Tech Startup Makes Pregnancy Your Company’s Business

Lucy is a service that just might offer the support working women need as they become moms...and the firms they work for could fare pretty well, too.

Pregnant woman using app to help companies manage working moms fizkes/Shutterstock
Introducing Lucy, a newborn (as in recently launched) startup that hopes to help companies support their employees as they make their way into parenthood. Lucy, which is currently in beta, offers a variety of services that can help workers lead healthy, safe pregnancies—and this benefits their employers in some really important ways.

Here's how it works: Lucy will allow companies to buy service packages for their employees. The packages include in-home services (think access to doulas, lactation consultants, sleep consultants) as well as phone support via the "Lucy line" and access to an app that guides women through each phase of pregnancy.

So why does the startup target companies instead of mothers themselves? Well, because businesses stand to gain from helping their employees through pregnancy and early parenthood, and Lucy's team aims to create win/win situations for both employers and employees.

"There's a lot of data that shows a high level of attrition when employees become parents," Lucy CEO Shannon Spanhake said, according to FastCompany. "This is expensive to companies." The data presented on Lucy's site is pretty eye-opening: 43 percent of women don't return to the workforce after baby, for example. According to the company's web site, Lucy is looking to revolutionize the way companies provide family benefits. The company's team bills the startup as "[a] one-stop marketplace for women's health, starting with pregnancy and early parenthood."

We love that Lucy has a holistic view of what pregnant women should know of the experience: Of course, any women is likely to seek out information about what she should expect from own body during pregnancy, but there are also so many lifestyle factors that change when you get pregnant or become a parent, and the questions keep coming after you've delivered. To address these, Lucy doesn't just offer nutritional tips or lactation consultations, the team also connects you with resources to help you refine your career strategy, make a plan of attack for household errands (let's just say they don't get any easier once you have your baby), and find family counseling. They even have expertise in spa and massage! Necessary. So necessary.

As of right now, it appears Lucy is only actively seeking out San Francisco companies to partner with, but who knows? It just might make its way to a city—and company—near you.