The birth of a baby brings about a world of change, and for Hallan Hanson, the mother of three small children and founder of daLAIT (pronounced da-lay), a Brooklyn-based brand that develops and sells inclusive nursing and pumping products, that included one change no one told her about:
“I literally leaked through everything.”
After the birth of her first child, Hallan set out on her journey to nurse her newborn baby, and like millions of other new parents, was confronted with the challenge of leaking through her clothes. While seemingly a small inconvenience, leaking only exacerbated the challenges of breastfeeding, contributing to one the of reasons why sixty percent of mothers do not breastfeed for as long as they intend to.
“In the first two months alone I went through several boxes of disposable nursing pads only to end up with soaked shirts and damp sheets. Reusable pads were not much better — they often shifted during workouts and had limited absorbency, making long meetings or extended outings a risky endeavour.” Says Hallan.
As Hallan shares, the nursing pads out there simply didn’t support her active lifestyle and as she soon discovered, the media’s narrative around breastfeeding didn’t reflect her experience as an Afro-Latinx mother or represent other historically marginalized parents and caregivers either.
Hallan decided to fill this void by creating the brand daLAIT and developing a new nursing pad that is washable, does not bunch or shift during activity, is made with safe and eco-friendly materials from manufacturers in Canada and the US, and for the first time, offers parents from historically marginalized communities an opportunity see themselves reflected in a nursing product’s design and marketing.
Using a combination of the Spanish word “da” which means “to give” and the French word “lait” which means milk, Hallan created the brand name daLAIT, which is also a play on the Spanish phrase “dale” meaning “go for it.”
What started as a desire to see myself and my community reflected in the mainstream narrative around who nurses and breastfeeds, grew into a passion to ensure that all parents have the confidence to give milk and go for it.Hallan
Innovative design meets responsible manufacturing
The core product daLAIT is a contoured nursing pad that couples eco-friendly, high-performance fabrics with state-of-the-art absorption, helping it stay in place and preventing leak-through. While the business was officially formed a little over three years ago, the patent-pending nursing pad was in development for over five years before its official launch earlier in 2021. Beyond developing a patent application and being named as the inventor, Hallan spent countless hours sourcing materials from trusted manufacturers that she knows on a first-name basis and if needed, “I could get in my car and visit them unannounced.” Today, daLAIT is more than just about nursing pads, but is also a space for inclusion, acceptance, and diversity. Hallan is excited to launch additional products in the near future that support folks who choose to chest-feed and/or body-feed, shining light on the role of giving human milk within the transgender and gender nonconforming communities.