Two new dads saw how their wives struggled with breastfeeding – and invented a wearable

During their wives’ breastfeeding journey, the two dads supported the women by staying up with them into the wee hours to offer emotional support, wash breast pumps, store the breast milk and keep their wives hydrated.

What they did not expect was for breastfeeding and pumping to be so challenging, said Tan, who gave his wife Ziying massages for clogged milk ducts.

The Lims also struggled with blocked ducts. “About three months into pumping, my wife Wanxin had cracked nipples and there was blood in the milk. The breast pump suction was incorrect and the flanges didn’t fit properly. I felt so helpless because I couldn’t do anything except buy the balms that she needed.

“That was the point when I thought, I need to do something about [these pumping issues],” said Lim, as Wanxin had already tried three different pumps at that point.

Things got harder when the women went back to work after their maternity leave. “We couldn’t help that much anymore because a lot of the pumping takes place at work,” said Tan, whose wife is a marketing executive.

“When I texted Ziying at work, I realised she was in the storeroom pumping because there was no nursing room in her office,” he added. It was also very hot in the office storeroom and she had to buy a portable fan for her pumping sessions.

“I thought it was quite depressing,” said Tan.

These pumping struggles became such a big part of the two couples’ lives that they discussed it during their babies’ playdates. The two dads started a critique of breast pumps and discussed how they would have made them differently.

Their ideas made so much sense that the duo decided to co-design a breast pump together. That was how Tan, who was previously a process and project engineer in the automotive industry and Lim, a product designer in an engineering firm, ended up co-founding their breast pump brand Snuugo

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