This week we have a giveaway from The Leaky Boob sponsors The Shower Hug™, a simple convenient solution to soothe Mom’s tender breasts and nipples. What is The Shower Hug?
Pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding. A marathon welcome to motherhood! Needless to say, our bodies go through a lot, especially our breasts and nipples, and most moms understand the extent of breast pain and tenderness associated with pregnancy and early stage breastfeeding. Sore breasts deserve a bit of tender loving care and the Shower Hug™ provides it!
The Shower Hug™ is not just for expectant and breastfeeding moms. The Shower Hug also provides soothing relief to women who experience cyclical breast pain, mastalgia and those recovering from mastectomy, augmentation, reduction, reconstruction and lifts.
I had the chance to ask Ane a few questions, below is my interview with her. Enjoy learning more about this sister-run company, their product and Ane’s breastfeeding journey and favorite breastfeeding tip then how you can enter to win your very own Shower Hug!
TLB: What would you like to share of your background and how you developed the Shower Hug with The Leaky Boob readers?
My background, the creation of the Shower Hug and how my sister and I came to be long-distance business partners are all intertwined. Here is our story…
Andria (Ane) and Alaina (Lain) are sisters. Ane (that’s me) lives on the west coast, Lain lives on the east coast. Three thousand miles separate them, but the bond of sisterhood and friendship makes the miles a mere inconvenience. Ane and Lain have recently added “business partners” to the roles they share as sisters and dear friends.
Ane graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She enthusiastically worked as a CPA in public and private industry, but quickly forgot about the world of numbers and analytics with the arrival of her newborn son in 2005. Her son’s arrival also brought about very sore breasts and nipples associated with early stage breastfeeding. It was during this painful experience that the idea for the Shower Hug™ was conceived.
Ane never would have imagined that showering would become so difficult and uncomfortable after the arrival of baby! Lingering in long, hot showers was a favorite retreat of hers, but the force of the shower spray hitting her tender breasts was too painful to tolerate. Engorged, tender breasts and cracked, bleeding nipples needed protection from the shower streams! Andria was inspired in her new role as mama to develop the Shower Hug, a bandeau wrap made of wonderfully comforting knit terry velour that is worn while showering to protect, support and soothe tender breasts and nipples.
Ane sought the support of talented women and other moms. She personally designed the Shower Hug, procured the materials for it and oversaw the details of the manufacturing process to ensure a high-quality product that gives moms the feeling of a luxurious and comforting hug. Ane’s goal was to help women reclaim the serenity of the shower. After all, she knew the time in the shower is often the only “me-time” a new mom gets. The shower becomes a sanctuary – a place to cleanse the body and clear the mind. When Ane speaks to women, she reminds them not to only pamper their precious little ones, but to remember to be kind to and gentle with themselves as well.
Ane formally founded Belmama & Cherub and began production of the Shower Hug in 2006, just one day after her son’s first birthday. Ane committed her “precious personal time” to the development of the Shower Hug. Her “precious personal time” was any time that her son slept or time that her husband was available to help with the baby. Early evening, late night and those wee hours of the morning were dedicated to developing and promoting the Shower Hug.
Precious personal time became “premium time” in September, 2007. Ane gave birth to her second child, a little girl. The baby was born with a serious heart defect and open heart surgery was necessary within the first 5 months of her life. Ane focused on her number one priority – seeing her beautiful baby girl through a very frightening time. Motherhood and the fragility of life took on a whole new meaning. Ane believed there would be no way to continue with her new endeavor and product.
Alaina, very aware of the seriousness of her niece’s condition and impressed by the product Ane created, volunteered to do all that she could to keep the Shower Hug in the public eye. Lain worked diligently to learn the business and promote the Shower Hug for her sister. Her enthusiasm helped to propel the Shower Hug from the Pacific to the Atlantic and beyond!
Lain was delighted with the response that she received when promoting the Shower Hug. While she knew the Shower Hug was a great product, she did not realize how much she would love promoting it. Lain took the product and the promotional information everywhere! She did everything she needed to do to drive the company forward, while giving Ane the opportunity to be a full-time mom before, during and after her baby girl’s open heart surgery.
Ane was impressed by her sister’s accomplishments. She invited Lain, a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and Villanova University, to join Belmama & Cherub as a partner. Lain’s quiet, positive personality and her ability to assess, communicate and encourage have complemented the determination, dedication and work that Ane put into creating the Shower Hug. Alaina accepted the invitation happily and balances the responsibilities of her partnership with those of being a wife, a mother to three little girls and an optometric physician in Princeton, New Jersey.
Ane and Lain work very closely every day, even though separated by thousands of miles. Emails fly through cyberspace and calls are placed at the oddest hours, but the arrangement works beautifully. The Shower Hug was granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office in August 2010 and is now widely available in birthing centers, maternity boutiques and online retailers.
TLB: What new developments are you excited about with your business?
Our newest development that we are ever so excited about is that the Shower Hug is now distributed through three major national retail outlets: Amazon.com, One Step Ahead and Destination Maternity. These outlets have a wide reach, and that enables us to let more Moms know that “Hey Mom! There is help out there!” We hear so many Moms say “I wish I knew about the Shower Hug when I was breastfeeding!” and it is sad that women struggle with discomfort when there is a therapeutic solution, the Shower Hug, readily available at the click of their fingers.
Every day, there is a lot of action at Belmama & Cherub. We are working hard on a host of exciting things, including the launch of our new and improved website www.showerhug.com. It is still in the works, but coming along. We anticipate completion by the end of the month, so come and visit us and let us know what you think!
TLB: What influenced you the most in your decision to breastfeed?
Breastfeeding was the norm amongst my family and friends. My mother breastfed my sisters and me in a time when breastfeeding was considered taboo. My sisters breastfed their babies. My friends breastfed too. There were babies and breasts and milk all around – so it seemed so very normal and comfortable. Breastfeeding was an easy choice, having this acceptance and support network so very near, not to mention the collective knowledge of so many Moms to get me over those inevitable hurdles. Additionally, the proven health benefits of breastfeeding for both Mom and Baby stood out in mind. Regardless of where you look, those benefits cannot be refuted, and I wanted to give my children the very best start possible.
TLB: What is your favorite breastfeeding tip?
Drink LOTS of water – when I was breastfeeding I was always thirsty and couldn’t seem to drink enough. Before you begin to breastfeed your baby, fill a BIG glass with water and keep it near you. Also, don’t forget whatever other essentials may interrupt the feeding session, like the phone!
This week our giveaway is for a “Belmama Bundle” which includes a Shower Hug, 3 luxurious infant wash cloths and 3 luxurious infant burp cloths.
This giveaway is now closed.
To enter to win the bundle please leave a comment on this post. This entry is REQUIRED in order to be chosen for a prize.
For 1 additional entry (limit 2 entries per person) go “like” The Shower Hug on Facebook, let them know TLB sent you and return to comment here stating you liked them on Facebook for your second entry. If you already like them just leave a second comment (must be a second comment to be counted) letting me know you already like them.
That’s it – two simple tasks and you’re entered for a chance at a great giveaway. Thanks to Ane and Lain for their generous giveaway and sponsorship of The Leaky Boob, providing support for breastfeeding moms everywhere. This giveaway will remain open through April 21st, 2011. Good luck and have fun!
Congratulations to Becca C.!
“What a great product!!!“
Thanks to Ane and Lain for their generous giveaway and sponsorship of The Leaky Boob, providing support for breastfeeding moms everywhere.