Being a new mom is hard. Sure, you love your little one so very much, but you’re existing on zero sleep. You’re trying to figure out exactly what those little cries mean. When well-meaning friends ask you how they can help, you have trouble remembering what to say, let alone what day it is. (Hint: Send friends this article on what they can do to help you as a new mama or this one on easy meals they can bring you.) Even rock-star new moms like Chrissy Teigen admit that battling postpartum depression is a very real problem.
For working moms, there’s a real lack of adequate paid family leave and emotional support postpartum. One startup in San Francisco, LUCY, is aiming to change the game for working parents. With startling statistics on its homepage — 43 percent of women leave the workforce permanently three months after having a baby — the LUCY program works with companies to provide expectant parents help before, during, and after parental leave, offering 24/7 messaging and one-on-one sessions that can be done in the home or online.
We chatted with Shannon Spanhake, LUCY’s CEO, about the benefits of the program for employees who are interested. (BTW, if you work for yourself or own a small biz, Spanhake says to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and see how LUCY could possibly work for you.) Along with her co-founder, who is a practicing OB/GYN, Spanhake wants to offer personalized support for healthy pregnancies and post-birth transitions.
Currently, LUCY works with the staffs at Slack, Reddit, and Planet Labs to provide parental support to new moms and dads. The program offers more than 40 different sessions in person or via video on topics such as lactation, newborn care, career strategy, and wellness. For example, if you’ve got sleep questions (and who doesn’t?), LUCY will send a sleep consultant to review your baby’s current sleep routine and where bedtime happens. The sleep consultant will offer tips on helping your little one self-soothe, talk about developmental milestones that might screw up regular sleep, and answer any sleep questions you have. The sleep help alone is worth it for any new parent!
For working moms who wonder how to deal with pumping at work or have any lactation issues, LUCY can send a lactation consultant to your home and help develop a pumping schedule that works for you, plus address any concerns you have about pumping in the workplace.
If you’re a new mom struggling with how to jump back into her job post-baby, LUCY can hook you up with career strategists. One happy mama who worked with a LUCY career strategist comments, “I was blown away with how much confidence I had after our meeting to balance work and motherhood.”
Why does Spanhake see a program like LUCY as vital for working parents? “Employee support programs like LUCY are more than a perk, but a new standard of care that acknowledges how hard it is for moms and dads to succeed at growing their careers and families,” Spanhake says. While paid time off is helpful, new parents often struggle with caring for a newborn. LUCY hopes to bridge the gap for working parents to get the assistance they desperately need to get back to work and feel successful in their career and at home.
What do you think would be most helpful as a new parent? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!
(Photos via LUCY and Getty)