After the birth of her first child, Montrealer Tracy Goodson-Mackay found it overwhelming to manage a newborn and also take care of her own basic needs, such as eating healthy meals. Although her family tried to be supportive, they all lived too far away to come help her – a common reality for many of today’s new mothers.
That experience inspired Goodson-Mackay to create mamaluv.com, a website that sells gift certificates for catered meals, as a way for relatives to offer a practical gift to their loved ones during the stressful aftermath of childbirth.
Now in its sixth year, Mamaluv has expanded from Quebec to also serve Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. The company partners with food providers who create a menu that meets the nutritional requirements of a breastfeeding mother: high protein, low sodium, and low spice. However, Goodson-Mackay says the meals are appropriate for anyone, and are often purchased for seniors, patients in hospital or families mourning a loved one.
Recently, Goodson-Mackay launched a sister site, giveluvgiftcards.com, which allows buyers to purchase vouchers for services as well as food. The recipient is able to go on the website and select from a list of locally provided services including house-cleaning, dog-walking, babysitting, diaper delivery, spa services and more.
“Sometimes a service can be appreciated even more than food because of the load it lessens,” Goodson Mackay said. “This is especially true for people caring for sick relatives or very young children. You don’t realize how difficult an everyday to-do list can be when you’re caring for someone.”
The gift certificates start at $50. There is also a registry feature, which allows several people to pool together a donation for a loved one to use as he or she sees fit.