I managed to say no to everything else that was offered as pain relief. The pushing phase lasted over 1 hour. After Ava was born, the placenta was stuck inside my uterus and I bled 3 litres of blood and nearly died during surgery.
Name: Ann Kristin
Kids (name + ages): Ava (6) and Aiden (3)
Where in the world do you call home?
Norway is home.
I first came across bbhugme before it had launched worldwide, so I had to find somewhere that shipped to Australia and it was expensive! So worth every penny! It supported my belly and it’s now supporting my twins as I breastfeed. Can you share the story of bbhugme?
I work full time as a chiropractor, having studied one year in Sydney and four years in England. I started a business with my husband in 2008 and then decided to do a three year Masters degree and specialise in chiropractic care for pregnant women and children. Together with two other female chiropractors Hilde and Elisabeth, we started a franchise of paediatric clinics in Norway. There are now six clinics called “Bekken og Barn” – which means “pelvis and children” in Norwegian.
“A world of happy bellies and happy babies” is our vision with bbhugme, and because we are hands on, very close and intimate with our target group on a daily basis in our clinics, this product came to us through many years of experience. All three of us specialise in the treatment of babies and children as well as pelvic girdle problems in pregnant women.
bbhugme sprung from our experience in the clinic where there was a need for the pregnant women to have something to take home as a pain relief, especially at rest. We also position our patients on their bellies so we can see their backs properly. Together with K8 Industridesign, an industrial design company, bbhugme came to life over a three year period, with thousands of working hours, meetings and too much money. We wanted a pillow that could have a long life, was eco-friendly, adjustable for all body shapes and aesthetically beautiful to look at. As the weeks and months went by, we came up with this shape that can be so multi-functional – not just pain relief for pregnant women, but also the best nursing pillow ever – even for twins. bbhugme´s success has exceeded our dreams and visions and we are all so humbled and grateful for the magnificent reception it has received in the market. The pillow is now sold in many different countries and we are constantly looking to expand.
Photo by Anita Hamremoen
Congratulations on the success of bbhugme! I hear you’ve caught the entrepreneurial bug and taken up another challenge…tell us about it.
One year ago my husband and I, together with our best friends and colleagues from England, went to Miami for a mastermind event where we came across a fitness and beachwear shop that we really loved. The LIVE! brand is Brazilian and is huge in South America. We made contact with the CEO, and our journey to take LIVE! to Europe began.
Wait a minute… you’re a chiropractor with six clinics, an entrepreneur and a new retailer….and a Mum! How many little ones do you have?
I am a Mum of two beautiful children, Ava (6), and Aiden (3), and I really would like more children. I want to adopt from South Africa and I want more kids myself, but my husband is happy with two, so I’m starting to come to terms with not having any more children (still a little hope though). I think having children is a grounding and humbling experience, and we were in our 30s when we decided to have children, so my eggs are running out for sure. My sister has four children, and my brother two, who I am very close to and have looked after quite often. Having your own children is so amazing and has given me a spectrum of feelings I didn’t even know existed.
There is such a spectrum of birthing experiences for women. Can you share yours?
Ava was born 10 days overdue, in a hospital – water broke 1 day before the active labour started. I had a natural birth plan with no intervention, but when I was 7 cm dilated my midwife wanted to speed up my birth a notch and gave me Pitocin. I managed to say no to everything else that was offered as pain relief. The pushing phase lasted over 1 hour. After Ava was born, the placenta was stuck inside my uterus and I bled 3 litres of blood and nearly died during surgery.
My second birth was amazing (also 10 days overdue), in a birth centre, with 4 hours active labour and in water most of the time. I had Pink Floyd playing in the background, a normal bed, no hospital feeling…and a film crew that captured the birth. Aiden was born after 5 min of pushing and there was no bleeding placenta. We took the placenta home to our garden and planted a beautiful tree on it.
Wow! What very different experiences. Were your breastfeeding experiences just as different?
I have breastfed both kids with no problems whatsoever. I breastfed Ava for two years and Aiden for 3 years. I literally stopped on his 3rd birthday, preparing him for a few months that it was going to end when he turned 3. We both miss it…. but he woke up at night wanting to use my boob as comfort, so as a family we decided it was enough.
I know I struggle with some aspects of parenting. Can you share any challenges you’ve faced so far?
Trying to direct between how the kids feel at different ages and how they behave is challenging. My husband and I have a clear vision of how we would like to raise our children – the natural way, with healthy food, respect, a lot of love, co-sleeping, physical activity and being present in the moment and showing a lot of gratitude. We have read a lot of books regarding self-love, “The Five Love Languages of Children”, “The Whole-Brain Child” and “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk”. In real life though, it is not that easy, especially when nature did not equip me with my mother’s patience. I find myself yelling at them sometimes, usually after trying the calm and controlled methods a few times first.
Luckily my husband and I are very synchronised in the way we want to raise our children, and we keep reminding each other every day. It is a constant learning process having children, but it does help to know a few things about the developing brain of a child, and I believe it is easier to understand the child when you know that the right side of the brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain, especially in the youngest children. In order to grow a healthy child, we as adults must turn the outbursts and “tantrums” into fostering healthy growth, without yelling and screaming back at them. As a matter of fact, my husband and I are embarking on a new project to help families raise healthy children, and part of this is us writing a book together where we talk about our experiences, challenges and the solutions we have found to work. We truly believe that the future of the world lies in the heart, and health, our children. We just want to help parents realise that living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be so complicated.
I’m so awed by the many things you’ve got going on…how do you balance motherhood, marriage and business?
Yes, juggling between being a mum, chiropractor, bbhugme owner, business owner of LIVE! in the UK and being a fitness instructor – it has its challenges. I think structure is the key and although it’s not my strongest side, I manage pretty well, always trying to find a healthy balance. I don’t get stressed too easily, and I know my mood changes pretty quickly if I do get stressed – so I’m aware that it happens from time to time.
It sounds like you’ve got the hard part sorted – identifying the point at which you need a break. What do you do to de-stress?
I take a timeout. I love to travel and take holidays where I only focus on my kids and husband. I also need to workout in order to feel balanced. I sleep very well at night and try to get my 8 hours of beauty sleep every night. I must say that I am so grateful to have my Mum. My Dad used to say “she is an angel on earth” and I agree with him, she is so helpful with the kids, she even comes with us on holidays sometimes. My Dad died in 2006, and he was an amazing entrepreneur.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing. If you look back, what are the key things that influenced your path?
The chiropractic education is one of the key elements in my life that has probably shaped me the most. Many of my core values and my life philosophy stem from the chiropractic paradigm and way of looking at life. Not only has this education provided me with the insight to live in a healthy and natural way, but it has also prompted me to think laterally, be open minded and to grab opportunities with both hands when they arise in front of me. Without the chiropractic education, I would not be the person and Mum I am today, and I would not have met my husband. None of my businesses would have happened. So I owe a lot to chiropractic, I am so grateful.