If you are pregnant, you may need advice on choosing a doula, a nanny, a stroller. If you are having a second child, you may not have the time and energy to research preschools for your toddler. And if you have a pet, he may be so distraught over the arrival of a baby that he eats the diapers.
That third scenario actually happened to Alden Leigh Rosen, co-founder of inBloom, on the morning I was scheduled to meet with her. Rosen, who has a year old boy, and partner Yael Denbo, pregnant with her first child, live near each other on the Upper West Side and are both hyper-organized. They launched their personalized baby planning service to offer New Yorkers access to the fruits of their research.
Denbo, a native Upper West Sider, says that while moms can – and do – research on the Internet themselves, inBloom consolidates and disseminates customized information, helping a pregnant woman find the best pregnancy massage for her, say, or a pediatrician that matches the parents’ needs. The motto of the company is: “giving you time to enjoy motherhood.”
inBloom breaks down its business into three categories: information services; services and consultants; and special projects. The information services, like finding the pediatrician, or helping with the back-to-work transition, are a kind of ‘one off’ service that starts at $125.
For services and consultants, fees are based on what the consultant charges. In this area, inBloom can help find someone to babyproof your home, organize a nursery, or bring a CPR and first aid trainer to your home. For advice on helping couples make the transition to parents, sibling preparation and developmental issues, Laurie Kronish Oestreich, a pediatric occupational therapist and clinical social worker is inBloom’s “chief advisor”.
Special projects can encompass anything from coordinating a “babymoon” (a trip the husband and wife take together before the baby is born) to planning a bris or baby shower, to hiring a mother’s assistant to run errands. There are also packages for new and soon-to-be moms, like “healthy mama” which includes a session with a Pilates or yoga instructor, a session with a personal trainer, and one with a nutritionist; and “capturing your beautiful bump” that includes photography, makeup, hair and stylist.
Rosen says that working on a highly personalized level with each client sets the business apart. “It’s a hands on approach to putting together a plan of action before the baby is born with anything a parent can think of that needs to be done.”
Denbo reports that one client, who has a two-year-old and is about to give birth, hired inBloom to compile information about preschools: when applications are due, what the birthday cut off is, etc. The pregnant woman could do this herself, but she doesn’t have the time. For another client, Denbo and Rosen are preparing a “green” nursery with non-toxic paints and cleaning products. inBloom will also find consultants to work with a pet and ready it for the new baby, but as Rosen can attest, even after a year, some dogs just aren’t happy after that baby interrupts its life.
While inBloom’s services are currently limited to Manhattan, expansion into Brooklyn and Westchester is planned.
For more information, go to www.inbloomny.com.