This post originally appeared on The Green Mama blog, written by Manda Aufochs Gillespie and was reprinted here with permission.
Sometimes, I am pretty earnest
I believe in truth: in helping people find their individual path through the confusing world of parenting. To do that, I try to bring my talent for health research, my search for ecological answers, and my faith that collectively we can create better childhoods.
And for 20 years, I’ve had the great fortune to work passionately to research, write, and speak on what I’ve discovered and the many mysteries that remain.
That’s all great, but…
Good information is nice, but when your baby won’t nurse or you’re going crazy with a seemingly incurable eczema or you need some really, truly rainproof kids clothes, you need the RIGHT STUFF.
Thus I began the search for the Right Stuff: the things made with the most care and love for our children, planet, and our shared future. I started when I was pregnant with my first child about 10 years ago, sharing information in classes and groups and then through the Ratings and Reviews on my website, in other media, and in the Green Mama book.
I wanted to do something more.
In the beginning… whether that beginning is a baby’s life or the first moment you wake-up to how interconnected our world is to our health or just the moment you wake-up in the morning, we believe more in the importance of right living when we’ve experienced the difference the RIGHT STUFF makes.
I wanted to begin at the beginning
Pregnancy and the “fourth trimester” right after the baby is born is a time of incredible growth and development in the life of the child and the mother (and involved partners). That includes in both of their brains. (Both!) This time is also an incredibly vulnerable time. During pregnancy, a child receives much of what a mother is exposed to—often from before pregnancy even began—and that vulnerability continues after the child’s birth. During the first six months of a child’s life he is virtually unable to detoxify as the organs of detoxification have not yet fully developed, the blood-brain barrier is also not developed, and the tiniest exposure can shift a child’s development irrefutably.
And information, alone, didn’t seem like enough
If a mother is given a truly effective, gentle, natural bum balm that works, she’s more open to learning why it is so much better than that other stuff. Or, if she drinks mineral-rich tea and begins to feel the benefits of deep nourishment, her body begins to crave more of what she most needs. And if a mother knows that she has a few options for calming her baby, she herself will be able to calm, rest, and begin the sometimes hard, often delightful, and ultimately rewarding work of mothering.
Every child deserves to feel love
And so does every mother. And it will never be more important than right after birth. I created the information: hooray, my third baby, the Green Mama book. But I wanted to give the experience of hope that comes from experiencing the RIGHT STUFF and that would get people to want to learn more. And then one day, on book tour, I met the midwives at Matraea. Built on the principles of their midwifery practice, Kate Koyote and Selina Boily know that, “Birth is the foundation of all relationships, and it is where the difference we make in the world begins.” These amazing midwives have helped bring natural births to about 40% of the babies in the Cowichan Valley of BC. They have also developed a holistic wellness centre that they share with complementary practitioners. While realizing the vision for Matraea, Kate and Selina identified a lack of access to effective, natural products for moms and babies in their community: supplies needed to support their clients’ pregnancies and births. As a result, they set out to create their own line of organic teas and body care products to deal with some of the challenges of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. And to bring together the best available mama and baby products in a Mercantile and on their website.
Together, we created a kit of love
Give yourself or a mother you love the chance to experience a truly cared for beginning.