Whether you're lying by the pool, nursing your L.O. on a warm day, or getting ready for date night, perspiration under your breasts can be a very real, even potentially irritating nuisance. Enter the Ta-Ta Towel, which is kind of a bra-towel hybrid meant to keep women dry and free of irritation caused by under-breast sweat. Ta-Ta Towels inventor Erin Robertson explains on the product's website that when she first shared the first prototype with her friends, she got amazing feedback. "A friend of mine got rashes under her breasts due to moisture buildup, and after using the towel, her rashes completely disappeared," she shared. And pregnant or breastfeeding moms loved it, because the soft rayon liner didn't irritate their sensitive nipples and absorbed leakage.
While the original Ta-Ta Towel has enjoyed quite a bit of success since its inception, Robertson soon learned that she could take it to the next level for moms in particular. Last month, she launched the Ta-Ta Towel Maternity Collection. According to the company, the new design features "an ultra-soft breathable liner that offers much needed comfort to sore, irritated nipples and a strapless, halter-style design that provides easy access for both nursing and pumping. The Maternity Ta-Ta Towel is also non-irritating and moisture-wicking, helping contain milk leakage."
Robertson recently discussed the product's design and what moms are saying about it with Parents.com.
Parents.com: What had moms said about the original product? What were they asking for in particular that inspired the maternity towel?
Erin Robertson:The original Ta-Ta Towel's main purpose was to alleviate the physical discomfort of "boob sweat." When I went viral, that was the main message that media conveyed. Within weeks of the garment being sold, I started receiving a lot of incredible feedback from women who found the Ta-Ta Towel to be useful to them in ways outside of just helping with boob sweat. A large demographic consisted of pregnant and postpartum women who felt great comfort and relief. Breastfeeding moms in particular appreciated the easy access for nursing. It wasn't until my friend was wearing it to nurse that I realized how I could make the Ta-Ta Towel even better: provide the opportunity for the breasts to stay in the garment while a mother nursed and even pumped. So, the idea came not really from feedback received from moms who wanted it changed, but from me personally wanting to make something even better and easier for moms. Let's face it, they already have enough going on!
Parents.com: What went into the process of creating the final Maternity Ta-Ta Towel?
Erin Robertson: I talked to friends [who are currently or were previously] breastfeeding and pumping moms about what their favorite maternity bras were and why. I looked to recreate a maternity bra that was not only functional, but also comfortable and not constricting, which a lot of regular maternity bras seem to be. I created several prototypes based on that, had breastfeeding and pumping moms test them out, and landed on the one design that was a unanimous favorite. Following, I shared that Ta-Ta Towel with an OB/GYN, two lactation consultants, and a midwife—all of whom gave me the green light to move forward with production.
Parents.com: Was there anything you definitely wanted to make sure the product had or did not have to accommodate new moms?
Erin Robertson: From nipple sensitivity to leakage and a constant change in breast size, being comfortable is not really one of the perks of becoming a new mom. From what I understand, the exact opposite is true, especially when it comes to breastfeeding, pumping, and anything at all related to breasts during and after pregnancy. So, that's what I wanted to help provide: comfort, functionality and easy access. I took all of the elements of the critically-acclaimed original Ta-Ta Towel, and created a maternity version that is sized to grow with a woman's breasts throughout pregnancy and postpartum. They're able to wear the Ta-Ta Towel all day and all night.
Parents.com: What are some of best success stories you've heard from moms who've used it so far?
Erin Robertson: I'm overwhelmed with the emails and comments I receive on a daily basis about how great my invention is. If moms are on their second or third or even fourth child, they write to me about how much they wish they had something like this for their first. To me, success comes in the form of positive feedback and the knowledge that my product helped someone, somehow.
One of the lactation consultants who is a big fan of the Maternity Ta-Ta Towel is [pediatric occupational therapist, infant feeding specialist, and lactation consultant] Janae Grimshaw. I'm truly humbled by her words, because she is a real expert when it comes to this topic. She has provided me with so much insight and feedback that—just as with the Original Ta-Ta Towel and its many uses—I hadn't even thought of myself. Medically, she says it helps reduce the risk of clogged ducts. It's great for skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby, thanks to the design of the towel.
Ta-Ta Towels retail for $55 (plus shipping and handling) at TaTaTowels.com.