“My baby nearly died” — The story of Mammas Milk Bar

New mums dream of the breastfeeding experience. Those dreams are joyful. Wendy’s breastfeeding reality wasn’t joyful. Her baby was starving. But she turned herself from a “failed mum” to “mums’ guardian angel”, developing a nutritional range that powers protein and lactation. 

At two weeks old, Wendy’s baby was rushed into hospital. He was starving to death. She was failing to produce milk. Wendy felt that she had failed as a mother. She turned that despair into a booming business to make sure no other mother needed to fail like that.

Wendy’s baby had already had a rough start because she had struggled to get enough protein to feed him when she was pregnant. He was in the bottom 10% percentile for foetal growth. Now Wendy’s low milk supply was making the situation critical. “I felt so incredibly guilty as a mum. It was the worst I had ever felt. This realisation of failure and what could I have done differently haunted me,” Wendy says. “I never, EVER wanted another mum to feel the same as I did.”

During the hospital stay, Wendy started to do a furious amount of research on maternal nutrition, on boosting milk supply, on how not to fail as a new mum. Everything she found online led to lactation cookies, or lactation sweet treats. Nothing really nourished a new mum at all.

“That’s when I started to make my own mix of blends to help boost my own milk supply and to nourish myself. My blends started to help me boost my supply, enough to breastfeed exclusively and I soon started to feel like I was able to give my baby the best,” she adds.

When she fell pregnant again, she started taking her own blends again and her second motherhood journey was strong right through to breast feeding. “One year later, COVID hit and I started to think about what I wanted to do in life,” Wendy recalls. “I knew I loved helping other women, and I knew I was fiercely passionate about fostering a motherhood community. And I remembered my blends and thought, ‘Hey, if they helped me, they might help other mums who are struggling too’.

“I also knew that most products available on the market are manufactured and made by big pharma. I found myself thinking, “Where is a mum who truly understands what another mum needs?” And so, Mammas Milk Bar was born.

“I never want any mum to feel like she is failing her baby,” Wendy says. “Our big picture goal is to be a global brand that empowers every mum’s motherhood journey, and to nourish a woman’s entire motherhood journey, pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding and beyond.” Wendy’s goal has also been a mighty challenge. She did not have a business background and began Mammas Milk Bar with two children under three years of age, a full-time job and a mortgage.

“I had so much passion and drive to try and make a difference in other women’s lives, but didn’t quite know where to start,” she recalls. Wendy did a series of e-comm courses, got a food licence, and put together a basic Shopify store. She started an Instagram account (@mammasmilkbar) and began bringing people along for the journey. “I also worked with a number of midwives and food science experts as well as relying on her Malaysian background and the traditional knowledge of nourishing the new mother passed down from my grandmothers to my mum,” she notes. All the lactation products are made with 100% natural ingredients that are rich in galactogogues, known to help to increase breastmilk supply by increasing prolactin levels.

“I still have my entire journey saved in the highlights of @mammasmilkbar, so other women can see what it took. I found a small commercial kitchen not far from home where I rented it out four hours a month, to hand-blend all of my mixes by myself. It was hard at first. At night after the kids were asleep, I would spend all my time engaging, and chatting with other mums on social media and slowly grew a following from there. I also sent free products and samples to mums struggling to produce milk for their babies in NICU and PICU.”

Wendy also built a strong relationship with local midwives and consultants, Cathy McCormick and Jo Burg of HolisticBaby, who endorsed her products before the business launched. She sold five units on pre-launch day. Those five sales and the feedback from the mums that came with it gave her enough validation to launch the brand officially five weeks later officially.

“On launch day, we had four-figure sales. I would pack the orders at night, along with help from my husband, and go back to mum life – work life during the day. Over time, the business started growing, along with support from the amazing motherhood community with their feedback about our products and how our products have helped their own motherhood journeys.”

Mammas Milk Bar now reaches tens of thousands of mums across the world and Wendy has left her job to run the business full-time. “We even get a lot of feedback from women’s husbands wanting something of their own and am now working on a secondary health and wellness brand, Thriveland, suited for the whole family,” she says.

What stands out is the brand’s marriage of Western superfoods and Eastern nutritional knowledge. “This gave us a strong understanding of how to create products that really met the needs of all mums in their motherhood journey, with the importance of nourishing mums in our community being at the forefront of every one of our product lines,” Wendy explains.

“An example is our moon milk, designed to be safe for pregnant and postpartum mums having trouble sleeping at night, or winding down mum brain. We use organic Amla berry which contains high levels of vitamin C. This helps a woman’s body absorb the naturally magnesium rich premium cocoa powder in our blends. Unique ingredients such as wakame, a species of seaweed which is rich in tryptophan, then helps women wind down into a restful slumber.”

Wendy’s team also listens to its community a lot, pinpointing what mums are struggling with most. “For example, our community was vocal about looking for a pregnancy and breastfeeding-safe solution that would help them drink more water and assist with postpartum recovery and hair loss. So we created what is now one of our best sellers, a hydration-collagen product made with water-rich superfoods.”

For more information or to book tickets visit https://mammasmilkbar.com/

Related Stories

When Kirby Selchow describes how Tutus on Tour connects people, she can attest to it on a very deep and personal level.

Subscribe & WIN!

Subscribe to WOMAN+ for only $19.99 for the year and you’ll have a chance to WIN 2 Nights for 2 at JetPark Rotorua +
an Evening in the Polynesian Spa.

*You can unsubscribe at any time. By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.