The Unexpected Benefits of Cloth Diapers and Birth Pools: Interview with Canadian Company BumbiniWritten by Staff Writer
There was a time when all babies used cloth diapers and were born at home. While our world is characterized by technology and rapid change, there is a movement towards reclaiming natural, organic ways of the past.
For many Muslim parents part of their job includes taking care of the world their children will grow up in. Bumbini is a Canadian, Ottawa-based cloth diaper company that also offers a large selection of environmentally friendly and organic products for babies and moms.
For parents to-be, Bumbini also offers birth pool rentals, which allow expectant moms to labour or give birth in the privacy of home.
Muslim Link interviewed the owner of Bumbini, Anna Mascieri-Boudria, to find out more about cloth diapers, birth pools, and her experience as an entrepreneur.
What is Bumbini and what does it offer?
Bumbini is quite near to my heart, as a proud Italian it is a combination of the word bum and bambini (Italian word for baby).
Bumbini is a family run business and our passion is providing comfortable cloth diaper company for babies and toddlers at affordable prices. It is also a resource that provides support to cloth diapering parents, not just a place to buy them. We have a great blog to help parents out, diaper trial programs for those that want to try out cloth diapering to find their favorite brand and also cloth diaper workshops. We are exclusively online but any parent looking at having a closer look at any brand, can schedule a site visit.
Can you tell us more about your cloth diapers?
We believe cloth diapers that don't cost the earth. Cloth diapers have come a long when from when I was cloth diapered, where the textile was so hard and rough and fastened with those dreaded safety pins. Today, parents have more choices in cloth diapers and they have definitely come a long way as well. They are modern, stylish, fun designs, closure is either buttons or Velcro.
Cloth diapers are less irritating, soft, comfortable and made of natural fibres. Despite public perception, they do not leak any more then disposable diapers would, if the type chosen corresponds to the baby's shape.
Did you know that a baby uses more than 7000 disposable diapers which amounts to roughly one ton of garbage? One disposable diaper takes up to 500 years to decompose and of all landfilled garbage, disposable diapers are the 3rd highest volume category of household waste per year. Also, parents might not realize how toxic and how many different types of chemicals are being used to make disposable diapers.
This is why cloth diapers in fact are a suitable alternative to disposable, as one cloth diaper replaces 240 disposable diapers. In other words, you only need 28 - 30 cloth diapers for a baby's entire diaper stage.
There are many reasons that parents choose to cloth diaper such as environmental, financial or health to name a few. Whatever the reasons, parents can rest assured that materials used are quite safe and without chemicals, all while reducing their environmental footprint. In fact there are many hidden benefits when parents choose to cloth diaper. One that comes to mind is that their children potty train much earlier, in fact by age 18 months when they cloth diaper, as opposed to 2 years or older for those that use disposable diapers.
Our store is stocked with beautiful, vibrant colours, the softest cloths and modern designs. Whatever you are searching for from eco to chic, we have it here! We are committed in helping all new parents discover the comfort your baby feels using cloth diapering.
Whether you've come for a perfect pocket diaper, a playful cover, an adorable swim diaper, a stylish wet bag or knowledgeable advice, we are here for you and happy to help you pick out the perfect diaper for your little one.
Can you tell us more about where you source your products?
We are very proud in all the brands that we carry and have very close relationships with all of my manufactures. Most of our products are Made in Canada or North American made. In fact, we are recently expanding our selection to include products from overseas to accommodate all budgets, offering more selection to parents. We believe in only working with companies that offer fair working conditions, pay a fair living wage to their employees, good workmanship, environmentally considerate practices which inflict minimal or no harm on the natural environment, and not just driven about their bottom line.
What other products do you offer?
We also offer a lot of different products even for parents that don't cloth diaper. We have skin care products that is natural, menstrual products, swim wear and UV tees and so much more. The best part is you can shop without leaving the comfort of your home.
What are birth pools?
We rent out birth pools in the Ottawa area, which are perfect for anyone looking at having home births or just want to labour at home. With home births, your privacy will be respected and you can enjoy birthing in an intimate, family atmosphere as opposed in a hospital setting. Birthing is a natural bodily process that works best without interference. Also another reason that home birth is safer is that the infection rate is less than half that of hospital births. First, the baby is born with the mother’s antibodies, passed through the placenta. These include immunity to the family’s household germs. Hospitals are notoriously germ-infested, and a mother isn’t able to offer herself or her baby the same degree of immunity from that environment. Second, homebirth midwives know not to wash off the protective, antibacterial vernix covering the baby’s skin. Third, because mothers and babies are never separated, the baby’s immature immune system is able to function optimally, without the stress and disruption of the baby being taken from its mother. Furthermore, the continuous mother-baby interaction fosters successful breastfeeding, which is the baby’s best protection against infection from the moment of birth. Midwives provide continuity of care and comprehensive mother / baby care at a level impossible in the assembly-line nature of hospitals.
