From expanded access to paid parental leave to an influx of tech platforms supporting new parents, the postpartum market looks promising
Postpartum wellness has seen a positive step in the right direction in the U.S., with a growing acknowledgment that parents need additional mental and physical support with a newborn in the mix, according to the latest report from The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), which listed 10 wellness trends to watch in 2024.
From expanded access to paid parental leave to an increase of first-time fathers taking some form of leave, the postpartum landscape looks encouraging, yet there is still work to be done — with care centers, mental health apps and femtech leading the post-birth recovery space.
Although the U.S. leads in many areas, postpartum practices and a general supportive mindset have become adopted from elsewhere. Centers that pamper new parents and care for newborns have emerged, tapping into cultural traditions such as sanhujori, a Korean postpartum care system centered on rest and nutrition.
Similar supportive care systems are found in Latin American and Japanese cultures, with U.S.-based centers offering similar support. For example, New York City-based Boram Postnatal Retreat provides parents recovery, healthy meals, baby care education and more, although such services currently have a barrier to entry for many due to cost.
Tech Platforms Offer Services, Support
Postpartum wellness technology has also seen a boom, with GWS noting that funding in the “femtech ecosystem” has resulted in several promising startups to assist postpartum parents.
From Mavida Health’s mental health support and therapy services for new and expecting mothers to a California-based startup offering C-section recovery services, tech has parents covered.
Two other promising tech platforms, Motherocity and MamaMend, use personal insights and artificial intelligence to forecast, detect and monitor the mental and physical health of new moms from day one through the first 52 weeks — an important use of AI in response to conditions such as postpartum depression and anxiety. The apps also provide wellness content and access to a community of other new moms.
As GWS notes, corporate wellness programs have begun to respond by offering more robust comprehensive postpartum care, such as Kindbody Pregnancy, which provides mental health therapists, lactation consultants, nutritionists and even pelvic floor physical therapists.
More To Come
Aside from telehealth, digital apps and platforms, areas such as pelvic floor health and “mother-safe” personal care items are also promising consumer spaces that meet the needs of postpartum mothers looking for well-being in an exciting (yet oftentimes sleepless and stressful) time.
Predicting what’s ahead, GWS says it’s “undeniable” that the public and private sectors will need to join together for “more specialized care,” with corporate involvement in the U.S. imperative to overall well-being. GWS also expects to see more telehealth offerings that support postpartum mental health.
As GWS points out in its report, Dr. Sarah de la Torre, an OBGYN and chief medical officer at MommyMatters, is “bullish” on the integration of telehealth services providing postpartum check-ups, mental health support and lactation consultations.
A complete list of The Global Wellness Summit’s 2024 Wellness Trends can be found here.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.