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As we spread our wings in our new Motherlove facility, we stay true to our roots

16 16 photoWe’re so excited to announce that we recently moved into our new Motherlove facility!  Our new space will allow us to grow, while we stay true to our roots as a family company.

Those roots took hold over 20 years ago, when Kathryn Higgins started Motherlove in the kitchen of her family home in Rist Canyon, in the mountains west of Fort Collins, Colorado.  There she created herbal products with plants she had harvested.   As the business grew, her husband built her a shop on the property, where she continued her hand-crafted business.

Then in 1995 Motherlove moved to Laporte, Colorado, the town closest to the family home.  There we had an 1,100 square foot facility to house our growing business.

103We loved being located in Laporte, a one-stoplight town so close to home.  But after 18 years and many additions it became clear that we needed more space to house the current and future needs of Motherlove.

Last year we purchased a 14,000 square foot building in central Fort Collins, Colorado.  We now have a full-sized warehouse, more office space, and new production equipment.  This space will allow us to store enough materials to meet our needs, take advantage of more efficient equipment, and prepare larger batches of our products.  We even have the luxury of space to grow into!

We’re also maintaining our commitment to the environment in our new facility.  We carefully examined our energy usage, and made a number of changes to improve our energy efficiency, including installing new LED lighting.  And we are starting to work on a solar installation in the back of the facility which will more than offset our total energy use.162

As we make this leap into a bigger space, we remain mindful of the importance of staying true to our roots as a family company.  Kathryn and her family still own and operate Motherlove, and we still work by hand, blending the herbs and pressing the oils in our products.

While our new facility is larger, we are the same family-owned and operated business that began in the kitchen of our family home.  We are fully committed to staying true to Motherlove’s roots as we spread our wings!

 

Earth Day is Every Day!

We’ve always thought every day was Earth Day here at Motherlove, but since we started operating the Motherlove Herb Farm last year, the concept has taken on new meaning. Today we had lunch on the farm to celebrate Earth Day and spend time as a company connecting with the earth and the foundation for our company — the herbs and plants that are used as the foundation for our products.

Spring is finally here in Northern Colorado, and we spent time planting seeds between visits to all the farm babies. Who couldn’t love a face like this?

breastfeeding piglet

Breastfeeding piglet at the #motherloveherbfarm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how we spent our day — what did you do to celebrate?

#motherloveherbfarm earth day lunch

Earth Day celebration lunch at the farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

goat's rue growing at #motherloveherbfarm

Goat’s rue growing in our greenhouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

baby sheep at the #motherloveherbfarm

Some of the babies at the farm – aren’t they adorable?

 

 

Meet our latest product: Motherlove Tattoo Care!

Our new Motherlove Tattoo Care salve is the perfect product to soothe, moisturize, protect, Motherlove tattoo careand heal your new tattoo!

Motherlove Tattoo Care is made with 100% certified organic ingredients and is handcrafted in Colorado using the same tried and true ingredients that have been in our products for over 20 years.

This thoughtful formulation of herbs provides optimal moisturizing and healing properties, yet retains a consistency that is comfortable to apply.  Unlike petroleum based products, Motherlove Tattoo Care allows the skin to breathe, promotes quicker healing, and allows ink to fully penetrate the skin.

Motherlove Tattoo Care is made with certified organic calendula flowers and marshmallow root, infused in extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, and shea butter.  The ratio of each ingredient has been carefully formulated to provide optimal moisture and healing properties, while retaining a consistency that is comfortable to apply while tattooing or applying to a fresh tattoo.

Olive oil serves as the moisturizing base of the salve.  It holds the herbal properties while allowing the skin to breathe, promoting quicker healing time.  Shea butter softens the skin as well as adding to the moisturizing constituents of the salve.  Beeswax thickens the salve and allows it to “stick” somewhat to the skin so that it can hold over the sensitive area longer.

We also think our Tattoo Care salve is special because of what’s not in it!  It contains no petroleum, no synthetic ingredients, no parabens, and no artificial preservatives.  It’s certified cruelty free, and certified organic.

Petroleum and lanolin products can pull the ink away from the skin and can clog the pores, causing a longer healing time.  Our Motherlove Tattoo Care salve contains ingredients which keep pores from getting clogged.  This promotes a quicker healing time.

