By Juliet Ebirim
Worried by the long frustrating hours Nigerians spend in traffic and the challenges women go through during pregnancy and motherhood generally, a UK based Nigerian mother of four, Nina Kalu is set to introduce the Mamas Hub breast pump/breast milk collector and female urinal to the Nigerian market.
“After childbirth, women sometimes suffer from bladder weakness or over-active bladder. As a result of being too careful, your bladder shrinks and you realise that you are not able to hold liquid in your bladder for too long. You just constantly need a toilet. The female urinal helps you do it when you need to and hygienically too.
In Nigeria, people get stuck in traffic for hours and I just wonder how the mothers cope when they need to use the toilet. Where do they go to when they are pressed? It’s so easy for men to actually wee in a bottle, bag or anywhere. If it’s a public toilet that isn’t too clean, they can stand quite far from the dirty toilet and do it. But for women, when you want to use the toilet, your body is exposed to all sorts of infections.”
Nina is the founder of Mamas Hub – a unique online shop launched in the UK in 2017 for mums and babies. It provides products that are not available on the high streets. They are products that would help mothers through the challenges that come with pregnancy, post-natal and motherhood generally. Having received amazing feedback since the launch in the UK, she believes it’s time to go further to share this fantastic solution with other countries, especially to mothers in Nigeria, in order for them to reap its benefits and enjoy motherhood.
“When you have a baby, your body changes and you have so many challenges. Certain items that you need are not really sold in a shop because they are things that people don’t talk about, so for me, Mamas Hub is a unique shop for mothers and babies, aimed at providing products that would help them alleviate the burden and challenges in their everyday lives.”
Speaking on the idea behind it, Nina went on to share her struggle as a mother of four children. Her words: “I feel my body changed so much when I was pregnant and breastfeeding. There were items that I felt would help me a bit more.
There were items that I wish I had access to, that would have helped make life a bit easier. That was how the idea came about. So I thought to myself ‘Hold on a minute… Why am I waiting for someone else to make these products? I have been a full time mum since I had my children and I thought I could do this myself. Why don’t I find a solution to these problems.”
Nina is passionate about making sure that mums can go back to the normal lives they had prior to having a child. She went on to state the difference between the products and similar ones already available in that category. “The 2-in-1 breast pump and breast milk collector is designed to feed the baby as well as express milk into the collector at the same time, so you could do two different things at the same time.
The breast milk collected can be served the baby while the mother is away. As you’re feeding your baby on one breast, the other one is leaking. This breast-pump is such that it is less aggressive compared to the regular electric pump which is extremely painful.”
“The female urinal is designed to help women, when they are in a car and stuck in traffic, they can actually pee if they need to and if you’re in a public toilet and not comfortable going quite close, you can stand and do it with this product.
Easy to carry about and waterproof, it will enable women be on the road (even in traffic) and not worry about wetting themselves. It’s also perfect for camping – when you’re out of your environment and the comfort of your own bathroom or toilet, this would serve that purpose for you. There is also the mobile potty for children. Being on the road with children can be extremely frustrating and challenging. While on the road, the children can easily utilize their trouble potty. “ she added.
A graduate of business and marketing, she stressed that having a child is a blessing to every family, so it’s not something people should avoid due to the aftermaths of childbirth, hence she is focused on products that people are sometimes too embarrassed to talk about. The beautiful mother of four also disclosed that she runs a charity known as Mamas-In-Need, which is funded by Mamas Hub. It is focused on addressing the issues and challenges women face during pregnancy in rural villages in Africa.
“When you hear people who are not mothers give advice on motherhood, it’s quite funny. When you become a mother, your life changes, it’s no longer about you, there’s so much sacrifice that goes on. You become selfless, it is so easy to lose yourself as a mum and I think that there are physical, mental and emotional changes that happen and these issues are not being addressed. You just carry on, put on a brave face. I think that I have been given this idea to help mums to overcome these challenges and we’re starting up with these products.
I wish this was available years ago, but it’s better late than never. It’s all about making life easier for mothers and women in general, because as women, our bodies change. Also on my website, www.mamashub.com there are links to help mums deal with depression, emotional abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence. Obviously I am not medically qualified to give advice, but we have links on the website where mothers can go and seek advice.” she concluded.