Many women wonder whether they’ll be able to give birth at home without drugs; in fact, most women do just fine. Many women who have had babies both at home and in the hospital assert that birthing is much less painful at home, as they are in familiar surroundings, with birth attendants who could cater to every need. By birthing at home, you'll be treated like a woman going through a natural process as too often in hospitals, birthing women are made to feel more like patients with a dangerous condition. In fact, home births have fewer complications resulting in less medical interventions.
Childbirth classes teach about the fear-tension-pain cycle, whereby fear increases tension, causing the cervix to constrict rather than dilate, which in turn increases pain. It’s a process that’s counterproductive to birthing. When fear is absent from the birthing environment, the opposite cycle can play out: confidence-relaxation-comfort. That is, the more confident you are, the better able you are to relax, and the more comfortable you’ll be. This allows your body to secrete endorphins, which are the natural pain relief intended by nature for the mother’s body during natural childbirth.
As a labouring woman’s body produces more oxytocin to increase the effectiveness of her contractions, she also produces an equivalent level of endorphins for pain relief. (These endorphins aren’t produced if the mother is under stress or feeling afraid.) It is not uncommon for women to become increasingly relaxed as labour progresses, due to their endorphin levels climbing as the intensity increases. It’s easy to imagine how being in your own home can increase your confidence and ability to relax. A birthing tub provides even greater comfort, immersing the mother in the warm weightlessness of water.
Water birthing offers the woman the option of labouring and birthing in a tub. When a baby is born in water, the baby continues to receive all of its oxygen through the placenta until it is above water and using its lungs successfully. Thus, there is no risk of drowning, even if the baby crowns slowly over several contractions. The buoyancy provided by the water seems to help the mother and baby find the optimal position for birthing. In addition, the warm water increases blood flow to the uterus, which not only provides the necessary oxygen to the baby, but facilitates cervical dilation and reduces pain. Babies born in water are usually in excellent condition, and they are easily comforted by the familiarity of warm water.
The experience of birth for the baby at home is usually very gentle. We know that babies recognize voices during late pregnancy, so it is believed that the baby recognizes the midwife’s voice as someone nonthreatening and familiar. Homebirth midwives don’t use any devices that go inside the uterus or might be uncomfortable for the baby and women are encouraged to birth in a position they choose. Positions chosen by the mother, such as an upright position, or on her hands and knees, tend to minimize stress on the baby and facilitate an easier birth.
Many homebirth couples choose to catch their own baby, and the assessment of baby’s well-being right at birth can be easily done with the baby still in the mother’s arms. Some midwives don’t ever hold the baby until the mother feels ready to have the baby weighed. Most parts of the newborn exam can be performed with the baby in the arms of the mom or dad. And because there is no rush to cut the cord, the baby receives all of its nutrient-rich cord blood, as nature intends.
How does the rental work?
Our pools come in discreet bins and are available in two sizes: regular (suited to have two people) or mini (for one person or that don't have a lot of space). Our pools rental periods are for 4 weeks, 2 weeks before one's due date and 2 weeks after. If parents are looking at having the pool earlier, that is not a problem, just let us know at time of reserving the pool.
The rental process is super easy as you fill out a form, and you are notified if a pool is available as well a request for a deposit in order to complete the reservation for a pool. A few weeks before the pool is scheduled to be picked up, yo you are notified of the remaining balance that is due. Our pools are thoroughly inspected and cleaned before and after each rental. We provide everything you need (disposable pool liner, brand new filler hose, air and water pumps, manuals) all ready for pickup. When you come to pick it up the pool, we go over the kit with you or answer any questions you may have. We are super flexible so if you would like the pool earlier or need it longer because you are overdue that is not a problem, you just need to let us know ahead of time.
What lessons have you learned from your experience with Bumbini that would help other entrepreneurs?
The late Muhammad Ali summed it up beautifully when he said, if your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it - then you can achieve it. Believe in yourself, intuition, and vision. I would even add to stay curious, as this requires an upgraded mindset. Think about the energy of a child: adventurous, curious, fierce, unapologetic, inspirational, and tenacious, but as adults we tend to lose these characteristics.
By keeping your mind open to new ideas and embracing novelty, you make opportunities for yourself. By exposing yourself to a multitude of businesses and products, your scope expands. Conversely, if you always have your blinders on, your perspective becomes too narrow and you miss out on promising opportunities. Most entrepreneurs lose that “spark” of self-belief after a few setbacks because they view failure as inescapable. Yet, this is the most crucial time to work on reprogramming your thoughts / beliefs, so you can pivot and learn from your failure(s) and move toward success. Reactivate what drives you by reflecting on what you want from life and identify why you fell off track. Be persistent and never give up. Trust your instincts, follow your heart, but use your brain. Define your product or service and know your vision at the end. Make sure you that every day you do an activity that scares you, change you daily routine and get out of your comfort zone. To be an entrepreneur you should have the willingness to think big, act as a bold leader in order to receive great results.
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