'Human Milk, Tailor-Made for Tiny Humans' advert launch event, Jan 2017, Bristol Science Museum. The moment our website went live.
Most of us who have contributed time and skills have done so on a voluntary basis because we are passionate about supporting families and contributing to a sustainable environment for parents and planet.
Where cash has been paid, it came out of family savings, and more recently, and excitingly, from income from our clothing and accessories brand offering sustainable clothing that happens to be easy to breastfeed in.
Human Milk was founded in 2014 by Claire Tchaikowski and houses our award winning Human Milk Clothing & Accessories brand and global Education Outreach.
Claire became a mother in 2012 and realised that she knew nothing about her own biology.
After 2 decades in the music and modelling industries, where so much focus is on commodifying bodies, it hit her like a ton of bricks as she became one of a vast number of women struggling to get the help they need to ease into motherhood and reach their breastfeeding goals, despite the tireless efforts of volunteers and non-profit organisations.
She also discovered that despite the science of human milk being extraordinary and life-saving, it wasn't being talked about much anywhere. And that seemed to be part of the problem.
It snowballed into an international effort to share that science as far and wide as possible, to change our perception of the value of breastfeeding and motherhood, and of women's bodies.
While we're at it, we're also rethinking business, putting sustainability centre stage to support both parents and the planet we leave to our tiny humans and the next generations.
Our educational materials are used in 35+ countries and 18 languages and we ship our clothing and science resources worldwide.
The Human Milk Team
Founder & CEO
Entrepreneur and Artist with a colourful history in the music, film and entrepreneurial sectors. I grew up in Switzerland, Ireland, France and Italy, and am Irish, Polish, British and Swiss.
I live in Bristol UK with my partner and our son. I'm passionate about nature, psychology, music, entrepreneurship solving the world's big problems, art, sustainable things, people, film production and story telling. I long for women to be able to walk the world in safety and dignity. All over the world, all of the time. Human Milk has brought all my passions together in one place.
I founded the company whilst breastfeeding our son. During the first year, I realised that I knew nothing about what was normal, when he might stop, or indeed anything about my own biology. I was exhausted and needed information, support and community. It turns out I was far from the only mother needing this and I found a village of incredible women online that spilled out into the real world.
In that process, I found out some information about my own milk that changed the course of my life, as I became determined to share it as far and wide as I ever could.
As a composer/performer of vocal arrangements I now mainly work on Film & TV scores. I've delivered successful projects for companies including Sony/BMG, Universal, Disney, BBC (incl for Sir David Attenborough), Apple TV, Sky, Amazon Prime and Microsoft (all solo and most choral work on Halo 4, highest selling game score soundtrack album in history).
Education Outreach Director
I am originally from Liverpool in the UK, but moved to Switzerland for work in 2007. Zug is where I now call home. I am a midwife, lactation consultant, counsellor and educator and I truly believe that if everyone knew what I, and many others know about how magical and special human milk is, the breastfeeding rates would rise and our world would be a healthier place all round.
I became a midwife after I had my two daughters. The main reason was that I had a traumatic pregnancy, followed by severe post-natal depression and I surmised that if I could support even one mother to go through what I had and to come out as a happy mother, then it would be worth it. So I trained and worked for over 10 years as an NHS midwife. I have delivered thousands of babies and supported many families through the transition into parenthood. So, yes it was worth it. It made me who I am today and more.
I moved to Switzerland to head up the international education at a large breastpump manufacturing company and later transitioned into a family foundation with a key focus on breastfeeding research. I was head of international relations, hence I have global connections with many INGOs, Universities and large governing organisations such as WHO.
My unique experience of working in the field as a midwife and IBCLC, in industry as an international educator and also for a global foundation focusing on research for breastfeeding and human milk brings a diverse quality to my portfolio.
I have known Claire since the launch of the ad in 2017 and I have watched her grow in knowledge and professionalism. I am delighted to be able to use my knowledge to support Human Milk to reach the next level.
Non-executive Director, Creative Strategy
Award winning Film/TV Composer & Producer and sonic pioneer of Bristol's legendary band Massive Attack, Neil has birthed some of the most arresting and innovative sounds on the record.
Neil brings decades of experience in the communication of emotions and concepts through the audio-visual Arts, and the running of an iconic brand and thriving creative business.
He has been a vital part of the team since the very beginning as both Claire's partner in crime and in life and the father of their son, who arguably started this whole movement.
Non-executive Director & Lead Graphic Designer
Lisa brings all our brand visuals together. She designs our education resources and all our printed materials.
"I’m a creative professional with a wide variety of graphic design and branding experience, working with the largest international companies to business start-ups. I relish the challenge of taking complex information and data, and translating this into a clear visual that delivers the message beautifully.
After many years working as part on an in-house design team, I had the chance to start a freelance career. In that time I’ve been lucky enough to work on book design, brand design and photography and logo creations, along with posters and leaflets for local community projects.
