|Hope, Daniela, and their eight children|
Q: Tell us about you..
Our path to parenting couldn't have been more different. Hope struggled with conceiving and found her way through IVF, adoption and in the end natural child birth. Daniela became a mom to her husband's 1, 4 and 6 year olds prior to delivering their last two daughters. Our families are big, boisterous and nothing short of inspiring. Among the madness, we found each other and found NüRoo from our shared passion for the tie between mom and baby. Society does a good job making us second guess our intuition, and ironically medicine has further complicated the natural process. Instinctively, innately, we KNOW how to care for our babies, and our bodies are equipped with all the tools needed to do so.
Q: What made you think to create the NüRoo Pocket?
Hope: I was introduced to the practice of skin-to-skin contact by a nurse midwife at my time of delivery. Following the birth of my daughter, Elle was immediately placed on my chest, and my midwife began telling me all of the amazing physiologic benefits that skin-to-skin offers. I learned that in order to give and receive all of these advantages, she needed to be on my skin for an uninterrupted 60 minutes. That seemed reasonable until I arrived home and was greeted by my two very excited three-year-olds. I needed something that could help me give my baby the benefits of skin-to-skin, but allowed me to be active with my family.
Daniela: When Hope shared her thoughts for the Pocket, I couldn't stop spouting off ideas. I too practiced Skin-to-Skin for the benefits offered to me and my babies but not nearly as much as I wanted to. I loved the promise of the product and envisioned a brand designed to offer early advantages and foster the bond between mom + baby.
The NüRoo Pocket helps baby transition from the womb to the outside world.
Q: How did you go from concept to finished product?
Over the course of a sleepless 9 months, we conducted countless test fits with moms and newborns, using their feedback and working with a seamstress to perfect our design. We took the final prototypes to an industry veteran to help us land at the right factory . There are so many things to consider (price, standards compliance, labeling, quality of construction, turn around time, duty fees, etc.) that working with someone to guide you through this process is invaluable. To those mompreuners in the making, if you don’t have existing relationships that can help with this, seek out a sourcing agent who can see you through.
Q: You refer to Skin-to-Skin Contact as a "practice" -- why is that?
Believe it or not, there's a right and wrong way to do it. The benefits of skin-to-skin are derived from stimulating the c-afferent nerves. There are a lot of misconceptions around this. Not all skin-on-skin contact delivers the same benefits (i.e.: baby across mom's belly or their cheek to her chest). Because there's a proper position and suggested duration of time, skin-to-skin Contact is intentional and thus said to be a "practice."
Simply by holding baby vertically on your bare chest, you enhance your baby's immunity, improve sleep and weight gain, and stabilize their heart rate and breathing, all while speeding your own recovery time, reducing your risk for postpartum depression and increasing your milk supply. The benefits begin immediately with less crying/colic and temperature regulation. During the 60 minutes after the birth, skin-to-skin contact accelerates your baby's brain development.
The newborn stage is coined the 4th trimester because of how immature baby is. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends skin-to-skin immediately after birth until the first feeding and throughout the postpartum period. 40 years of research tells us that skin-to-skin should happen for as often, as long, and as frequently as possible.
Q: With 40 years of research behind the practice, why now?
As you've said, "institutional inertia" is all too common. (Daniela): "With my delivery in 2009, baby was separated immediately after birth for routine procedures then placed skin-to-skin until the first breastfeeding. The benefits of Skin-to-Skin weren't talked about. Thankfully, with the baby friendly initiatives, the surgeon general's call to action and the CDC's recommendation for Skin-to-Skin, hospitals are finally implementing new protocol. After the birth of my youngest in 2011, my baby was immediately placed on my chest and the benefits of skin-to-skin were explained in the mom + baby unit."
In an effort to drive awareness, we're on a mission to educate both moms and providers. We're attending key national organization conferences (ILCA, ACNM, USLCA, etc.) and have met and spoken with amazing women doing tremendous things for the well-being of mom and baby. We're collaborating with those trying to evoke change. There is a direct correlation between skin-to-skin and breastfeeding rates in relation to initiation, duration and exclusivity ties. The research speaks volumes, and finally our nation is responding. Every mom wants what is best for her baby. Once she has the knowledge, the product gives her the time.
Stay tuned for my review of the NüRoo Pocket in a few days!