From pre-conception to postpartum, a new mom’s to-do list can seem endless. Sometimes asking for help can be the best thing. You are busy enough as it is growing a person inside of you.
Baby planning is a growing industry that aims to alleviate the stress of preparing for a new baby. Women use planners for weddings, showers and parties- why not for pregnancy?
Melissa Moog is the founder of Itsabelly Baby Planners, a national consulting firm for new and expectant parents, and president of the International Baby Planner Association.
Moog said a baby planner’s job is to provide the best guidance possible to suit a new parent’s personal needs, lifestyle and budget. A baby planner can provide the most current information and resources for things like:
- Baby gear, furniture and products
- Sourcing the best pre- and postnatal care
- Finding and pre-screening the most appropriate “credentialed” lactation consultants, doulas, midwives, childcare providers, nutritionists and other professionals
- Birth planning
- Nursery design
- Assessing the home for childproofing
Moog had the idea for her baby planning business after the birth of her daughter more than six years ago.
“As a first time mom-to-be who had moved to a new city and had no one to help her locally other than a computer and books, I wanted that ‘in person’ expert to talk to and ask questions,” she said. “I’m passionate about baby planning because first and foremost I’m a mom who knows how overwhelming it can be to bring a new baby into the world.”
Itsabelly.com became the first baby planning business established in the U.S. in early 2007. When Moog was later put on bed-rest during the pregnancy of her twins, she ended up needing the help she was used to giving.
“I realized even more so how important it was to have a baby planner help me while I was laid out and couldn’t do a thing to prepare the twins nursery,” she said. “I actually hired a baby planner for myself to help me set up the twins nursery, do some re-organizing and purchase baby products.”
A baby planner should be the local pregnancy and baby expert in your community, Moog said. She recommends choosing someone with experience and expertise working with pregnant couples, familiarity with the birthing process and a strong connection to the community’s pregnancy and baby resources.
Moog added that having a connection to a trade association such as The International Baby Planner Association insures that the planner is keeping up with baby product updates and recalls, industry trends and the overall market.
The price for a baby planner varies based on the services and location. Moog said most planners charge by the hour but also offer bundled services. She sees baby planning as a growing industry because of the intimacy it provides to a new parent who might be anxious or overloaded.
“I think more people want that one-on-one connection verses just reading a book or looking for information online,” Moog said. “They want to talk and have access to a local expert who knows the layout of their community’s pregnancy and baby resources.”
For anyone interested in becoming a baby planner, Moog’s website www.itsabelly.com, has resources to help launch a business or become a consultant. She recommends asking yourself a few questions if you think baby planning could be a good fit for your life.
- Have you researched your local market and know if you have a good target market to secure clients in?
- Do you have a passion and related background in helping new parents specifically in dealing with pregnancy, birthing and parenting situations?
- Are you business savvy?
- Do you have a good head for marketing and sales?
- Do you have money to spend in your initial start-up costs (website, logo, marketing collateral, business registration, etc;)?
- Do you have at least 15-20 hours a week to devote to launching a business?
Overall, Moog sees a baby planner as someone who is dedicated to helping in whatever way they can. She hopes new parents can enjoy the ride of pregnancy a little more when they don’t have to worry about all the details.
“A baby planner becomes the go-to person for overwhelmed expectant parents to sort out their questions and needs,” Moog said. “It also allows them to focus on the things that matter most to them instead of wasting time on items an expert can whip out in a jiffy.”