When I received a phone call from Claire asking if I would be interested in working with her on her exciting project, I jumped at the chance to be part of something unique and ground breaking. Watching the project evolve and spread across the world is an inspiration and testament to the power of a dedicated and passionate team that I’m proud to be part of."
Sourcing, Purchasing & Production Director
Katherine coordinates the sourcing and manufacturing of our garments and accessories, working with Claire and our suppliers from concept to shop floor. Textiles, printing, design, colour, sizing, Katherine's knowledge of the fashion industry is second to none.
"I graduated from Nottingham Trent in 1998 with a 1st Class Honours degree in Fashion and Textiles. Since then I have worked with branded product, sourcing globally and ensuring price and product is fit for purpose.
My career has progressed through product development / technical areas and evolved into an account manager / managerial product development roles from overseeing the Playboy Menswear Category at BCI from design to Product, to Development Manager of Leather-goods at Paul Smith.
My key strengths are product development, critical path management, price negotiation between both factory and customer and ensuring good quality product is delivered, on time. I have travelled regularly to India and China and have also sourced from Portugal, Turkey, Spain and Bangladesh."
Non-executive Director, Events & Community
Charlotte's background as an events producer in the music industry and current career coaching women - all whilst mothering 2 young boys - puts her in the perfect position to make sure we're always thinking about how to best serve our community and customers.
From conscious business development to building an authentic community, she expertly balances meaning, well-being and chaos.
Charlotte's experience and questions always make for better decisions.
"I help women create an intentional and aligned experience of their relationships, their work & their lives. I also work with pregnant women to apply the same thinking to their pregnancy-to-parenthood experience. I work with different types of clients, but they all share one thing in common; they have chosen to build their own life. They are changing the rules for themselves."
Medical & Social Science Advisors
The people who make sure we know what we're talking about
Post-doctoral fellow, Vision Sciences, Université de Montréal, Canada, BSc Biochemistry (McGill University, Canada), MSc Pharmacology and Therapeutics (McGill University, Canada), PhD Genetics (Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Ireland).
My focus throughout my career has been brain development. I have also worked in science dissemination for about 15 years as an editor for the online magazine Le Panoptique, and more recently as a scientific consultant.
Social Science Advisor
Prof Amy Brown is Professor in Child Public Health at Swansea University, and author of Let's Talk About The First Year Of Parenting, Why Breastfeeding Grief & Trauma Matter, The Positive Breastfeeding Book, 'Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who really decides how we feed our babies?', Covid Babies and more.
Amy is on a mission to rid the world of breastfeeding stigma & misunderstanding.
Dr. Natalie Shenker is an Oxford-trained doctor with a PhD in cancer and environmental epigenetics from Imperial College. While investigating markers of breast cancer risk in breast milk, and while navigating the difficulties of feeding her own babies, she became fascinated with the complexity of human milk components and its role in public health.
Natalie is also co-founder of the Human Milk Foundation, which was set up to give more babies the opportunity of being fed with human milk.
'Human Milk, Tailor-Made for Tiny Humans' advert, 2017.
8.5 million views online to date & still growing.
This is the team that volunteered in order make the advert and more possible
Producer & Editor, Burst Pictures
Dana is a Lebanese – French filmmaker, social media queen, and Co-Producer & Editor of our advert. She started her career as a film editor in 1996 and moved to producing in 2007. She has worked across all genres (features, documentaries, advertising, corporate) and for some of the biggest names and brands in the business (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, PBS).
She is the point of reference when it comes to anything relating to the Middle East.
She goes by three words only when it comes to producing: "everything is possible."
Director, Burst Pictures
Our advert Director. Eric loves taking on challenges. He has a rare combination of being highly imaginative and sensitive, with the skill to bring emotions onto the screen. Eric is as comfortable working along the Philharmonia orchestra, Akram Khan, Hussein Chalayan, as following the displaced in Darfur. He loves working with people from all walks of life.
Website Developer & General Geek
I live with in Bristol with my two children. When I got involved in this amazing venture and went along for the shoot, I casually offered some space to host the website. Fast forward two years and I was furiously coding up the site before the launch event while my newborn son fed in the background...
Watching the project grow under Claire's guidance has been a privilege, and I can't wait to see where it all goes next!
Kirstie is an award winning Artist with a background in Textiles, Visual Language and theatrical based disciplines, the works form a diverse portfolio comprising embroidery, painting, drawing and installation. Kirstie designed many of our Human Milk Clothing patterns and designs, including the iconic Oxyflower on our best selling tops, and our HMO Snowflake scarves.
