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Dearbump is an award-winning pregnancy subscription service providing products and information tailored for each stage of pregnancy and help the transition into parenthood. They have developed what they believe is the UK’s first corporate parental wellbeing programme, which combines their pregnant subscription boxes with their new wellbeing technology, that includes automatic check-ins and digital support throughout pregnancy, maternity leave and the transition back into the workplace.

With 54,000 pregnant women leaving the workplace every year, they are well placed to solve a huge problem for businesses who are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain female talent.

Since launch Dearbump has won 2 awards, thrived during the pandemic and are currently in conversation with 2 multinational corporations who are interested in implementing this programme. Currently raising on Seedrs, we sat down with Founder Emma Jarvis to hear more.

Can you tell us a bit about your career so far and what brought you to start your own business?

My first degree was in chemistry at the University of Warwick, after graduating I worked in Unilever research and development where I published 5 patents in my first year after graduation. I tried to get exposure to as many different areas as possible within R&D, from consumer insight, to product development to processing and overseeing factory level scale up.

After being very unprepared for my first birth and feeling unsupported by my workplace, I decided to leave, and study an MBA and graduated with distinction, I then founded dearbump to ensure other women did not have the same experience that I had. After founding dearbump I received a scholarship to train in fullstack javascript at Northcoders in Manchester, since then I have been working in various salesforce roles over the past 3 years, where I became a certified salesforce developer. I’ve used my experience in R&D to develop some of my own products which helped to reduce costs of our highest priced products. I have used my tech experience to build the wellbeing programme which will help me scale in the corporate market.

How did you come up with the idea for Dearbump and what is it?

I felt very unprepared for my first birth and when I was on maternity leave, I felt very unsupported by my workplace. After deciding to leave my job, I founded dearbump as a monthly pregnancy subscription box tailored to each stage of pregnancy to ensure other women did not have the same experience that I had. I wanted to make sure women had the right help at the right time, with the right information and support to help through morning sickness, and preparation for the birth. I also wanted to promote positive wellbeing which is why each box has a product to support wellbeing and mindfulness. 

How does Dearbump help women with their careers?

Our new programme allows businesses to help women access the support through our boxes as well as digital wellbeing support. We stay in contact with women throughout pregnancy, maternity leave and the return to work, which is where a lot of anxieties lie.

Many women receive no contact at all from businesses during maternity leave, and then suddenly they have to go back to work and they feel very anxious and scared, especially if they are still recovering or have had a traumatic experience that they feel embarrassed to discuss with their manager. We initiate difficult conversations and make sure women feel supported, throughout this time. For example 33% of women express milk in the work bathrooms, these are conversations we will have with employees and employers to make sure that every woman has somewhere suitable to express milk at work.

Our goal is to work with businesses who genuinely care about their employees and want to invest in them. By working with us, it shows they are willing to invest in women and support them through this time, so it also helps women recognise the best family friendly businesses to work for.

What part of Dearbump’s journey are you most proud of?

There’s so many. We started with pregnancy boxes and building awareness was so difficult. Last year one Instagram post pretty much turned us into an overnight success. It completely validated the idea, everyone was saying “I wish i knew about this when I was pregnant, and I wish i found this sooner” which was amazing, we had so many requests to continue the boxes post-birth so we expanded our offering to include post birth boxes too. We now have dearbump and dear mama subscriptions.

And the fact that i’ve built it completely bootstrapped and alongside my full time job, whilst raising two boys.

What’s coming up for Dearbump in the near future that you’re excited about? 

We have listened to our customers and are constantly improving our offering, and one of the things that keeps coming up is support for dads. We have some exciting plans for this! Entering the b2b market will also enable us to offer support to all parents, not just mums.

A few personal ones:

When you’re not working, what do you do in your spare time?

Raising a family, teaching myself guitar and I also play piano, we also like board games, puzzles and i’m an old school Nintendo nerd.

What has been your biggest lesson in being an entrepreneur?

That I can literally get through anything. The more challenging you think something is the more you will learn. Don’t ever think you can’t do something, even if it’s working on something for an hour a week, it’s getting you one step closer to your goal.

If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Believe in yourself.

Dearbump is over 135% funded, raising £135k from 132 investors. If you’d like to join them, visit the pitch now.