An interview by Peggy O’Mara with Melinda Olson, founder and Mama-in-Charge at Earth Mama®
O’Mara: I know you have product lines for mamas and babies, but why baby loss?
Olson: As our business grew, customers who used our products began asking for us to send New Mama Bottom Spray or the Postpartum Recovery Kit to a friend. But they would ask me to not use a mailing label with the words “new baby” on it. They would also sometimes send a tea to friend, but would request that it be out of the packaging. I realized that these customers were asking for gifts for friends who had lost their babies.
O’Mara: What was the first Healing Hearts product?
Olson: As I got more and more of these requests, I wondered what women did with breastmilk after losing a baby. I couldn’t imagine suffering through the vaginal tears and engorging breasts of postpartum, all without a baby. I had heard of women who had so much milk that they would soak their bed sheets. There was little awareness about donating breastmilk at this time. So, I researched “anti-galactagogues”, which are herbs traditionally used to reduce the production of breastmilk, and made a tea blend for women who had lost their babies. We named it No More Milk Tea, and were careful not to put any image or mention of a “new baby” on the packaging.
O’Mara: What other products for baby loss have you developed?
Olson: I blended essential oils traditionally used to ease sadness and uplift spirits, and made it into a spray called Healing Hearts Mist. Then I realized friends wanted to help grieving mamas with a gift of remembrance, so we made Light of My Heart Candle and Seeds of Hope. But while these products helped with physical healing or aided in the initial stages of grief, I realized the part that was left unhealed was the emotional heartache.
O’Mara: Is this when you started the website Healing Hearts Baby Loss Comfort?
Olson: Exactly. I found that most people I had talked to had either suffered through the loss of a baby or knew of someone who did, but didn’t know what to do or say to help. In 2005 we started the site for families who had experienced baby loss, whatever the reason. Social media was really new, so the site was more of a holding place for information and resources for those suffering from the pain of losing a baby. We offered articles on the website about things like what to say and what NOT to say to grieving mothers. Eventually, a Facebook page was created, and that was where women who had lost a baby could experience a sense of community.
About Healing Hearts Baby Loss Comfort
Healing Hearts Baby Loss Comfort offers one of the most extensive resource lists available online for grieving parents. The website, the Facebook page and the products have always been more of a service than a product line. “We wanted to offer our community something that really doesn’t cost anything,” says Melinda. She sees it as “holding our arms out” to customers and others who have had a loss.
More About Earth Mama
Combining generations of women’s wisdom with traditional plant medicine to formulate certified organic herbal tea, soaps, balms, lotions, soothing sprays, and the first Non-GMO Project Verified nipple cream, Earth Mama has been safely nurturing women and their babies and families for over a decade.
Earth Mama believes in the natural process of birth, and the healing power of nature. Our mission is to provide safe, herbal alternatives for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and babies of all ages, and to help educate people about traditional plant medicine and safe personal care.
Learn more at EarthMama.com