MUM BUB HUB AND ITS FOUNDER
At Mama Hug we believe strongly that when women support each other amazing things happen. That’s why many of our partners are female-led and female-founded companies. Like us, they strive to open up the conversation around postpartum care and help new mums navigate their journey into motherhood. On our blog we like to feature the women behind the brands and today we talk to Nyree Adams, the co-founder of Mum Bub Hub, about what inspired her to set up Mum Bub Hub and why she feels postpartum support for new mums is so invaluable.
1) Tell us about Mum Bub Hub and what inspired you to set it up?
Mum Bub Hub is a line of wellness essentials made with the fourth trimester in mind. Our highly effective, plant-based product range is formulated using traditional homeopathic remedies, using a blend of wound-healing, styptic and antibacterial herbs and extracts which work in sync to soothe the physical discomforts of childbirth and to help women heal, rest and recover.
The concept of Mum Bub Hub grew from a combination of our professional backgrounds and our individual experiences as mothers. Our experiences made us realise that there wasn’t a wellness line dedicated solely to the unique needs of new mothers. So we wanted to create a company with a strong voice communicating the importance of self-care and support for new mothers.
2) How did you bring your idea to life?
We initially had the idea to do subsidized antenatal workshops and postpartum gift boxes back in 2017 and applied for a startup business program where we were chosen as part of a cohort to compete on a Dragons’ Den-style pitch for startup funding and resources. We were lucky enough to be one out of four businesses that won; however, when we started looking at products to include in our boxes we quickly realised that there weren’t many if any, that were specifically designed for postpartum recovery. This was one of the issues that kept coming up during our pitch, so we set out to fill that gap.
My academic background is in Biomedical Science where I studied the effects of wound healing with plant-based compounds, so this has been something I’m really passionate about and have been able to put into practice with the creation of our formulas. According to my business partner, Anisah, I’m the ‘Queen of potions’. I also worked in consumer product development and have experience bringing products to the market from concept stage through to launch so as you can imagine I head up the product development side of things. With lots of research (and with Anisah being pregnant at the time, meaning we were able to test out the products) we were able to develop the range which launched in 2018.
3) What’s special about Mum Bub Hub?
Mum Bub Hub is rooted in the postpartum traditions of catering to the needs of new mothers by encouraging and supporting our well-being, physically and emotionally. We believe that all women deserve to have an informed postpartum experience, and the resources to sustain their wellbeing in a holistic and accessible manner.
Our brand is so much more than our products. At the heart of it is the passion that we have for empowering mothers and families through their transition into parenthood. The Mum Bub Hub brand is built on honest conversations that encourages mothers and women to incorporate self-care into their recoveries.
We are a social enterprise, so all the profits from each product we sell are reinvested back into the business, providing access to free perinatal education/support on top of standard maternity care. We are committed to advocating for mothers, before, during and after pregnancy. It’s really important to us that we’re able to provide a platform as well as support for women within our communities, as they’ve inspired us to create Mum Bub Hub.
4) Tell us about your products and what are the health benefits?
Our plant-based products are designed for the areas that matter most. For perineal care (the perineum is the area including the vagina and anal region, which is most likely to be sore and swollen after pushing), we offer our Perineal Spray. This is formulated with a base of witch hazel, which has natural antiseptic, astringent and soothing properties to alleviate symptoms of postpartum vaginal swelling and soreness. It’s also a great remedy for haemorrhoids.
We try to keep things as simple as possible. Every ingredient is included for its therapeutic value so if we don’t need it, we won’t use it. We love ingredients like comfrey, plantain leaf and witch hazel, which are ‘anti’ everything. By that I mean, they have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, which can help to soothe, cleanse and heal the vaginal area. We use them in our Perineal Balm and Postpartum Bath Soak along with other healing herbs such as Comfrey, Yarrow and Plantain, which helps to soothe the perineum.
One of our favorite ingredients to use is Arnica. Arnica is brilliant as it reduces bruising and minimizes strain on soft tissues. You can find this powerful agent infused in our Perineal Balm along with St. John’s Wort, commonly used in herbal medicine topically as an anti-inflammatory, wound-healing herb. It particularly helps the pain associated with wounds and minor burns. It is also believed to help reduce wound closure time, help regeneration of tissue, and increase tensile strength of wounds.
And of course there’s Himalayan Pink Salts – Detox anyone? Himalayan Salts is the perfect base for our Soaking Salts as it is detoxifying and mineral rich. It contains numerous minerals for your body to re-balance and absorb including Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc and Iron.
5) Do you think there is enough awareness about postpartum care?
Absolutely not! We both found it quite shocking how unprepared we were for postpartum. We felt ill-equipped to handle the physical, emotional and mental strain of the postpartum period and beyond. There wasn’t anyone providing us with the tools that we needed to take care of ourselves after giving birth. I remember after I gave birth to my first, everyone was so excited about meeting our new arrival, and it was literally a blur of visitors, days of little or no sleep and trying to heal and adapt to our new life. In between all of this I was bleeding heavily and expected to continue as normal. Once the baby blues hit, I cried in the bathroom and realised that actually, I needed to take responsibility and make my health and welfare a priority also.
6) How can we open up the conversation more?
Keep having the conversations. Why is it so taboo to talk about how seriously uncomfortable stitches may be? Or how it stings like a b*tch to pee after a vaginal birth? And let’s not get started on constipation and haemorrhoids… Early motherhood is a time of intense adjustment for most women and the more we have these conversations, highlighting the importance of postpartum care, the more we can change the narrative on how women think about pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.
7) When it comes to packing the hospital bag, which five key items would you say every mama should pack (for herself)?
- Disposable Maternity Pants – These are the best option when you are losing a lot of blood.
- Perineal Spray. It has a really numbing effect and helps it feel less swollen/painful down below.
- A Peri Bottle – It bewilders me why the Peri Bottle isn’t widely recognised as a hospital bag essential. But it certainly is one, so pack it!
- Bath Herbs, Epsom Salts and Lavender oil for a Sitz Bath.
- Arnica – it’s a homeopathic super remedy for bruising and wounds.
8) Postpartum is one of the undeserved and underrepresented phases of motherhood. Why do you think that is?
Once the baby arrives, a lot of the attention is diverted from mum and the focus is on the baby. Very few take the time to really check how mum is doing and it can be such a vulnerable time for us. I think also that society and more recently social media has molded its own opinions and views on what childbirth and motherhood should be like. It’s a bit taboo to talk about the realities of the postpartum period and the difficulties of motherhood in general because it can be an uncomfortable conversion to have. It isn’t pretty and it isn’t glamorous, despite what is often portrayed on those ‘perfect instagrammable’ images. So a lot of us don’t talk about the struggles because it can often make us feel like we are failing at motherhood.
9) What are the future plans of MumBubHub?
We are constantly having conversations with women to understand what they need most so we do have a few new products in the pipeline. We are also looking to start distribution in the US over the next few months.
We are continuing to grow our platform and our social work. We recently launched our Support Hub, providing access to free tailored specialist support to women who are finding it hard to access any support due to lack of finances, being on waiting lists, or for those who need support but do not know how to access it which we are really excited about.