What the Mama! A virtual village for Canberra's new parents | HerCanberra

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What the Mama! A virtual village for Canberra’s new parents

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We all know that raising a child can take a village. Well, Canberra’s newest virtual marketplace, What the Mama, brings that village to your home when you need it most.

Co-founded by South-African born public servant Robyn-Leigh Gordon along with husband Guy, What the Mama has recently launched in the Canberra region to bring parents their own personal village of post-natal specialists and helpers.

The best part? Everything is delivered in-home, from lactation consultants to massage, pilates and beauty services.

With an easy-to-use website, parents can search, book and pay for services quickly and fuss-free while having a baby (or two) in hand.

Driven by her own post-partum experience, Robyn-Leigh wanted to create a “village” that parents could turn to for services tailored to them in one of the most challenging, exhausting and beautiful times in their lives.

After the “challenging but no less beautiful” birth of her son Rufus, Robyn-Leigh says she sought out in-home services at various points in her own postpartum journey—cue frantic Googling and Facebook searching—and found it difficult to sift through the services available.

Having accessed a lactation consultant, pelvic health physiotherapist, hairdresser and personal trainer in her own home, Robyn-Leigh says she knew she wanted to create an easier path for other new parents.

“Why is it so hard to find the wonderful providers that help mothers during such a vulnerable time?” she says. “Why didn’t I know about this before I was smack bang in the middle of this overwhelm and frantically scouring the internet for help?”

“The lack of conversation, awareness and support around postpartum led me and my partner to create What the Mama.”

Robyn-Leigh also says that in-home services are the key to making life easier for everyone involved.

“If I’d had to drive somewhere, take baby in and out of the car and the million steps that are required for leaving the house with a baby I would’ve definitely left it to later…later probably never arriving!”

What The Mama’s “village” is made up of lactation consultants, postpartum personal trainers, pelvic health physiotherapists, perinatal psychologists, cleaners, post-partum doulas, naturopaths, nannies, and massage and beauty therapists—all the professionals Robyn-Leigh says a new parent needs, all of whom are happy to arrange in-home appointments.

All services are arranged directly through the website and could be the perfect gift for expecting or new parents.

“Why aren’t these the types of things that mums get as gifts instead of a million onesies and swaddled?” says Robyn-Leigh.

So far, the feedback has been glowing.

“From about-to-be mums who can’t wait to use the What the Mama Village to already-mums (who tell us they wish we were around when they had their first but are so happy we are here now!) to our incredible vendors who are so excited to be part of this community and who live to support and serve mums.”

While Robyn-Leigh feels the website’s offering is “pretty comprehensive”, she’s working towards adding some more food options to the ‘village’.

The What the Mama village is also growing (no pun intended!) interstate, with the company planning to launch in Sydney in the near future.

“We’ve had mums from all over Australia reach out to ask when we will launch in their state and the goal is to launch Australia-wide over the next 12 months.”

“Our community is home to a passionate bunch who are generous with their care, time, their experiences, and, of course, their What the ?!@* mama moments (there are a lot of those in motherhood!). It’s a super supportive place and everyone is welcome to join us.”

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