Published in: JOURNAL

Revolutionizing Recovery by Design

At Nyssa, we believe in the life-changing impact of great design. And great design begins with understanding the human experience. We're particularly focused on the experiences of women and people with vulvas. We believe the needs of this population have not been adequately met partly because those needs have not been voiced— we're a population conditioned to suffer-through. Well, no more. Time to get loud and get on with healing, feeling, and living better!

Where It Started

Let's take it back to the beginning. After giving birth, some of our team experienced tearing and swelling of the perineal region, with bouts of painful hemorrhoids to boot.

Some of us had to tend to painful c-section incisions. And we all experienced the discomfort of engorgement while pumping and breastfeeding, followed by the all-too-familiar abdominal pangs and pains when our periods kicked back in.

Yet the only ice/heat packs readily available to us were standard-issue rectangular blocks. The kind you might use for a sports injury, a migraine, or in a beer cooler.

Like so many things, there were literally no packs uniquely designed to meet the needs– and bodies– of women and people with vulvas.

Time To Innovate!

We wanted to change that and give women the products we wish we had in our Fourth Trimester as we tended to our pain and discomfort– and also cared for our new baby, returned to work, prepared meals, did laundry, walked our dogs, and generally got on with living!

So, with the expertise of a leading cryotherapist and our advisory panel of OB-GYNs, doulas, and midwives, we began designing uniquely contoured ice/heat packs that actually solve women's issues, in the areas where they occur.

Meet The Packs

Our Between Legs Ice/Heat Pack designed for those first few weeks after child birth when you are swollen and sometimes healing from tearing or stitches in the perineal region or at the site of caesarean incision. A standard-issue ice/heat pack is not going to comfortably fit between your butt cheeks— trust us, we tried it— but a tapered one would!

Features diagram of Nyssa's Between Legs Reusable Ice/Heat Pack

 

Our Uterine Ice/Heat Pack for the discomfort that often comes later in your Fourth Trimester as your uterus contracts and your body gears-up for the return of menstruation.

Features diagram of Nyssa's Uterine Reusable Ice/Heat Pack

 

And, finally, our Breast & Chest Ice/Heat Packs designed to mold to the shape of any size breast for complete relief from the skin irritation and soreness associated with engorgement, breastfeeding, pumping, or lactation suppression.

Features diagram of Nyssa's Breast & Chest Ice/Heat Packs

Empathetic Design Requires Community

These designs didn't result from just one focus groups and a quick sketch session. We iterated them dozens of times, using feedback from women in our community. Here's some things that we learned:

Shape matters: Our bellies curve, our breasts point outwards (sometimes upwards or downwards), the space between our legs is tight. In order to soothe in these regions, ice/heat therapy products needs to be uniquely contoured and moldable.

Weight and mobility matter: If you've ever experienced waddling around with a bag of peas or standard-issue ice pack "brick" in your pants, you'll know what we mean. Uh, no! Postpartum ice/heat therapy products need to be light enough to move with you and the support high-quality postpartum undergarments like FourthWear.

Finally, aesthetics matter: We didn't have to put lovely designs on our ice/heat packs, but many women told us these made them feel good— like using the packs was an act of self-love and self-care vs. an order from their doctor. That's important.

For us, a design is not done until it is effective against the problem, functional in life, sensually uplifting, and puts women's agency over their health into their own hands. 'Designed for women, by women' has become somewhat of a buzz-phrase over the last few years, but at its heart it holds true to everything we believe: when we put empathy into practice through design (i.e., deeply, truly understanding the the problem we are solving for), we have the power to transform women's health on an individual, communal and societal scale.

That's the goal that keeps us going.

Mia, Ellen, Eden & Aubrey (Nyssa Co-Founders) x

 


Postpartum Like A Pro With Our
Deluxe Postpartum Recovery Set ⟶

 Nyssa Deluxe Postpartum Recovery Set

We’re all about making ice/heat therapy— doctor’s #1 recommended postpartum regime— a breeze. Our 5-Piece Deluxe Postpartum Recovery Set has all 3 styles of ice/heat therapy plus our luxuriously soft pocketed FourthWear underwear and bralette to keep you soothed from breast to bum.

Shop Now ⟶
 

For more on the history of product design in the context of women's health listen to our podcast interview with Designing Motherhood’s brilliant curators Michelle Millar Fisher  and Amber Winick.

For more on using ice & heat for recovery, watch our short video.

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