We all know that giving birth ain’t a cakewalk. Throw in what happens to our bodies and psyches afterwards and the whole experience can best be described as a freakin’ mess. Thankfully, Lindsay Forsey, a mom of two and founder of a feel-good company that delivers #realmom gift packages to new mamas, has our backs.
Tenth Moon Mothercare began in 2014 and is Canada’s first postnatal care package company. Lindsay’s maternal health-based packages are thoughtfully constructed to include the little things we need to ease our bodies back to some kind of normalcy after giving birth. There are spa-friendly items like lavender mineral salts and red raspberry leaf tea (all personally made and packaged by Lindsay) but it’s the not-so-sexy items—organic prunes and organic cotton maternity and breast pads—that are the real-deal.
“Our packages are more about wellness and functionality,” says Lindsay. “I always get comments from women telling me how much they love receiving that sort of thing—especially since many don’t even know they need them. It’s important to me that everything is in the package for a reason and that everything serves a purpose.”
SHOP TALK WITH LINDSAY
In a few words, describe your business.
Heart driven. My business really comes from a place of personal experiences, an emotional place and understanding of what women are going through and wanting to help.
Socially-innovative. Our packages are about a lot more than sending a gift box: It is about changing people’s views on what women really need in their postpartum periods, how we think about caring for women, and the expectations we set on them.
And growing. More and more people across Canada are discovering Tenth Moon Mothercare which is very exciting, and we’re also working on some projects and collaborations to help us continue to expand.
You started this company because of the care and support you received when you were a new mom. What types of issues did you experience and how did you thrive after them?
I hoped for a home birth but when the baby was ready to come out I was 9cm dilated and my midwife looked up at me and said, “that is not a head, it’s a bum.” Luckily, at this point we had already decided to go to the hospital. My C-section was complicated—I had an epidural but it did not work as well as I wanted and it gave me severe migraines for the first two weeks (migraines are a possible side effect after being given an epidural). Plus, I developed thrush…I did not have postpartum depression but I definitely struggled and I was not prepared for everything that happened. My husband was amazing in every possible way, but because of my experience I wanted to do something to help make sure other women are also taken care of and have what they need to manage all of this extra stuff that is going on.
Do you think there are social stigmas for new moms?
There are social pressures and cultural norms that believe that moms should be able to bounce back quickly to their regular routines. Thankfully, I do feel as though that is changing since there are some amazing women who are starting to say, “I don’t need to meet any of your supposed standards after I have my baby.”
Where is your business now?
I am a one women show but, to give credit where credit is due, my husband has been a partner in an unofficial capacity. He was a big part of cultivating the idea and my main supporter. Right now, I do everything—from packaging the orders to driving down to a cooperative commercial kitchen to spend the day making the granola and our tea. It is very satisfying to be working on all of those moving parts to creating something that helps women. I also partner with some great Canadian-run, mama-owned businesses such as Colibri and Shoosha.
What has been the hardest part about running your own business?
Time management—just looking at that ever-growing list, and daily to-do’s. My work life and business life are very intertwined. One of the biggest challenges is staying committed to the hours set aside for work. Most of the time I find myself working after the children have gone to bed or on the weekends.
You’ve been at it since 2014. Are you happy with the rate your business is growing?
I am very happy. I feel like it has been going and growing at exactly a pace I can handle. Obviously, I have dreams and visions for a company, but for now I think it is the perfect organic growth I need. I started this business right before my second daughter was born. Growing organically has allowed me to work on my business and be home and spend time with my children. I strive to do as much as I can while also not beating myself up for not doing everything.
Can you share your future plans for Tenth Moon Mothercare?
We’re working hard to grow our retail presence. We’re available at Toronto’s Yoga Mamas, Baby on the Hip and at The Happy Baby in Grimsby. A bigger program we are working on is having Mothercare packages available for registries. Right now, you can sign up for our packages at Baby on the Hip. Soon, we hope to be on more across Canada.
You also give back—can you explain your involvement with the New Mom Project and Postpartum Support Toronto?
It was really important to me to have a giving back component to my business so I partnered with the New Mom project at the very beginning. With New Mom Project, we donate packages to women in need and for auctions. We also do a Mother’s Day lunch where we connect with moms to answer any questions they might have.
We’ve been with Postpartum Support Toronto since last fall and I sit on the board of directors — a guidance role where we discuss all the different workshops and fundraising. I love that it’s different for me and I’m contributing and creating something that I really believe in for new parents. The postpartum workshops are about real topics and discussions where you can talk about anything. It is a safe place to be able to go and say things like, “I didn’t want to cuddle my baby last night”— things that women can be so afraid to say because of the reaction they might get from people.
Tenth Moon also supports the PAIL network (Pregnancy and Infants Lost Network). In recognition of the first pregnancy and infant loss awareness month this past October, as well as in honour of one of my best friends who lost a late term pregnancy, I created the Mama’s Heart: Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss package where a portion of those proceeds are donated to the PAIL Network.
How do you choose the items that go into your packages?
Everything in the packages has a reason for being there. For example, oats and pecans in the granola are considered foods that help promote or increase the flow of breast milk. Having said that, not all women breast feed so the granola is also packed with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds that are nutrient dense for any mother. I really went through a check list of what women need and created a product that really supports them and their wellness after giving birth.
Our newest partnership is with Bambo Nature. They make safe, gentle and eco-friendly products—diapers and baby wipes—for baby while providing the highest standards in performance. I also make it a point to partner with companies in Canada, and I’ve found so many great brands like Honest Leaf and Shoosha, which are both based in Toronto.
Do you have a certain business philosophy that you run your business with?
Things have to be purposeful, and truly beneficial to someone. I always want to be focusing on the why I’m doing something and not so much the what.
Favourite kid saying.
For real life. My kids are always telling me this with great conviction.