cervix was opening and at 20 weeks the baby was too young to survive, and there was no way to keep me from delivering. Within 10 minutes our entire world flipped upside down. We went home to think about all our options. That same night, I woke up in excruciating pain. We rushed to the ER and I went into labor just as we reached the emergency room. We lost her.
Currently, there is no good way to dry up your milk ducts. Either a mom slowly weans off day by day, letting her milk supply decrease since it's not being used and suffer through engorgement/discomfort or she can do what I ended up doing. I wore two sports bras that were toooo tight for me, Stuck cold cabbage leave in my bra cups which smelled disgusting, replaced those with ziplock bags full of ice cubes in the cups to cool down and dry my milk ducts faster, then my sister, husband and mom took turns wrapping me as tight as they could with an ace bandage. Every hour or so I would constantly change the leaking ice bags and release the pressure of the ace bandage which made me feel like I couldn't catch my breath.
It was a bad solution. One that I could never do myself either. I also couldn't imagine going outside looking like that, let alone get back to work. It took about two weeks for my ducts to dry up.
Since I am an Interaction/User Experience designer by profession, I decided to channel my pain and mourning into developing a solution for other moms and more importantly to distract myself.
Three weeks after the miscarriage I set out to design a bra that could help a woman wean without being in so much discomfort. It started out as just an idea and a side project to keep my mind busy. I wanted to make something that a woman could put on and use all by herself, especially if she was a single mom, someone who came from a very conservative culture where no one talks about miscarriages let alone engorgement (still happens all over the world in South Asia, Africa and Middle East not to mention in the US), or just didn't have any other support.
I spoke to every female friend/relative who had ever been pregnant. Set up user surveys, spoke to my sister and her OBGYN colleagues and learned just how many women have miscarriages, stillbirths, loss of a child and must go through what I went through. Yet NO ONE EVER TALKS about any of it. The doctor who discharged me didn't even think to talk about it. The numbers are alarming. Especially in my generation.
I bought dozens and dozens of bras. Cut them up, used the best parts and stitched multiple prototypes. I then tested them out on myself and other women. I finally figured out the perfect design that actually worked.
When a woman is engorged it's already hard to move your arms and upper half without feeling lots of discomforts. Reaching back to open and close a bra was annoying. The Jenna Bra goes on like a vest and wraps in the front for convenient closure.
As I was making this perfect weaning bra I realized that a lot of moms need to wean after they have already nursed a baby so I should think about them too. Currently, a mom has to buy a separate nursing bra and a pumping bra. There is no such thing as a weaning bra in the market. She has to change bras if she wants to pump easily. It's costly and a hassle. Annoying for working moms, for women out socializing or doing activities. I set out to see if I could design an all in one bra. After many prototypes, I landed upon the current PATENTED design!