Learn more, see our growing gallery of user submitted tattoos, and order online at our Motherlove Tattoo Care page!

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What is a Baby Friendly Hospital?

At Motherlove, we strongly support the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.  We think that every expecting mom who is planning a hospital birth should know about Baby Friendly Hospitals, so we thought we’d answer a few common questions here:

What is a Baby Friendly Hospital?

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a program sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF to encourage and recognize hospitals that provide evidence-based breastfeeding care.

A Baby Friendly Hospital is one which has been certified as fully complying with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.  To become Baby Friendly, hospitals undergo a lengthy certification process and an independent evaluation to determine that they have met all of the Baby Friendly criteria.

What are the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding?

To become Baby Friendly, hospitals must demonstrate that they comply with the following evidence-based policies:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
  6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming-in – that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together – 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic

What difference does it make if I birth at a Baby Friendly Hospital or somewhere else?

Research has repeatedly shown that mothers who birth at Baby Friendly hospitals are more likely to breastfeed, breastfeed longer, and breastfeed more exclusively. That’s because the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are based on research showing which policies support – and which undermine – breastfeeding.  So, while it’s certainly possible to breastfeed successfully if you don’t birth at a Baby Friendly Hospital, you will probably encounter far fewer barriers to meeting your breastfeeding goals if you birth at one.

How can I find a Baby Friendly Hospital near me?

As of December, 2011, there were 125 Baby Friendly Hospitals in the U.S.  You can find a complete list of them here.

Many hospitals are in the process of becoming Baby Friendly, and the Centers for Disease Control recently announced that they’ll be supporting the certification of many more.  Kaiser Permanente also recently announced an initiative to make many of their hospitals Baby Friendly.

What can I do if I don’t live near a Baby Friendly Hospital, or my insurance limits my options?

Sadly, many mothers don’t live near a Baby Friendly hospital.  The CDC estimates that only 5% of all births occurs at a Baby Friendly Hospital today.  And the unfortunate truth is that most hospitals don’t meet the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.  In 2009, for example, only one in three hospitals reported to the CDC that they practicing rooming in (Step 7).

This is changing, but if you’re pregnant now you can’t exactly wait!  So what can you do if you can’t birth at a Baby Friendly Hospital but want the best breastfeeding care you can get?

  1. You can write a breastfeeding-friendly birth plan, based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, and discuss with your providers your wishes for a birth and newborn period that supports your intention to breastfeed.  If you’re planning to birth at home, you can discuss these same issues with your providers.
  2. You can request your area hospitals’ mPINC scores.  One relatively unknown fact is that all hospitals report their compliance with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding to the CDC.  The CDC compiles this information and gives each hospital a score, known as the mPINC score.  Hospitals do not have to disclose their performance to the public, but mothers are free to request it from their local hospitals if they wish.  This information, if you can get it, could be useful in evaluating how breastfeeding-friendly your birth options are.
  3. And if you’re feeling ambitious, you can launch a community campaign, as these mothers did, to push your local hospitals to become Baby Friendly!

 

 

We’re proud to be a Champion for safe cosmetics

At Motherlove we’ve been committed to making safe, toxin-free, organic herbal products for mothers and babies for over 20 years.

That’s why we’re pleased to have recently been named a “Champion” (the highest level of compliance) of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.  The Compact is a voluntary pledge to avoid chemicals banned in other countries, avoid harmful ingredients whenever possible, and fully disclose product ingredients.

Out of the more than 1500 companies who signed the Safe Cosmetics Compact, only 321 were fully in compliance with all the goals of the Compact, which earns those companies “Champion” status.

Motherlove products are all rated a zero (the lowest rating) on Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s safe cosmetics database, and we are proud to publish our complete ingredient lists.

Motherlove achieved Champion status by:

  • Complying with the European Union’s Cosmetics Directive, widely considered the global gold standard of cosmetics safety regulation
  • Disclosing all ingredients, including ingredients in “fragrance” which in the United States can be claimed as “trade secrets,” even when they contain harmful chemicals
  • Publishing and regularly updating product information in the Skin Deep cosmetics database
  • Complying with any additional ingredient prohibitions and restrictions under the Compact and substitute ingredients of concern with safer alternatives; and
  • Participating in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

You can read more about the Compact and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in the new report, Market Shift.

