We support Baby Loss Awareness Week
In October 2016 my husband and I suffered the devastating loss of our baby boy when I was 18 weeks pregnant. Nothing can prepare you for such sadness. Honestly, it’s not something you ever get over, but over time, I’ve leant to live with the loss. My heart still breaks thinking about him. I was, however, one of the lucky mums. I was able to hold him, cuddle him and say our quiet goodbyes. Not everyone who loses a baby gets that chance.
After a number of tests I was told that I’d had an infection and it was possible that this had transferred to our baby, Luke. I was diagnosed with BV (Bacterial Vaginosis). The NHS guidance states ‘it is important to seek treatment if you’re pregnant as there’s a small chance that BV can cause complications with pregnancy’. 50% of women who have the infection have no symptoms. I was one of them. It’s not tested for in pregnancy unless you show symptoms and so I was completely unaware until the very worst happened.
BV is caused by a change in the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina. The causes are not fully known but you’re more likely to get it if you use perfumed products to wash with. It’s recommended by the NHS that you don’t use perfumed soaps, bubble bath, shampoo or shower gel in the bath. Instead, they recommend you use plain soap and water.
Before even thinking about the possibility of becoming pregnant again, I didn’t use any products in the bath. I began to look closely at every product I washed with or that came into contact with my skin. I checked ingredients on labels to find out what they were made from. I tried to find soaps that didn’t have any added chemicals or synthetic ingredients. Without realising it, our natural skincare journey had begun!
I became even more obsessed with what we used on our skin with the arrival of our beautiful baby girl, Isabelle. She bounced into the world in September 2017. Izzy suffered with eczema and the products we were using, (even big brand baby products), didn’t help. In fact, many made it worse.
I asked friends for recommendations and started looking into the world of natural soap and natural skincare. I read hundreds of blogs, books and research papers about natural ingredients. I reead about the soap making process and the properties of hundreds of oils and butters that can be used to make soap. I scoured the internet for products using the ingredients I had read so much about, but was never fully satisfied with what was available. I decided to sign up for a few soap making courses from experts who championed natural ingredients and had won awards for their products. By making my own soap I could decide EXACTLY what was going into it and on to my little girl’s skin.
I began making batches of soap using only the best, natural ingredients I knew would have the most beneficial effect on Izzy’s skin and body. I wanted to make soap that’s gentle, highly nourishing for the skin and is packed full of vitamins and minerals that are good for your body. I started to use only organic ingredients and gave the soap out to friends and family. Although they are a picky bunch when it comes to skincare, they all loved it too!
Since making my own, I am amazed how often mums and dads tell me that they too have struggled to find skincare for their little ones who suffer with eczema, dry skin or psoriasis. When we gave our soap to other to try, we were amazed by the positive results for their little ones too. Lots of families told us that they loved our soap so much their whole families had made the switch too! The idea of Odacova was born!
Founder, Odacova Skincare