Story of wellmama: How this all began?
Personally, I believe if you don’t like something, stop complaining or do something about it.
A couple of years ago when my son was born, I found myself in a situation where I desperately needed information and support on how to look after myself and my baby. I tried mum’s groups, but was overwhelmed with the amount of advice, which was well intentioned but completely subjective. I tried directories but they were always specific to one thing and my needs were changing all the time. I knew there were resources and experts out there, but even then I didn’t know who I should trust when it came to advising me. Which qualifications matter? Were their reviews even real? Who should I rely on at this really vulnerable time?
I also knew I wasn’t alone. I saw so many friends and ‘friends of friends’ grasping for information and support - often spending hours on instagram fishing out the most credible professionals. Coming from a tech background, I felt that I might be able to do something to help. I really wanted to change the situation so many parents and mothers find themselves in after finding out they’re expecting. Questions like where to go, why to go there and when to go should all be answered constructively in a timely manner, by people who actually KNOW what they’re talking about.
The plan, before the plan
I visualised a platform where all expectant parents would find support through their parenthood journey. The platform would offer them tips on what to do and when, and at the same time provide real experts and services that go with it. So that’s where we started - by creating a marketplace. It seemed like a perfect idea. But as we got underway, I started to realise that actually we might need to do something else first. We were creating one place to find maternal and perinatal, but in doing that we weren’t ensuring quality and trust. Not in the way we wanted anyway. So we decided to do something about it.
The second plan, I made behind the pram
Enter the next phase of wellmama. We decided to make wellmama a bespoke review platform or perinatal and maternity experts. The reason is so simple - people are so used to checking out reviews before they buy a car or eat at a restaurant, but when it comes to family planning and maternity services - there is no such thing. That’s crazy. Your baby is more important than your car. Your physical and mental health post birth are more important than a burrito. You’re going through life changing events, but no one is standardising the care you’re receiving?! It seemed obvious that to support and protect parents, we needed to change that. Give them a systemised way to gain peace of mind - when checking out a prospective service provider. Are they safe? Are they professional? Are they good to go? How do they compare to others? Enter review platform.
"That’s crazy. Your baby is more important than your car. Your physical and mental health post birth are more important than a burrito."
As important for parents as for experts
We made the decision to commit ourselves to raising and standardising maternal care, not just for parents but also or the benefit of experts. To give them a way to mark themselves out from the crowd, a way to benefit from objective customer reviews, a way to potentially grow their customer base through evidence of accreditation. A way for experts who give their heart and soul to the industry to be recognised and validated.
Stepping up to the plate
We also believe private and third sector organisations need to step up and out. We all know that there fundamental issues with maternal public health care in the UK. Balls are being dropped. That’s a big conversation. But by providing proper feedback loops and customer reviews for the experts, we look outside of the NHS and how we can do our part to support parents in the situation they find themselves in now.
In time, wellmama sees itself being the #1 source used by new or future becoming parents, and perinatal/maternal experts in the UK. Protecting parents, and legitimising service providers.
So what next?
We believe that changing the maternity and perinatal industry is possible. We know it is necessary. We are aware that the change will come faster if we work together. When maternal and perinatal experts join wellmama, they’re joining a movement to standardise private and charitable maternal and perinatal care. Every expert that does so, gives us the energy and belief that we are doing something useful and important in trying to standardise and legitimise the industry.
We’re excited for the long-term journey we’re on. We’re excited to see the future of maternal and perinatal services improve. We’re excited to ensure more joyful and better experience for parents and experts across the country. But not just better. Safer, more professional and more accessible or all.