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Oh, Baby, Baby: Supporting Postpartum Mothers and Finding Success

3 Mins read

I have seven great-nieces and nephews aged five and younger. And while I’m now an expert on what kids love (Minnie Mouse, Moana, trains, Woody and Buzz Lightyear, and rainbows), I learned a lot listening to my nieces talk about their postpartum experiences.

According to this article in WWD’s BeautyInc, the American postpartum experience pales compared to that of foreign countries. It writes, “Imagine giving birth and going home to be met with regular visits from midwives and doulas, having lactation consultations, and taking significant time to rest. Envision checking into a luxury hotel for a days-long retreat with practitioners, workshops, a nutrition plan, and spa treatments. In many countries, this is what postpartum care looks like.”

I was shocked to read that about 25% of American women go back to work within two weeks of giving birth (per Paid Leave U.S.). Anna Pione, a McKinsey analyst, told BeautyInc, “What we see in other countries highlights the benefits of some of these offerings and the consumer desire for them.” She added the U.S. doesn’t offer many of these benefits “because it is cost prohibitive.”

That leaves it up to creative entrepreneurs to step into the void. BeautyInc reports that “brands are doubling down on products and services that could address this unmet need.” According to McKinsey, pregnancy and motherhood is a “$35 billion to $40 billion addressable market in the U.S. Of the products and services currently on the market, two focuses have arisen…mental well-being and physical health post-birth.”

According to the World Health Organization, 13% of women who’ve recently given birth experience some sort of mental health issue, predominantly depression. The article notes that “platforms like Mavida Health, which provides virtual maternal mental health care, have recently launched. Experts say that telehealth services pose a huge opportunity in this space.”

BeautyInc says postpartum retreats (aka “mommymoons”) address postpartum mental health and physical needs. For instance, Post Pamper offers services like 24/7 postnatal care provided by certified doulas, three meals a day, feeding support, baby bonding, newborn and postpartum education, and more. They’ve partnered with an existing hotel and resort chain, so they didn’t have to build new spaces, but the cost for new moms is still high.

Other entrepreneurial developments in the postpartum space include ingestibles like multivitamins. Ritual was founded when Katerina Schneider was pregnant and couldn’t find a prenatal vitamin she trusted, so she decided to build her own. When she started selling in Target, it requested a postnatal vitamin as well. Ritual expanded its product offerings, adding protein shakes, more vitamins for pre-and postnatal care, and vitamins for men, women, and teens.

Expanding is a wise move. McKinsey’s Pione told BeautyInc, “If you have a company that’s just oriented toward mom, the challenge becomes customer acquisition cost because a woman is not in that phase of life for that long. You’re constantly paying to acquire and gain awareness with a new consumer base, which gets quite expensive.” So, Pione adds, “Winners in the space could be ones that look at mom and baby or the lifespan of a woman’s health concerns.”

Other promising categories in this space include postpartum fitness and beauty. One of my nieces just mentioned the “inevitable postpartum hair loss,” so I promptly shipped her “hair-saving” shampoo intended for older women cause that’s all I could find.

There’s so much potential in this market. Rachel Hirsch, the founder of Wellness Growth Ventures, a seed fund “dedicated to advancing the wellness sector by investing in visionary female-founded brands,” told BeautyInc there’s “Going to be unprecedented growth that everyone is going to be shocked by.”

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbusinesscurrents.com, follow her on Twitter @Rieva, and visit her website SmallBusinessCurrents.com to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free Currents newsletter.

Photo courtesy: Post Pamper

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