Jacqueline Ndaba is a public health practitioner with an MPH degree, specifically in the Reproductive health and HIV field. She has worked with the UN and other international organizations. A mom to two kids, she is now trying her hand in business by selling sitz baths and related health products. I spoke to her about her new business venture.
MT: Tell us about your business.
JN: I run a company called Revive Solutions. It was created with today’s mother and her child in mind, offering selected products aimed at keeping them both comfortable. I currently deal in portable plastic sitz baths.
A sitz bath is essential in the early postpartum/post childbirth period to help ease pain, promote healing and give good hygiene to the perineal area. It helps ease swelling in the perineum or swollen labia and is particularly helpful after an episiotomy or tearing during birth. It also helps with post rectal surgery, hemorrhoids, constipation, anal fissures, fistulas and everyday hygiene.
MT: What inspired this line of business?
JN: While working for one international organization, I interacted with a workmate who lived outside the country. Being such good friends, we talked about all things pregnancy and babies. She then mentioned how she really wanted to pack up her portable sitz bath while relocating to Kenya for use for her second delivery. My pal talked of the good experience she had with one after delivering her first baby.
A while later, when I was pregnant with my second born, I remembered the conversation with my friend, and since my brother-in-law was in the US, I asked him to send me a sitz bath. I wanted to use one because I had had a nasty experience after my first vaginal delivery in one of the most reputable hospitals, where we were provided with one basin to share. Maneuvering my way into sitting on the basin placed on my bathroom floor was not easy, and I wanted to try out the sitz because I had heard of its benefits.
After the great experience I had in using it after the birth of my second child, I wondered why sitz baths were not available in the country. Given that so many new moms struggle with the use of basins, bathtubs and buckets –just as had happened to me, I got a business idea around it. This was late last year.
The decision was not easy though, considering I had to invest a reasonable sum of money (from my savings) to import my first shipment without having a guaranteed market for this unknown product. It’s the firsthand experience and testimony that pushed me to believe in the product and take the risk.
MT: How is the response to the sitz baths so far?
JN: Well, so far so good, some are excited and buy immediately, others are simply curious, and being at the initial stages of marketing and creating awareness for it, it gets challenging but definitely, there’s progress.
The main challenge has been introducing this new product to the market and creating demand for it. I mostly rely on social media and word of mouth. I also attend relevant forums to showcase the innovate products. I not only deal with sitz bath but I’m slowly introducing other stuff.
JN: What I love most is the fact that I am still in line with my career interest since I have passion for all things women and children wellbeing and comfort. Interacting with mothers who I offer free pregnancy and child care advice is a bonus. I have had to come out of my introverted self to reach out and interact with new people; I am also learning the virtue of patience which I never had!
MT: Tell us about your motherhood journey.
JN: I have two kids, a boy aged 5 and a girl who is 10 months now. My first pregnancy was relatively harder than the second one. I labored for 7 hours, underwent induction and my baby despite all the 20 kgs weight gain, was just 2.7 kgs. I craved and binged on ice cream, didn’t eat healthy and had breakouts. The boy has grown up now to be such an independent, bright, social character.
Pregnancy with my girl was amazing, little nausea and I was super active till two weeks to my EDD where I was ordered by the HR to rest despite protesting that I am very capable of working till the D-day. On the day she came, I sat at home monitoring my contractions (wouldn’t advice anyone to do the same) since I had experienced many incidences of false labor and didn’t want to go to hospital until I was sure.When I finally decided to leave the house, my water broke as I boarded a taxi and three hours later the little girl joined us.
JN: The God given privilege of watching them grow and change every single day. The opportunity to nurture and influence them and to be able to look back at the baby steps we have made from birth to months to years.
MT: What are the lowest moments as a mom?
JD: For me it’s the occasional health scares including injuries. My son who is hyperactive has taken me through a number of these. Ill treatment of my children in my absence by housegirls. I tell you a mother can end up quitting a job just to look after your own kids after disappointment from a housegirl, but all in all I always cover them with prayer and leave them under God’s protection.
MT: What is the one most important advice you would give to a new mom?
JN: God knew how strong and capable you are and hence blessed you with the gift of a child. They are children for a short while, give parenthood your very best.
From a public health angle exclusively breastfeed your child for first six months, for this is baby’s free natural nutritious food!
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Telephone: 0716 226 366