FIRST THOUGHT: Motherly AdviceWhen one of my good friends was pregnant with her first child, she was utterly flabbergasted by all the rules. Don’t do this, don’t do that and so on. But what was worse was the condescending manner in which so many people made suggestions. It felt like a lot of talking at her instead of talking with her. Of course, we women can handle a lot. I mean, hello, we do that whole continuing-the-human-race thing pretty dang well. So, maybe we ought to cut each other a little more slack. On behalf of all the mamas-to-be out there, I say err on the respectful side when dishing out parental advice. Listen to what she has to say about her experience. And here’s the important thing: believe her. After all, it’s her experience, not yours.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $700 MillionI started thinking about the idea of people taking mothers and their perspective seriously after reading an article in The New Yorker about a super-smart breast pump for nursing moms called the Naya, which delivers 30 percent more milk and is 20 percent faster than alternatives. Considering its capabilities, you’d think the founder, a woman, would have no trouble bringing the product to market. However, when she tried to get funding, she hit some walls since male investors simply didn’t get it, some calling the product “disgusting.” Those funders are probably kicking themselves, considering the breast-pump industry is valued at about $700 million. I’m with that New Yorker story, which notes, “For venture capitalists, perhaps the pleasures and comforts of sexism are priceless. Nursing mothers, meanwhile, lug the industry’s indifference around in a bag.”
WOMAN TO WATCH: Keri Fosse, Founder of LalabuToday’s Woman to Watch, Keri Fosse, is also on a mission to solve an everyday issue moms face: keeping Baby close. And regardless of whether you have kids, there’s no denying that her company, Lalabu, revolves around a truly genius idea.
It started in 2011, when Keri was in search of an easier way to essentially wear her baby. Of course, there were lots of slings and wraps on the market, but they seemed complicated. Keri wanted something simple and secure that would allow her newborn to snuggle close while she got to the busy business of being a mom.
After much research, she and her hubby had an epiphany: What if the clothing was the gear? That spark led Keri to create the Lalabu baby-wearing Soothe Shirt. It’s basically a simple T-shirt that has a secret kangaroo pouch where Baby fits snuggly against the body. If you’re thinking, “OMG, kangaroos are so cute with their kid’s face peeking out,” you’re right! And the made-in-the-USA, completely secure Soothe Shirt is just as adorable—and super helpful for human moms. It even has a built-in nursing bra to make breastfeeding easy.
But the Soothe Shirt isn’t just for moms. In fact, Keri recently created a Lalabu Soothe Shirt for men called the Dad Shirt, which has become quite the popular product.
Since her company’s launch, Keri has sold more than 28,000 Soothe Shirts, and now also offers supportive leggings, which feature a wide waistband with compression—perfect for post-pregnancy recovery.
It’s apparent Keri cares about babies, not only with her innovative designs, but also through her business model. Lalabu contributes 2 percent of its revenue to the For New Lives program, which supports women entrepreneurs in Africa, adoption costs for new parents, conception aid and startups doing good. And that’s a business plan that ought to make Lalabu customers sleep like a baby!
QUITE THE QUOTEI’ll send you off today with a quote from writer and educator Eda LeShan:
“A new baby is like the beginning of all things: hope, a dream of possibilities.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.