 

You nominated, we donated! The winners of our 10,000 Facebook fan contest.

We promised that when the Motherlove Facebook page reached 10,000 fans we’d make a donation to an organization that nurtures life, nominated by you.  But we just couldn’t choose, so we made donations to each of these great organizations!

Mothering the Mother is a Milwaukee non-profit organization that believes that all women should have access to quality birth professionals, regardless of their situation.  They offer a variety of classes, doulas, lactation support, and mentors.  All services are based upon on a sliding scale depending on the individual family’s circumstances.

Birth Behind Bars is a Florida non-profit organization which assists pregnant inmates by providing childbirth classes, doula support, breastfeeding support, and parenting education.  Their website quotes an officer in the jail system:  “The inmate broke the law and has to serve out their sentence.  The baby did not break any laws and deserves to have the right start in life.”

The Delaware Breastfeeding Bag Project‘s goal is to get truly breastfeeding-friendly bags into the hands of every new mother who gives birth in Delaware.  Mothers are often given ”breastfeeding bags” supplied by formula companies at the hospital or in doctors’ offices.  These bags have been shown by multiple studies to reduce breastfeeding rates.  The Delaware Breastfeeding Bag Project donates about 600 bags a year to new moms.

Shower of Hope, Oklahoma was founded by Toni Keltner to provide support to a family who lost two children in the May 24, 2011 Oklahoma tornadoes.  Shower of Hope has since grown to provide support to other families in need after the tornadoes and other natural disasters.

Holistic Moms Network connects parents who are interested in holistic health and green living.  Their online community and local chapters “encourage moms to trust their instincts, parent from the heart, use their innate sense of what is best for their children, live in balance with the Earth, and learn about the pros and cons of all healthcare and parenting options.”

Union Gospel Mission of Salem‘s mission is to help men and women break the cycle of homelessness and become participating members of the community.  They provide meals and shelter, recovery programs, education and job readiness support, and affordable housing help.

Our First 10k!

Our Facebook page has its first 10,000 fans, and to celebrate, we want to give back. But picking just one organization is impossible. So, we want you, our fans, to pick. Leave us a comment and tell us where you’d like us to make a donation, and we’ll pick one person at random and make a donation in your name to the charity you specify. The donation will be made from the Nurturing Life Foundation — which we fund with a percentage of every item sold.

Keep this in mind when making your nominations:

The Nurturing Life Foundation has a twofold mission: To promote breastfeeding and support mothers-in-need and to create opportunities for children nationwide. The Nurturing Life foundation is wholly funded by Motherlove Herbal Company.

We look forward to learning about your favorite non-profits and charities that support mothers and families!

 

Motherlove is sponsoring these World Breastfeeding Week events. We hope you’ll join in!

The first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week, and we’re proud to be sponsoring several events that will support and promote breastfeeding.  We hope you’ll join in!

This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding=Communication.”  This theme recognizes the critical role communication and timely information plays in supporting mothers throughout their breastfeeding experience.

La Leche League USA’s Big Latch On

We’re proud to be an Elite Platinum Sponsor (the highest level) of La Leche League USA’s World Breastfeeding Week events.  This year La Leche League groups all over the country will hold events and activities to mark the occasion.   New this year in the is The Big Latch On.  On Saturday, August 6th at 10:30 am (local time) in locations across the U.S., nursing mothers will gather to try to break the record for the most women nursing simultaneously.

Holistic Moms Network’s World’s Largest Breastfeeding Twitter Party.

We’re also proud to be a sponsor of the Holistic Moms Network’s new World’s Largest Breastfeeding Twitter Party.  The party will be held on August 2nd at 10 pm EST on Twitter. Using the hashtag #BigBFParty, participants can talk to each other, share information and win prizes. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.  The party is open to any and all breastfeeding supporters, past and present.  If there isn’t an event in your area, or if you prefer to show your support online, this is great way to participate in the week’s events!

Will you be participating in any World Breastfeeding Week events?

