So Sharon, tell us a bit about yourself and MyMilk Labs.
Together with My co-founder, Ravid Shechter – we both studied life science PhDs – we are the Co-CEOs of MyMilk Labs. I have two children who I breastfed, not without difficulties, for over 2 years.
MyMilk labs is a FemTech company (that we established before the term existed), supporting self and remote breastfeeding care for new families, all powered by tech. We have also co-founded a not-for-profit organisation driving the establishment of the first human milk bank in Israel.
In MyMilk we build the MyLee, an mHealth device and App for empowering new mothers and improving breastfeeding experience and success, powered by sensing a few drops of breastmilk.
What motivated you to set up MyMilk Labs?
My first breastfeeding journey was extremely challenging, after a c-section I was hospitalised with my baby. My baby was then detected tongue-tied too late and consequently, I had a low milk supply that took literally months to overcome with hard work, to sustain prolonged good breastfeeding.
I knew that I would have done anything to get some control and peace of mind in this tough period. That also drove me to the understanding that I wanted to help other mothers in their breastfeeding journey, through personal, data-powered support.
As avid breastfeeding mothers, we realised that while we were strictly monitored all through our pregnancies, there are no objective tools to assess individual breastfeeding, and as scientists, we understood that breastmilk is a powerful data source that can reflect on mother-baby health and the breastfeeding process itself – but is neglected from practice.
We also learned that 90% of mothers experience breastfeeding difficulties, and 60% report stopping any or exclusive breastfeeding before they intended to, many times due to tough but preventable reasons. This is why we have established MyMilk and the MyLee product, to help mothers like us be proactive about their breastfeeding success through personal feedback, visualization of progress, and personal guidance.
As a company what are MyMilk Labs passionate about?
Breastfeeding is one of the strongest public health promoters, and globally, almost all new mothers initiate breastfeeding. But although natural, learning to breastfeed is a tough process managed by new mothers mostly alone in their homes.
With MyMilk Labs, MyLee milk sensing device, for the first time ever, a mother can put just a few of her milk drops into the MyLee device, starting from the first days after birth, and get immediate feedback and insights on breastfeeding. It can provide insight into breastmilk supply establishment, and breast inflammation, visualise her day to day progress throughout the important weeks after birth and share a unique report with a lactation professional, all immediately, anywhere, anytime, from her smartphone.
The system is capable of identifying early trends that can eventually lead to low milk supply, the difference in milk supply between breasts or breast inflammation And help the mother to manage these conditions early and avoid unwanted consequence – all in all improving the breastfeeding experience, and increasing mother’s confidence and control.
With the first version of the product we are focusing on the sensitive initial days up to the first 2 months of breastfeeding establishment and milk supply increase and calibration, and eventually aiming to cover the full postpartum and breastfeeding journey and beyond, supporting self and remote care for new families powered by tech.
What are your dreams for MyMilk Labs?
We aim to make the MyLee system available for every new mother, to support self and remote care in this critical period of building a new family. This is an opportunity relevant to all millennial families and touching the lives of 100% of the future population.
As we validate the clinical usefulness of the MyLee, we plan to integrate it into health plans, well-aligned with the remote-care revolution that was drastically accelerated by COVID19. On the way there we foresee technological, regulatory and funding challenges, but we are very driven to make this a reality.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned since starting your company?
We have learnt to be resilient and work lean and that it is super important to choose the right partner for the journey as it can get very tough and lonely.
We understood the importance of developing the product hand in hand with the users as design partners, and that touching the users as early as possible with an imperfect product is the only way to go forward towards product-market fit.
We are the proudest every time we get reviews from users telling us we have built an AMAZING product and with every individual story of how MyMilk and The MyLee supported and aided a mother’s breastfeeding journey. It makes it all worthwhile and gives us the motivation and drive to keep the hard work.
If you were able to create ANY kind of technology what would it be?
I am really looking forward to a truly immersed AR exercise experience where you can run and do yoga in front (and within) the world’s greatest views, with no cumbersome accessories.
MyMilk Labs are part of FemTech Lab’s Spring 2021 Cohort. You can keep up to date with the latest updates via our news page.