This taboo-breaking new company finally gives new mothers what they REALLY need after childbirth. Moms are loving it.

People have an overly-romantic idea of what it's like to bring a newborn into the world, but it makes sense.

The human species has to propagate itself and if we were open about what it's really like to birth a baby, we'd probably be extinct.

After a woman gives birth, all of the attention shifts from her health to the beautiful baby in the blanket. Everyone asks baby's name, birth weight, and what time the beautiful bundle of joy arrived — while mom gets put in the corner.


Meanwhile, mom may be over the moon with her new child, but she's probably in pretty bad shape.

After giving birth, a woman can have any combination of the following postpartum issues: leg, feet, and ankle swelling, stitches in the perineum (the area between the vagina and the anus), lacerations in the vaginal canal, C-section scars, stretch marks, incontinence, vaginal bleeding, post-birth discharge, sore nipples from breastfeeding, hemorrhoids, constipation, and weakened ab muscles.

Culturally, we're pretty uncomfortable discussing women's health issues, so nobody hears about why mom has to keep running up the stairs to use the bathroom or is crying in the shower.

A poll taken by Orlando Health found that 26% of women who had recently given birth didn't have a plan for their health over the period known as the “fourth trimester," and 41% of those respondents indicated that they felt anxious, overwhelmed, or depressed after giving birth.

“All the attention becomes focused on the baby," Megan Gray, an obstetrician and gynecologist with Orlando Health, told Fox News. “We totally forget about mom."

via Amelia Makin

New mothers Kiki Burger and Amelia Makin decided that if nobody was thinking about mom, then they should.

In January, the pair launched Mor for Moms, a company that sells kits filled with what moms really need after childbirth.

“After our babies were born we were frantically texting each other trying to figure out which products to get to help with the immediate pain and care and we both kept saying, 'Why didn't anyone tell us we would feel like this?'" Makin told Forbes.

“But unlike with everything else for the baby that was usually solved with a single click on Amazon or a stop at a local CVS, we couldn't find the products in one place, or available without buying in large bulk amount," Makin continued.

“Given that 4,000 women give birth a day, it seemed crazy to us that these products just weren't readily available," Makin said.

via Mor for Moms

Mor for Moms sells postpartum self-care kits featuring maternity pads, mesh underwear, cooling pads, ice packs, a cleansing bottle, overnight pads, nipple pads, and nipple cream.

“All of the new moms kept telling us how helpful the kits were and how they felt less alone as they sat in the bathroom trying to figure things out," Makin said. “Pretty soon, people started requesting to purchase them for their friends."

The duo also set up a partnership with Mary's Center, a Washington D.C.-based community resource center. For every kit sold, Mor for Moms donates one to new moms in its Centering Pregnancy Program.

Upworthy got the chance to talk with Mor for Mom's co-founder Kiki Burger about her company and the taboos surrounding childbirth.

Why do you think these products haven't been packaged together before?

From the experience of my co-founder Amelia Makin and me, and what we've heard from many other new moms, it seems like no one has really talked about this before — until the nurse is taking you aside in your hospital bathroom when you can hardly stand up and telling you how your personal hygiene will work for the next week or three. Since there's been so little dialogue around it, we're just not seeing it reflected in the marketplace.

Why is it still taboo to discuss what happens to a woman's body after giving birth?

When you're pregnant, it's all about the mom, but the minute the baby is born, the mom is cast aside and the focus is all on the sweet baby. It's totally understandable, after all newborn babies are super cute and super vulnerable, but there needs to consideration too around the mom's health. How does she recover physically following a major medical procedure is a bit dissonant with the innocent beauty of a newborn.

What's the most difficult thing for women to discuss after giving birth?

How they are really feeling. Physically, it's a messy and hard time. Your body has changed. You have trouble walking. But you tend to never let on to people, trying to match how you think you should look after a baby. I mean, women frequently still look pregnant for awhile after giving birth. That's normal. And then there's the emotional side. Your life has completely changed. Your relationship with your partner has changed. You might experience postpartum depression. Let's just say it's a lot. And it's hard to talk about, especially with someone that didn't just go through it or hasn't before.

What do you know after giving birth that you wish you knew beforehand?

I wish I had known about the greatness that is mesh underwear. But seriously, I wish I had known about the recovery process I was going to experience. I had everything ready for the baby and took all the classes, but had no idea about my own self-care needs. I wish I had supplies ready for me at home. I'll never forget leaving my three-day-old at home to drive to CVS to try and find oversized pads and another squirt bottle. I wandered down the aisles in my diaper looking for these things, and they just don't sell them.

You've identified a huge hole in the market that exists because of the taboos surrounding women and birth. Do you see the same type of holes in the market when it comes to other women's health issues?

Absolutely. Your period, menopause, sex after baby, postpartum depression, women's viagra, the list goes one. With so little talked about, our goal is to at least get the discussion going around post-birth realities and its effects on a woman's body. And fill these gaps with products to make life just a little easier for women, give them one less thing to think and worry about.
Along our personal journey, we were fortunate to be well provided for and had supportive partners. That's why we've also built into our company a nonprofit partnership with Mary's Center, a community-based health center in Washington D.C. With a portion of our sales, we supply a kit to new moms in their Centering Pregnancy Program.

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

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Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

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Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

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