 

 

Motherlove Replies to E. Coli Outbreak in Europe

As many of you are aware, there is an outbreak of E. Coli in Europe that appears to be tied to Egyptian fenugreek. Since we’ve been getting calls from our customers around the world, we have issued the following press release about the issue. The short story is that no Motherlove products are affected and that we do third-party tests to prevent this type of problem. Full details below.

 

MOTHERLOVE HERBAL COMPANY RESPONDS TO E. COLI OUTBREAK

July 8, 2011 — Laporte, CO — Motherlove® Herbal Company (www.motherlove.com) issued the following statement today regarding the E. coli outbreak in Europe that has been linked to fenugreek: “We want all our customers and retailers to know that Motherlove products are not affected by the Egyptian fenugreek implicated in the outbreak,” said Kathryn Higgins, CEO and founder of Motherlove. “We do not use Egyptian fenugreek in our products and our products undergo testing before being approved for shipment,” Higgins added.

At this time, there has been no E. coli contamination linked to products used or sold in the US, only in Europe.

Motherlove Herbal Company, located in Laporte, Colorado, near Fort Collins, manufactures the bestselling herbal supplement for breast milk production in the US (according to Spins data), and uses fenugreek as a central ingredient in several supplements. “Any agricultural product carries the potential risk of E. coli if not handled properly,” said Higgins. “Extensive testing is done on both the ingredients and final products we produce,” she said.

This particular outbreak of E. coli appears to be limited to sprouted seeds, which are used mostly for culinary purposes. The fenugreek used in Motherlove products is not sprouted, but extracted from un-sprouted seeds.

Before being accepted for use in any Motherlove supplement, each ingredient undergoes quality testing. Then, the finished product is tested for bacteria, E. coli and salmonella by a third-party lab.

Manufacturing and packaging of Motherlove supplements is done in a GMP certified and FDA registered facility, and all herbs used in the products are 100% USDA certified organic.

“As the oldest company in the US specializing in herbal products for pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, we take our responsibility to provide safe products very seriously,” said Higgins. “Certification and testing, as well as insisting on only the best ingredients allows us to be confident every day about the safety and effectiveness of our products.”

 

BlogHer Sponsorship Blog Contest

We have become friends with so many amazing bloggers that it’s impossible to pick just one (or a dozen) to sponsor for BlogHer, so we decided to let you pick amongst yourselves. Here’s the skinny:

Motherlove will give three $50 sponsorships to three bloggers, one in each category. The categories are all breastfeeding related, but you don’t have to be a breastfeeding mom to participate.

1.  The first category is CHALLENGES, and your blog post should talk about a challenge you’ve faced as a mom, and how it has resolved. You might have worked really hard to fix the situation or just learned to live with something, we want to hear about it. Just like breastfeeding can be a challenge, the story is different for each of us.

2.  The second category is GREEN. Motherlove has been a toxin-free, herbal company since way before that was the cool thing to do. How about you? What do you want to accomplish this year to make the world a better place? Whether you are very light green or a complete hippie, let’s hear it.

3.  The third category is MOTHERLOVE. What does “motherlove” mean to you? (As in the love of a mother, not the company.)

To participate, just pick one of the categories and write your blog article. Post a link on our Facebook page and put your info in a comment below this post. Please tell us at the beginning of your article which category you are entering.

To win, we’re going to let your readers pick their favorite blog posts from each category. Vote by coming to our Facebook page and commenting under the blog’s entry on our wall. To keep it from becoming impossible to judge accurately, only votes posted correctly will be counted.

The fine print:

1.  If you want sponsored to go to BlogHer, you have to be going to BlogHer. If you win, you must provide us with proof of your ticket within seven days of winning or we will pick another winner. You can already have purchased your ticket, or purchase it within seven days of winning the sponsorship.

2.  You can enter more than one category, and you can ask your friends and family to vote for you. Only one vote per person will count.

3.  Posts need to include at least one web-friendly image.

4.  Posts must contain at least one link back to the Motherlove Facebook page and/or Motherlove blog.

5.  The contest ends at midnight MST on February 13, 2011. In keeping with our theme, we’ll announce the winners on Valentine’s Day.

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