Be Her Village: a new kind of registry focused on mothers

“Be Her Village really came from a place of wanting to bring the spotlight back to the women, back to mothers. “

– Kaitlin McGreyes, founder of Be Her Village

Many people are familiar with baby registries, but what if you could gift new moms with prenatal yoga classes, a postpartum doula, and lactation counseling sessions? As Kaitlin puts it, “The only baby registries that exist are all from big box stores and they’re all centered on items and material things, and nobody is talking about the in-house, hands-on support that women need in pregnancy, during their birth, and in their home afterwards.” Be Her Village is a service-based registry platform that will innovate the way family and friends can support new mothers.

The impetus for this idea came from Kaitlin’s own experience as a mother and birth doula. After each of her three children were born, Kaitlin describes the gaps she felt in support. “I had a beautiful nursery and lots of boxes and perfect baby outfits…I had everything I needed, and yet I still found myself naked and crying and alone and with raw nipples and not really having the support I needed. I couldn’t make breakfast, I couldn’t figure out how to soothe my baby, I couldn’t figure out if I was breastfeeding the right way, and I felt very alone.” Her experience as a birth doula amplified this need to shift the focus and resources back to mothers and parents. She describes seeing her clients being gifted, “$800 strollers…but when it comes to the doulas and the breastfeeding support, and counseling sessions, and the mommy and me classes, and the things that the moms need in order to have a good experience, to even be in the equation of the birth, that money isn’t there.”

Kaitlin founded Be Her Village with the belief that healthy babies start with healthy parents. Through the website, which soft launches later this month, parents will register for the services they need and family and friends will directly gift them with they money to fund those classes, appointments, etc. But there’s another issue. Many parents aren’t aware of the type of support that exists in their communities. In her doula work, Kaitlin recognized that the word-of-mouth way of connecting families to resources wasn’t working. She says, “We want to be a resource for women so when they get pregnant, they can read, search for providers in their area, and they can connect to people who are local to them.” Be Her Village will be a one stop shop for self care and education so parents have a central location to learn about everything from chiropractic care for babies to pelvic floor therapy.

When approaching this project, Kaitlin was mindful about how this website would not only benefit the women who would be utilizing the service, but the services providers and behind-the scenes folks who are majority women. She elaborates, “The other goal is to help businesses and birth related businesses, which are mostly women-owned, to flourish, become mainstream, and get in touch with the market of women that are out there…I’ve tried, though it’s not all exclusively women, but i’ve really tried to have the female voice come through. So the parts where there’s a hands-on output into the website: the design, the coding, and the writing, those are all by women and mothers and, for me, it makes a big difference in the final product.” When you use Be Her Village, you are supporting the women in your lives, the women providing many of these services, and the women who work so hard to bring this service to life.

The passion and care that have gone into this project is tangible, and the world Kaitlin envisions through Be Her Village is one that new parents deserve. She concludes, “It really feels like we’re gonna change the world! And it’s about so much more than gifts…it’s about creating a world where mothers and parents are supported in the way they need to be. For whoever will be reading this, even though there are the feminine pronouns and a lot of emphasis on mothers and “her”, that is mostly just a recognition of the femininity surrounding birth and parenthood and motherhood, but we are inclusive of anyone who is a parent in whatever way they become a parents and we welcome everybody onto our website.”

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