Graphic/Pattern Designer, Honest Pencil
I met Claire around August 2015, when I heard about the advert and thought I could help out with some boobie drawings. We would meet almost every Friday for some tea and idea sharing. The great thing about working with Claire and the project itself, is anything is possible and it keeps growing and growing. I’ve been honoured to work on the logo, the website, infographic, share some ideas on the advert graphics, postcards, stickers, banners, fabric…
Founder & Director GLUE
GLUE created the graphics for the advert. Ray has accumulated over fifteen years of creative and technical industry experience in digital video content creation. He has nurtured a positive culture in GLUE of leading through innovation, based on passion for the work involved and the need to continually learn and improve.
Yusuf is the Production Manager at GLUE and worked as the compositor on this video. He worked closely with Claire, Dana and the team to create the particles, environment and overall feel of the video outlined in the brief.
The most important aspect of this project was to keep the maternal feel constant throughout the video.
Dominik is an accomplished artist with experience in various industries including games and visual effects.
His role in the project was to meet with Claire and Hilda to refine and interpret the brief for the effects team to follow. Once all parties were happy to proceed it was his job to create the 3D assets and 2D graphics used in the piece.
Professional hair and makeup artist, specialising in natural, beautiful and relaxed hair and makeup styles. I’m currently living in the particularly beautiful city of Bristol. One of my favourite things about being a makeup artist is having the freedom to be creative, research new ideas and trends to create something unique that tells a story.
Hi, I’m Jenny, let me show you some of my favourite things. Because when I like something, I take photographs of it, lots of photographs! In my spare time I photograph everything: bugs, cycling, underground caves, underwater dives, reflections, flowers and skies.
I've been taking photographs of everything for more than 30 years. After becoming a mother to twins I found an inexhaustable subject, I wanted to capture every moment of the amazing journey of childhood.
A huge thank you also to the following fab women, who did anything from help with social media to staffing our launch event, which sold out almost overnight
Wife of one, mother of three; dreamer, shaker, mover, blogger, and educator.
Breastfeeding wasn’t my cup of tea until motherhood embraced me. It took me to the brink and back, showed me qualities I didn’t know I possessed, and continues to empower me in ways I didn’t think possible. Learning about breastmilk and breastfeeding is so fascinating; I look forward to training to support others on their journey.
I'm proud to be from good ol'Brizzle - the original home of the advert! I'm an infant feeding specialist midwife. I have seen, and do see evidence daily, both at home and at work, of how truly magical our milk is. It saves and enhances life. It's abundantly clear to me that we all need to try to appreciate, celebrate, and simply use it more in health care and as a society. This advert project has snowballed into something truly ground breaking and I feel genuinely honoured to be a small part of Human Milk’s brilliant boobie team. May it inspire people and projects far and wide!
I live with my husband and three sons in Bristol. I signed up as cast for the original shoot in 2015. I've loved watching so many other people be similarly inspired to show up in many different ways for breastfeeding and this project. I've been blown away by the science as it's unfolded before my eyes (the attention to detail appeals to me in my day job as a solicitor!). Our bodies and our milk are truly amazing and the advert is a beautiful, scientifically accurate celebration of that. I am so proud to be part of it.
I live with my husband and daughter just outside beautiful Bristol. My breastfeeding journey did not go as I had initially planned. After much soul-searching and because of my passion for human milk and all that it delivers, I opted to exclusively pump my milk and feed my daughter expressed breastmilk via bottle. I am so proud to be able to say that my little girl got 18 months of my milk.
Throughout the advert creation, my eyes have been opened to the science and composition of breastmilk, and it truly is magical. I hope that the advert is just the start of more incredible things to come.
I live with my partner and daughter in South Bristol. I'm passionate about breastfeeding and human milk on a personal level, a public health level and also a political level. Anything that affects women takes a political dimension and I consider that issues around breastfeeding and women's place in society are strongly related and deeply important. If we invest and promote women's and children's health and well-being, we all win and work towards a fairer and more equal society. I hope you are inspired by the advert.
I live with my partner and our daughter near Bristol. In my first few weeks as a Mum, the support and information I received from local breastfeeding groups was invaluable. This inspired me to train and volunteer my time as a breastfeeding peer supporter. It’s a privilege to be a source of support for so many women in Bristol and beyond. In my ‘day job’ I work for Barnardo’s as their Volunteer Coordinator. I am so proud to be a member of the Human Milk Team! When I saw the call to action for the ad shoot, I was nervous at the thought of stepping in front of the cameras but had a feeling in my gut that this was a little bit of magic unfolding.
(Written by Claire) Dom was my ante-natal teacher, and has given me personal and professional counsel and strength many times. If there is one woman that I would describe as having started this whole project off, it would be Dom.
She has the warmth and wisdom that I hope the world is rooted in one day. She was there during my pregnancy and our son's early days, and is still here now, helping at our shoots and speaking at our events. She opened up my eyes to the deeper and wider world of motherhood and womanhood. Thank you Dominique.
We also owe a dept of gratitude to the following people