Inspired to help new moms look and feel wonderful after having a baby, Umhlanga’s Jean Heath’s range of hand-printed babywearing wraps are fresh, stylish, soft and comfortable for both mom and babe.
With a background in point-of-sale and social media marketing, Jean says her babywearing brand, Giggle and Beans, was the realisation of her dream to create a business based around customer interaction with online sales support.
“I love fashion and I am constantly on the lookout for new trends. I wanted to focus my energy on something new and exciting of my own and particularly for the modern mom and babe. I also wanted to create a brand that was unique, but still affordable for new moms,” says 35-year-old Jean.
Wanting to inspire mothers to still look and feel beautiful postpartum, Jean’s idea was, with the help of her husband (who uniquely designs all her prints for her), to create babywearing wraps with fresh prints and designs. The couple work with local Durban suppliers for the knitted fabric which is a blend of ninety-five percent cotton (keeping it as close to one hundred percent cotton as possible, but adding five percent Lycra to allow for a little added stretch).
Jean also creates gorgeous matching swaddle sets that look trendy and feel soft, comfortable and soothing. “They are super soft and feel amazing. Non-stretch blankets often restrict babe and this is why some don’t enjoy being swaddled. But, with a little added stretch, ours allows for a range of movement and the fabric is lightweight and breathable so won’t leave either mom or babe feeling hot and sweaty like heavier blankets often do.”
Passionate about supporting local and providing an income for people within in her community, Jean has a small team of machinists who make up her final products.
“I strive for quality over quantity and try and check each item that goes out and, while it may not be perfect every time, compared to mass-produced items, I am passionate about keeping things local.”
Jean spends days and nights researching babywearing and swaddling studies and says she recommends all soon-to-be parents and those thinking of being parents do the same.
“We are surrounded by the ancient traditions of babywearing and swaddling and through studies and research we are only now coming to know the long-term developmental benefits of both in our western culture. Experts cannot stress enough the benefits of skin-on-skin contact – they are truly endless.”
Baby feels safe and secure: The wrap creates the feeling of the womb as it moulds to yours and baby’s body, creating a safe and secure environment for baby. A ‘worn’ baby is only a breath away from his or her parent’s voice.
Baby will cry less: Being nestled in the arms, against the chest, and near the parent’s face, gives your baby the most soothing of all environments. Mother’s walking motion reminds baby of rhythm he or she enjoyed while in the womb.
Baby will sleep more peacefully: Babies settle better in this ‘live’ environment.
Baby will learn more and be more involved in his/her environment: Baby will be more alert to his or her environment as the wrap encircles and contains the infant who would otherwise waste energy moving his or her arms and legs around, randomly attempting to settle.
Baby will nurse better, gain weight and enjoy better digestion: A baby who is worn sleeps in the upright position, assisting with gas and aiding digestion.
Details: [email protected], www.giggleandbeans.co.za, @giggleandbeans on both Facebook and Instagram.