I’ve received confirmation that another maternity company has shut its doors. This week, I say goodbye to Lighten My Labor, a line of brilliant childbirth products created by an obstetric nurse to support women during labor and birth.
You have no idea how much it disappoints me to lose this line of childbirth products. Lighten My Labor products were a personal favorite of mine…the kind of thing I wish I’d created and the kind of item that seemed to be perfect for every pregnant woman.
No, they weren’t best-sellers. But in my heart, I hoped they would be. You see, the spirit behind the creation of Lighten My Labor—to help women feel less fearful of giving birth in the hospital and surrounded with the support and knowledge of other mothers who want to make it easier for them—is the same spirit behind why I founded Maternitique.
As I watch another maternity company shut down, I can't help but wonder, "if her business couldn’t become financially successful, maybe mine won’t either."
In 2006, Ann Marie D’Onofrio, an obstetric nurse, launched Lighten My Labor to help mothers have an easier, more comfortable, and more relaxed experience giving birth in a hospital. As a non-mother who’d been an obstetric nurse at a hospital for years, Ann Marie had often wondered why her patients carried on so much during labor and birth. Then, when she became pregnant and went through her own pregnancy and birth journey, she herself was overwhelmed by the intensity of birth. Even though she had been helping women personally during labor and birth and postpartum, she discovered after giving birth herself how powerful it is.
She wanted to do more. She wanted every woman to feel less worried, less scared, less fearful and less put off by the hospital environment after she had gone through the experience herself. Thus, Lighten My Labor was born.
Similarly, my hope in starting Maternitique is to help women feel less alone during pregnancy and less scared of birth and motherhood. Like Ann Marie, after giving birth and finding it to be an overwhelming, but wonderful, experience, I felt so much empathy toward other first-time mothers who didn’t know what to expect during pregnancy and birth. I set out to create a resource for new mothers to be able to easily find products that would solve their pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding and baby care needs safely, naturally and with positivity. Lighten My Labor was one of the first maternity brands I chose for Maternitique back in 2007.
The Lighten My Labor product line included:
- Mama’s Maternity Masquerade: a facial mask to lighten melasma (the dark spots known as the mask of pregnancy) and speed healing of pregnancy acne
- Morning Rescue Body Cream: an aromatherapy body lotion that did double duty, serving to help prevent stretch marks as well as alleviate morning sickness
- Relax With Me Whipped Massage Gel: an aromatherapy gel that contained essential oils suspended in massage gel to help promote feelings of well-being and calm while a laboring mother’s birth partner or doula rubbed it on her back and legs to relieve pain and to instill comfort
- Breathe With Me Linen & Room Spray: an aromatherapy spray designed for use in the first stage of labor, just as a laboring mom arrives at the hospital, to help her feel less scared and unnerved in the sterile, cold hospital environment
- Lift Me Body Mist: an aromatherapy body mist designed to promote a feeling of calm for use immediately before and during “transition,” the intense phase of labor when the cervix becomes completely dilated and effaced and it’s time to push
- Restore Me After-Baby Bath Tea: bath salts and aromatherapy oils combined to promote healing in the perineum after birth
- Phases of Labor Comfort Collection: a gift set that included the massage gel, aromatherapy sprays and postpartum bath
We’re down to our last four Lighten My Labor items in stock at Maternitique as I write this and, knowing I can’t get any more, I’m putting them on clearance for 75% off. If you’re approaching birth soon and are wondering what to pack in your back for the hospital, consider one each of the birth support items. As you arrive to the hospital on your birth birth day, you'll have some trustworthy friends along with you.