Utama Spice and tips for new mothers
Hi everyone, it's me, Rachel - the founder of Utama Spice Singapore and mother of a 14 month old (at the time of writing).
I usually shy away from the camera or sharing about my personal journey, but recent conversations with friends has encouraged me to share what I have learnt in my journey so far, in the hope that it will help others.
Why I started Utama Spice
I never intended to go into business with Utama Spice. I was just a happy customer and friends with Ria, the founder's daughter who is based in Bali and who continues to run Utama Spice.
In my previous life, I used to be a stressed out and unhappy lawyer ... and when I started to suffer from insomnia and inexplicable severe eczema, I realised that my body was trying to tell me something. I came to the conclusion that my stressful and unhealthy lifestyle was making me sick at a very young age (I was probably only about 27/28 years old at that time).
I was suffering from severe eczema on my face, my hands and my shins - all very distressing for a young lady, and it severely affected by self confidence. I visited all the best specialists in Singapore who could only prescribe me different forms of oral and topical steroids, but each time I came off the medication, the eczema would be back with a vengeance. That's when I decided to learn more about more natural and alternative therapies.
If you suffer from eczema, you know that you have to be very careful with what you apply on your skin to avoid irritation and flares. I could only use brands like QV and Cetaphil, with no fragrance, no sulfates, no nasties and unfortunately... no fun! So when I discovered that Utama Spice's products even though they smelt amazing, most of them didn't irritate my skin and cause my eczema to flare, I was hooked!
A brand specially formulated for Asian climate
Another thing I loved about Utama Spice is that the formulations were specially designed for humid, tropical weather.
The Body Butters and Body Lotions for example, are made with cold-pressed coconut oil that don't leave a thick film on your skin after applying your moisturizer.
The Body Mists are made with a hydrating skin superfood seaweed gel that can cool you down quickly and get rid of those food court smells!
Stuff I loved even more after baby was born
After baby was born, there were some things that I found even more useful!
Virgin Coconut Oil - we used this to moisturize baby twice a day from birth, and I also used it to massage breasts to avoid blocked ducts while breastfeeding and used this instead of nipple cream, so I wouldn't have to worry about baby ingesting it because our coconut is cold-pressed, organic, undeodorised - top quality!
Begone Bug - I started taking babies out for walks once we finished our confinement period and I'd spray the Begone Bug on my hands (to avoid getting it in her eyes) and then wipe it on her body, and spray it all around the stroller too. We haven't had any customers complain that their babies had a reaction to it but please always do a patch test first because young babies have very sensitive skin and it's impossible to tell what they might be allergic to.
Liquid Soaps - I washed my hands so often in the first few months, before touching the baby, before and after nappy changes, when handling her bottles, etc. I am even more careful about what kind of soap I use on my hands because I still have eczema on my hands, but because our Utama Spice Liquid Soaps are made from coconut oil (that is naturally antibacterial) they did not dry my super sensitive skin even with OCD level of handwashing! A bonus that our Liquid Soaps don't contain sulphates which can cause skin irritation.
- Deep Calming essential oil - As new mothers are well aware, it is super stressful caring for another being that is so completely depending on you! I found myself being unable to relax and couldn't take naps even while baby was sleeping, no matter how hard I tried. I then tried putting a few drops of Deep Calming essential oil on my pillows and taking long deep breaths, which helped me relax and I was able to drift off to sleep eventually. This is now one of my favourite new mother insomnia remedies!
I could go on forever about how new mothers can incorporate Utama Spice into their "new normals" to practice self care, and to keep baby happy and healthy ... but I shall leave that till Part 2!
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!