Flicking through the pages of celebrity magazines you’d be mistaken for thinking that pregnancy and child birth were easy on your body, as stars pose naked with their bumps shortly before post pregnancy pictures appear of them having miraculously returned to their ‘normal’ pre-pregnancy selves.
In reality any mum knows this isn’t quite how it works and two mums who know this better than most are Jane Mason and Theresa Mounsey, midwives from Nottingham. Having both trained at the University of Nottingham, Theresa and Jane have over fifteen years of midwifery experience between them. Originally working on the same ward, Theresa now works as a community midwife whilst Jane rotates between labour suites and antenatal/postnatal wards; between them their knowledge on the realities of pregnancy and birth are second to none.
After having helped thousands of new mothers, and both being mothers themselves, the pair began to realise that many women could make their time during pregnancy, birth and the early months of motherhood much more comfortable with a few simple products. Having experience of using aromatherapy, with women in labour or new mums, at the Trust where they work they saw how it could take a women from being in tears and wanting to give up breastfeeding due to her sore nipples to lifting her spirits, relaxing her and easing her pain, allowing her to carry on. Intrigued to know what similar natural products were out there that they could recommend at home Jane and Theresa started to research what was available – they drew a blank!
“Take away the masses of baby products and you are left with very little for the mother herself. Aside from the large number of products aimed at stretch marks the only other products available were bath oils, and a heavily pregnant woman in a bath with oil in could be seen as an accident waiting to happen!! The products available were also very pampering and we were looking for products that were actually going to help the woman….and so the Natural Birthing Company was born.” says Jane
Jane and Theresa wanted to provide women with products that allowed them to receive care in the home as though a midwife was there and the result is a product range which includes a perineal massage oil to help increase the flexibility of your skin down below, a breast feeding survival kit to help with sore nipples and engorged breasts and a cooling facial spray to help beat backs waves of nausea. Real ‘essential kit’ for birth, carefully formulated by the midwives to ensure there isn’t a nasty or artificial chemical in sight.
Jane and Theresa certainly seem to have got things right because the Natural Birthing Company range has already been causing a stir with stores around the country recognising the need for such products, with retailers from Mothercare and John Bell & Croyden having started stocking them.
Alison Atkinson, Head of Midwifery at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, certainly agrees the women have hit upon something special.
“At NUH we encourage and support innovation which improves the experience for the women in our care. The Natural Birthing Company, which is the idea of two of our experienced midwives, is an excellent example of how Nottingham is very much leading the way when it comes to supporting women through pregnancy, labour and life as a new mum in the best possible way.”
For Jane and Theresa it’s not just about selling product though and they hope that with the Natural Birthing Company in the marketplace they’ll encourage women to be more open and talk about what really affects new mums as Jane explains,
“We hope that the Natural Birthing Company and our products will help women become more confident, lose a bit of British restraint and follow the lead of some Eastern cultures where practises like perineal massages to prepare women for birth are common practise. Child birth and pregnancy is never going to be easy, but if women talk about the real issues they face then they can start to find ways to make it that much more comfortable.”
And the women’s passion for what they do is shown in their determination to the stay in their roles as working midwives
“As the business grows we foresee that it may need us to reduce our hours. However we both love being midwives and wouldn’t want to leave the role completely. Our brand is about us being working midwives, being up to date with what is happening out there and doing what we love to do.”
To learn more about the Natural Birthing Company and their products please visit www.naturalbirthingcompany.co.uk