Using your pain for purpose.
Have you ever thought about how powerful that could be?
Friends-turned-moms-turned-business-partners Megan Dalton and Lauren Hays have, and they’re well beyond the “what if?” phase. Together they created The Matrescence, a company that exists to support women on their journey of becoming a mother, which they know from years of personal experience is an iterative, long-term, joyful process.
And there are stressful bumps along the way. We’ll go ahead and name just a few.
- First baby
- Growing family
- Birth control
- Sleep disruption
- Returning to work
- Medication management
That’s a heavy list. And part of what makes it heavy is there’s no single place or person to whom you can turn for help. Sure, friends and family may lend an ear, health care providers can assist with some matters, and specialists can dig in deep on one issue … but then there’s still the rest.
These issues typically don’t go away on their own. And who has time to chase down every little thing? Especially considering most of these “little” things are actually quite big. They loom. They creep up and take over in the middle of the night when it’s quiet for five minutes and you should sleep but you can’t.
And just in case one of these isn’t hard enough on its own, imagine tackling motherhood issues in the context of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). Think postpartum depression—thankfully we’re getting to a place as a society that we’re talking about it more openly—and keep going. There’s also perinatal and/or postpartum anxiety, psychosis and OCD.
Raising up a new human is no small undertaking. And for as long as we’ve been doing it, help shouldn’t be new or nonexistent. And yet, there’s still a gap, into which even the most knowledgeable, most supported, most “ready” of us can fall—and fall deep.
Like Lauren, a nurse by training, who knew the warning signs and felt the feels and blazed through, hoping time would be the fix. Time further exposed her struggles, but with help and treatment and more time, she reemerged. And she went back to school to become a mental health nurse practitioner.
With Lauren’s health care experience and training plus Megan’s business background and their shared desire to make things better, they first envisioned a physical location where they could offer assistance to women. But the events of 2020 pointed firmly to building a digital gathering place.
After months naming and prioritizing the issues women face in becoming mothers, then lining up experts and related resources to address them, they launched The Matrescence as a website and app in the fall of 2021.
Via website or app, The Matrescence members can:
- Connect with others in situations similar to their own
- Access science-backed guides and webinars to address specific issues
- Plug into discounted online counseling services
The site also offers some no-cost glimpses into the support that The Matrescence provides. Like the 6-Week Postpartum Checkup – Free Guide + Checklist, which is meant to help mothers prepare for their first clinic visit at home, in advance, hopefully far away from bright lights and feeling rushed. This is the brand’s most commonly downloaded resource.
And where will Megan and Lauren go next? They want to scale up, particularly by partnering with companies that can offer the platform to female employees along with other essential benefits. Besides being the right thing to do, it makes financial sense for companies to support working women on their journey through motherhood.
- Supported women stay. Companies with greater gender diversity were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies with less gender diversity. (Source: McKinsey)
- Engaged employees are more productive. Employees who are not engaged cost their company the equivalent of 18% of their annual salary. (Source: Gallup)
- Replacing employees is expensive. It’s estimated that replacing an exiting worker costs one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. (Source: Gallup)
As this pain-turned-purpose-fueled company evolves, the founders of The Matrescence will stay true to their value of intimate community support and holding members’ hands through the fog—however thick, vast and endless it may be.
We love this brand and support these founders for wading into the murkier moments of life with the passion to help. If you or someone you know is struggling, we encourage you to talk to your health care provider AND consider joining a supportive community like The Matrescence. Or drop an email to [email protected]. Megan and Lauren are always there for you.