When Kim Hemingway gave birth to her first daughter about three and a half years ago, she soon realized there was much to learn about postpartum care. So much in fact that she decided to start Tuki, a business geared to providing new mothers with products to help.
“I found the experience challenging with my first daughter and I said to myself, on many occasions, why didn’t anyone tell me about this? I had a wonderful support network of women, friends, family, coworkers, and I had wonderful midwives and yet I was still blindsided quite a bit.” She added that when she had her second daughter it was much easier as she knew what to expect. “It became quite a passion to figure out a way to help other moms through that experience and kind of normalize and prepare moms for the realities of the fourth trimester and postpartum recovery,” Kim said postpartum care isn’t a topic people are overly comfortable discussing, so she wanted to create something to help and support moms to try and initiate those conversations.
If someone purchases a care package for an expecting mom, it is an opportunity to discuss what should be expected going forward. “There is so much to adjust to and so many different facets of postpartum. This is just one piece of it focusing on the physical recovery,” added Kim.
There is usually a story behind a business name and coming up with the name Tuki is no exception. “I was brainstorming for quite a long time, trying to find something that represented what I was trying to do but also to have a personal connection. I was trying to rearrange the letters of my daughters’ names but then I came across Tuki which is a Finnish word meaning support. I loved it. I like the way it looks and how it sounds and what it means.”
Kim was telling her mom about the name one day when and mom had a funny look on her face. “I didn’t think she liked it, but she said no, it’s not that.” Her mother went on to say that Tuki was the word her grandma used for vagina. “I couldn’t believe it and just started laughing and she didn’t know why grandma used that word. I thought well if this isn’t a meant to be thing then I don’t know what is.”
She added that she reached out to many mothers for input and came up with four different packages of products available on the website to order. “I asked about their experiences. Were they prepared, were they surprised? I asked them what products were the most helpful in their postpartum recovery. Once I had a list, I had to find the best quality and I tried to use Canadian companies as much as possible.”
Mothers may not think about items like postpartum underwear, sitz bath, and even a gel pack, but these are three products that are necessities. “My midwife gave me sitz bath and I would have never known about it and how healing it is. I’ve also had friends talk about using frozen peas for comfort but the gel pack I offer is the right size and shape and easy to use.”
Kim is currently on maternity leave after having her second daughter but will be going back to work as a registered nurse soon. Her youngest daughter is 15 months old.
The Beachville-based business offers free local delivery to Oxford County, London, St. Thomas and Stratford. For more information about Tuki or to place an order, go to www.tukicompany.com/