The period before and right after the birth of a new baby is challenging for parents everywhere. Not only does it impact parents’ physical and emotional well-being, but it also has a dramatic effect on employee retention and the gender pay gap. Enter Peppy.health – a UK-based company that gives new parents access to fully-qualified, insured, and vetted professionals during one of the happiest, and most difficult, periods of their lives.
Created by parents who know
Peppy was built by three friends who all worked in the corporate world and experienced those “OMG” moments in the early days of parenting. Some had built-in support systems with family nearby, others had to create their own with trusted caregivers and professionals. Their experiences (good and bad) are the basis for the Peppy platform – a place where parents can get immediate access to the help they need.
A not-so-very English problem
One of Peppy’s founders, Evan Harris, tells us that in England, services that used to be there for new and expectant parents aren’t available anymore. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that becoming a parent is a significant life change – and that a lack of support can lead to problems, no matter where you’re from:
• Women stop breastfeeding
• People experience postpartum depression, birth trauma, and other mental health issues
• Women experience postpartum changes to their pelvic floors which can lead to decades of problems
• Women may not know how to exercise safely before and after the birth of a child which can lead to injury
Research shows that having a child also negatively impacts pay gap and employee retention numbers – particularly when it comes to women.
Employee benefits for new and expectant parents
Peppy is offered through employer benefit programs and is available direct to individuals as well. Through an employer, employees typically get a predetermined “Peppy allowance” which can be used before and after the birth of a child. This allowance can be used for services provided by insured and vetted practitioners listed on Peppy’s website, including:
• Lactation consultants
• Baby sleep consultants
• Pediatric physical therapists
• Women’s health physical therapists
• Pre and postnatal exercise instructors
• Mental health professionals
Why would employers want to do this (aside from showing their employees how much they care, of course)? Well, it turns out that programs like Peppy have some serious benefits for employers too. These programs can:
• Position companies as family-friendly – which attracts better employees, particularly women
• Promote loyalty and engagement among current employees
• Increase post-parental leave retention (and help close the gender pay gap)
• Improve the work performance of secondary caregivers
You’d think with all of these benefits, employers would be all too quick to sign up, right? Well, that’s EXACTLY what’s happened. When Peppy launched in May 2019, the CBI, Penguin Random House, Kantar Media, and Osborne Clarke all signed up immediately and now offer Peppy as a benefit to their employees.
Note: While Peppy’s in-person services are currently only available in the London area, many practitioners offer remote appointments via Skype and other services – which are available to anyone in the world.
Yep! It’s for secondary caregivers too!
Now, while secondary caregivers likely won’t need to recondition their pelvic walls after birth, they’ll be going through some of their own changes both before and after welcoming the new bundle of joy. Sleep consultants and mental health professionals are there to help everyone get some much-needed shut-eye at home and deal with all of the emotions they might be feeling. And if the secondary caregiver’s company offers Peppy, their partner can use the benefits too.
Tacking other areas of women’s health
The revolutionary nature of Peppy is the ability to access trusted practitioners right away. And on June 6, 2019, the company expanded its offering to women dealing with the symptoms of menopause. Along with access to nutritionists, physical therapists, and mental health professionals, women in this stage of their lives can now make appointments with nurses who specialize in women’s health through Peppy – qualified medical professionals who understand the treatment options for menopause and can help women get the care they need.
“A lot of women get very very bad medical care and information around menopause and end up suffering in silence,” said Harris. “Now, for the first time, these women will have access to a qualified women’s health medical professional to support them on that journey.”
Also, coming soon to Peppy…help for parents who are experiencing fertility issues!
When the time came to buy a domain for Peppy, the team knew they wanted to go with one of the more established domain extensions. However, the .com would have cost the team a crazy amount of money. Peppy.health wasn’t just more reasonably priced, it made perfect sense from a branding perspective.
“We wanted to position the company as healthcare, and .health is completely aligned with that goal,” said Harris. “Also, having a .health shows we are forward-thinking. I think when .co came out, all of the startups were using a dot co – and now, at least for a health tech startup, .health is a much better alternative.”
For more about Peppy, check out their site, and test it out. The team would love to hear your feedback!