Meet the Ipswich business sending new mums a hug in the post

Catherine Sullivan and Victoria Pratt set up Mama Hug a year ago to help new mums heal after birth.

Catherine Sullivan and Victoria Pratt set up Mama Hug a year ago to help new mums heal after birth. Picture: NICK ENGLAND - Credit: NICK ENGLAND

Two childhood friends, who twice had children at the same time, have set up a company to ‘take the sting away’ from childbirth.

Victoria Pratt, who has three children, and Catherine Sullivan, who has two, set up Mama Hug a year ago.

The company, run from their homes in Ipswich and Great Bromley in Essex, sells gifting boxes for new mums.

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The boxes contain things to help mums recover from childbirth.

"The practical items that take the sting away," said Mrs Pratt.

"Or something to help you breast feed a new born when neither of you know what you're doing.

"No-one really prepares you for it.

"It hurts. Even a straightforward delivery can leave you battered and bruised and shuffling around like an old lady."

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Catherine noticed a gap in the market, with lots of items for new born babies but not many for mothers who may be struggling after giving birth and started the business which Victoria soon joined.

Mrs Pratt said: "We were frustrated at the lack of care for post-partum mums.

"There's a saying: 'everyone holds the baby, but who holds the mother.'"

The pair have complementary skills, with Catherine having a background in journalism and Victoria in sales.

Since starting the company they have noticed the wide range of people buying their boxes: dads trying to look after new mums, work colleagues clubbing together for someone going on maternity leave, people looking for baby shower gifts, or some new-mums buying one for themselves.

They sell the boxes online and at trade shows.

They have since moved from just selling boxes designed to help women heal after birth to self-care kits which include things to help new-mums sleep.

There is even a box for dads in the works.

As well as selling the post-partum boxes, they want to break down taboos around motherhood and create a community where mothers can talk about their post-partum experiences honestly.

"In the media and on social media, there's this pressure to have the perfect baby, and look perfect and be the perfect mum," said Mrs Pratt.

"But it's not all like the glossy magazines, it's okay to be slumped on the sofa."