Marabou is a postpartum care service that my husband and I started hoping to care for women throughout the thirty days following childbirth – known as the postpartum phase. Postpartum challenges hit me hard after the birth of our first baby. It caught me off guard how difficult the postpartum phase turned out to be, because everything leading up to labor and through delivery was natural, simple, and short. I didn’t get morning sickness. I didn’t put on a lot of baby weight and was able to stay active throughout pregnancy. I went through labor in relative calm and birthed my baby naturally.
Yet, my body, emotions, and mind suffered in the aftermath. I expected weeks of recovery and instead it took months! My body ached and was easily fatigued. I was short on sleep and exhibited signs of extended sleep deprivation. I often experienced emotional and mental funks, along with the baby blues. I felt off and unlike myself. I struggled with Mastitis several times.
All this while learning to be a mother and getting to know my child? Unreal.
One thing that did help was the Meal Train my friends set up. They coordinated with each other, and three times a week someone stopped by my house with a meal. I rarely had to worry about dinner, and that connection with my community and the sustenance they gave me was such a gift.
After I started feeling better, my husband and I were humbled by that very difficult postpartum phase. We told ourselves every mom should have a meal train and what if we set up a meal service and this kind of support has GOT to become more normalized. Too many women are isolated and have to do it on their own. I’m a firm believer in the power of women. Labor is our apex and it is a feat to overcome. This is why the postpartum phase ought to be about recovery. Athletes rest after they compete in the Olympics. Soldiers go on leave after they return from deployment. Women should rest after they give birth to a child.
We sat on the idea for a few years. Because it was Meal Train that sparked this idea, we imagined a meal delivery service where our daughters could help us make and deliver meals to new moms. It would take a couple years before we felt ready to make the leap into business, though.
Well … we left the Navy in February 2018 and thought why not now?? So, we started looking into it. We discussed the idea with family and friends. We sent Survey Monkeys. Interestingly, the idea was widely supported but also needed evolving. Household, emotional, and informational support was more popular than we predicted. It outranked meal preparation by far. So, we nixed the meal idea and made postpartum doula service the core of our business.
But, most moms focus on getting a doula for labor & delivery, if anything! Because childbirth can be so intimidating, this is where a lot of doulas focus their time and attention. The postpartum phase is an afterthought if it’s any thought at all. In addition, doulas can be expensive. They are professionally trained and spend a lot of time with you throughout the transition of your family. Insurance companies are starting to catch on and offer coverage for labor and delivery doulas, but I think postpartum is just starting to get a look. The big question for us was: how are women going to afford this service? So, we thought Marabou would be ideal as a crowdfunded gift for mom-to-be. Like a registry. In the last month, we’ve added cleaning services, in-home chef-made meals, and nanny support for older siblings, all things mom can add to her registry based on what she feels her family needs.
This is the perfect gift that will benefit any mom. We’re great for a first-time mom getting over the steep learning curve of new motherhood. We’re great for a mom adding to her brood, who’s in need of household and emotional support instead of more baby stuff. We hope that we have designed our service to meet the needs of mothers through the first thirty days postpartum. We have grown already with our NICU Assurance offering, so stay tuned for more in the years to come.
There you have it! The reason we’re all in on an idea that is new but intriguing.