A KwaZulu-Natal mother has invented a tonic that enhances breast milk production.
Thandeka Jali is the owner of Lactease, which she founded in 2020 after extensive research to help women struggling to produce enough milk for breastfeeding.
“I had a background in infant nutrition after I worked for a non-government organisation dealing with early childhood development. I resigned in 2020 to focus on this business full time,” Jali said.
Jali is optimistic that Lactease will help women who experience problems with breastfeeding.
She explains that after she gave birth in 2015, she struggled to produce enough breast milk and tried different methods with advice from fellow mothers, none of which were effective or sustainable.
She began looking for solutions and approached the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), which provides financial and non-financial support to innovators and inventors.
She experimented with mixtures of various herbs, searching for formulas online. The TIA provided funding for trials and laboratory testing to ensure that her tonic was suitable for breastfeeding women to consume.
“While some herbs that were recommended by other mothers were effective, we could not get it right. We eventually got the right combination in 2020,” Jali says.
Her tonic is organic, with no preservatives, and includes apple, blackthorn berry, black current and vitamin C. Jali emphasises that this is not a treatment for any disease. The tonic is easy to use. It is mixed with water and drunk 10 to 15 minutes before breastfeeding.
Jali runs her business online and has clients across the country. Her aim is to recruit other women to work as distributors, especially in areas where online shopping is prevalent, to empower other women.
She says women have so much power, but need confidence.
“We need to work together; there are many businesses that we, as women, can do without support, but we need to support each other. Beauty industries and healthy products are mainly consumed by us. We need to realise that potential and start doing things differently,” Jali says.
Did you know?
Breastfeeding Awareness Week is celebrated in the first week of August to support and promote breastfeeding, which improves babies’ health.
Breast milk is easily digested by babies. It has a perfect mix of vitamins, protein and fat, giving babies the best nutrition to help them grow.
You can visit your nearest healthcare centre to receive support and information about breastfeeding.
For more information about the TIA, visit www.tia.org.za.
For more information about Thandeka Jali and Lactease, visit www.lactease.co.za.