GAME CHANGER: This ain't no ordinary activewear
FORMER Gympie girl Melita Shirley is not only helping new mothers get back into shape, she is opening up the world for those who are less fortunate.
The entrepreneur and mother of three young boys is the founder of Mammojo - a breastfeeding friendly line of active wear that uses proceeds to support worldwide maternal and infant health initiatives.
Following the traumatic birth of her eldest son, Lewis, Melita found herself researching the birth experiences of other mothers around the world.
"I was shocked to discover that had my birth occurred in a developing country, I probably would not have survived," she said.
Shocked at the startling disparity in infant and maternal health mortality rates around the world, Melita wanted to find a way to support research and patient care.
This, coupled with Melita's "first world" problem of finding anything nursing-friendly to get back into shape after birth, meant "lactivewear" as an idea was born.
"Traditional activewear was completely impractical and my baby was always starving," Melita said.
"A simple walk around the block could very quickly turn into a highly stressful and thoroughly indecent situation."
With a range of breastfeeding tops, tanks, hoodies, swimwear and postpartum support wear, the niche product has been lapped up by nursing mothers, including the company's award-winning Signature Breastfeeding hoodie that has been described as the Nursing Gamechanger of the Year.
To top it off, the product has the backing of some famous faces such as magazine editor and cosmetics entrepreneur Zoe Foster Blake, who featured the business in her birth blog as a must-have maternity item.
Designed by Mammojo in Australia, the product is made overseas ethically using sustainably sourced Italian performance fabrics.
Despite the power of the causes it is fighting to help, Mammojo's latest product, a Youtube film clip of mothers in their lactivewear, shows the company does not take itself too seriously.
Self-described as dancing around like a pork chop, Melita made the clip to contribute to World Breastfeeding Week, which started Wednesday.
"We're so grateful to all the mothers who put themselves out there and carried on like pork chops too in the spirit of normalising breastfeeding and helping to support mums to live active and connected lives."