MILA’s KEEPER STORES BREAST MILK for up to 20 hours without ice
Lara Vu is a Los Angeles-mom and a former UNICEF staffer tasked with helping moms maintain breastfeeding in factory workplaces.
On a project overseas she discovered that lack of milk storage leads to cessation. She vowed to solve this and created the essential gear for traveling and active moms, Mila’s Keeper, TSA-friendly, modern and portable breast milk storage coolers and industrial glass bottles that cold store pumped breast milk without ice for up to 20 hours. Mila’s Keeper provides time and ease after breast pumping so women can do more without worry of fear of spoilage.
“As a working, breastfeeding mom myself, I wanted to create better products for moms that would help give them greater freedom and flexibility to do things they want for themselves,” says Vu. “There is a general lack of sufficient innovation in products for women because women founders get less than 2% of venture capital investment in the US. This means we are at the whim of men to create solutions for our challenges.”
When she first started researching the idea for a better breast milk cooler, Vu found many contraptions for beer coolers, and virtually none for breast milk.
So, as a woman who grew up in a family of strong-willed, independent women, she knew she had to take matters into her own hands.
“I was not okay leaving moms with the incompetent, status quo solution of using bulky ice packs and soggy lunch bags,” she explains.
Vu’s idea was born from her experience working on a UNICEF project to help factory workers maintain their pumping schedules in the workplace. There were experts in the field on her team but they could not resolve the issue of lack of portable cold storage. It was then when she realized that women, and moms specifically needed and deserved to have better products to support them in the often-challenging task of pumping at work.
“Breastfeeding can be lifesaving for babies, so why not do everything in our power to support moms to breastfeed as long as she desires?,” she thought to herself.
Having launched only a few months ago, Vu has already experienced several rewarding aspects of her business.
“Perhaps the most notable were the moments I started getting reviews from moms about how valuable and helpful Mila’s Keeper has been for them during their breastfeeding journey. I was quite teary-eyed when those first reviews started coming in because it was like a dream come true – it was exactly the support I had wanted to give to moms,” she shares.
Plus, Vu says it has been very rewarding to challenge herself and learn about herself through this journey—
“Enduring the build out of the company and its products during the pandemic was painful at times, and yet I never came close to giving up,” she says.
The company designs and manufactures patented breast milk coolers with double-walled insulated stainless steel that come with its uniquely designed ice packs that freeze -10 Celsius degrees to keep pumped breast milk cool throughout the day or night, without refrigeration.
Their coolers provide more than 20 hours of worry-free coldness, maintaining the milk at optimum temperatures for consumption when moms get home. Mila’s Keeper glass breast milk storage bottles, with its silicone lid, are free from the chemicals found in plastic bottles. Used together with the breast milk coolers, they are insulated and portable making them easy and safe to carry around at work, outdoors and for travel. The milk storage container manufacturer has a variety of bottles with different sizes, colors, and features. The products can also be repurposed into water bottles and other off-label uses, as they have unique, aesthetically-appealing designs.
Currently Mila’s Keeper offers free shipping to US for purchases of more than $60 and secure payment options.
Mila’s Keeper doesn’t just sell on-the-go storage containers for breast milk, the former UN worker also advocates for women’s empowerment and sustainability to support active, eco-conscious working moms. They plan to partner with businesses to help establish more mom-friendly businesses that will attract and maintain the loyalty of working moms.
“The center of our business is moms because we know that when moms thrive, their babies will too, says Vu. “As a female-owned California benefit company, we are passionate about our mission to empower mamas during their personal breastfeeding journey and beyond.”