Frequently Asked Questions - Learn more about the Human Milk project.
Where did the idea come from?

The idea started in the sleep-deprived mind of mother and artist Claire Tchaikowski, as she fed her son and started discovering all about human milk. What started out as a sort of accidental discovery about a few components turned into a search led by curiosity. The information Claire found was so incredible, but also so buried, that she decided it was something she wanted to share with as many parents as possible.

Our hope is that this knowledge will give added support and inspiration to parents who desire to breastfeed or are already doing so, and help parents who are still unsure of how to feed their children to make a truly informed decision that works for them.

Who made the ad?

The ad campaign was entirely created by a collective of parents with different skills, lead by artist Claire Tchaikowski. We all came together for the love of helping parents and babies to breastfeed. The campaign has been entirely funded by team and family members giving time, skills and resources for free throughout, from the beginning in September 2014, to date.

Human Milk Advert Team

  • Founder and producer: Claire Tchaikowski, Bristol
  • Production Company: BURST
  • Director: Eric Trometer, London
  • Producer - Editor: Dana Trometer, London
  • Assistant editor: Joe Jubeh, London
  • DIT: Simon Brooks, London
  • Gaffer: Bertil Mulvad, London
  • Science advisors:
    • Natalie Shenker PhD, Imperial College London
    • Emma Pickett IBCLC, London, Chair of The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers UK
    • Laurel Wilson BS, IBCLC, CCE, CLE, Board of Directors for The United States Breastfeeding Committee, Executive Director of Lactation Programs for the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association USA
    • Olivia Bibollet-Bahena PhD, Montreal
  • Brand designer: Hilda Allen, Bristol
  • Website desgn: Hilda Allen
  • Music composer and producer: Neil Davidge, Bristol
  • Music mix engineer: Flemming Bloch, Copenhagen
  • Website technical implementation/support: Daniel Puzey, Bristol
  • Graphics animators: Dominik McMahon, Ray Mongey, Yusuf Hasan at GLUE VFX, Dublin
  • Communications Team: Catherine Aithal, Alix McKenzie-Wain, Daniel Puzey, Nicola Cunnington, Kate Hewitt, Anna Brown, Arti Pitamber-Davis, Iyato Dun

Why focus on the science?

Simply because the science is so astounding, and talked about so very little. There are many hundreds of components in human milk, many of them working in collaboration with each other. Whilst the list of components is astounding enough in itself, the way these elements interact and behave in the mother and in the baby is just astonishing. The desire to share the science came from a place of wonder and awe.

How were the families recruited?

The first step after deciding to make the advert was the creation of a Facebook group. In this group, hundreds of mothers from many different breastfeeding support groups in the UK gathered and started interacting. It took a year of preparation before the shoot was ready, and a call was put out in a Bristol breastfeeding support group for the cast. The shoot was oversubscribed within 12 hours. All the families who participated are real life families, most are local to Bristol, and a number have gone on to become part of the initiative’s team.

When and where was it shot?

The advert was shot in Bristol UK in October 2015. The project started in pre-production in September 2014, also in Bristol, at a dining table, with a laptop and some chocolate.

How old are the babies and children involved?

The breastfeeding children who were filmed were between age 2 weeks and 2 years old. This decision was reached to maximise the support for new breastfeeding families, whilst also embracing longer term feeding and the World Health Organisation recommendation of breastfeeding till 2 years old or more. Many of the advert’s team have fed/are feeding their children for a number of years or till natural term.

Where's it going to be shown?

Online to begin with, and hopefully on TV as well if we find the means to make that happen.

Is it going to be on TV?

We very much hope to make this happen. Funding will be needed, so we’ll see what the response is online to begin with and take it from there.

Would you like to work with more people from diverse parts of the world in future?

We’d love to. Human Milk is Universal and the original dream for this first advert was to film families from all walks of life and all ethnic origins. Every effort was made to find diverse families, but not everyone made it to the shoot on the day.

Shortly before the launch, photographer Jenny Burrows contacted us offering to do a photoshoot celebrating diversity in breastfeeding for our website. We love the shots, we love humans, and we look forward to all sorts of international collaborations moving forwards.

Can we use the ad for training/screenings/waiting rooms etc?

Yes absolutely. Please contact us if you would like to use our content as a resource. This is what the project was created for.