I’ll never forget my first appointment with a fertility specialist. I was there to begin the process of freezing my eggs, and the first thing my doctor said to me when I sat down was that we were going to have a quick biology lesson. I admit, I rolled my eyes. I was an educated, 30-something woman and she wanted to take me back to junior high sex ed? Waste of time, I thought.
By the end of her 20-minute spiel, I was floored. She covered only the basics, but it was an eye-opening conversation. Turns out, I was pretty clueless when it came to my own reproductive system. I had no idea how small the window for ovulation and pregnancy really was or that each month your body plays a version of the Hunger Games, choosing a favorite from a batch of selected eggs and showering only that one with all the love and hormones. (The others? Well, you’ve seen the movie…)
I was definitely not alone. Over the past decade, as one friend after another has gotten pregnant and had the cutest little munchkins you will ever see, there was one commonality in all of the conversations we had and stories I heard: bewilderment. You can fill in the blank on the topic: the nitty gritty of ovulation and fertility, the impact of freezing your eggs if you plan to have kids a little later, the impossibly difficult marathon of navigating infertility, the weird twists and turns of pregnancy, the massive changes in your body and mind after giving birth. Regardless of the subject matter or the unique experience, the refrain I continue to hear over and over to this day is: Why did we never learn about this? How am I just finding out about this now?
Human beings have been giving birth since the very beginning of our existence (roughly 2 million years!), and yet so much of the process can still feel like waking up in a strange new world with no map and no tools—exciting, frightening, and totally overwhelming. It doesn’t help that so many of the resources that do exist focus solely on our role as moms rather than our own experiences and well-being.
Expectful is here to change that. The site was originally co-founded by entrepreneur Nathalie Walton, who experienced the real benefits of meditation during her own high-risk pregnancy. She succeeded in building a wellness app with the largest library of meditation and sleep content for fertility, pregnancy, and parenthood. Our mission today is to build on that legacy and create a space where all moms at every stage of the journey—hopeful, expecting, and new—come first. Where they feel seen, heard, and supported.
Whether you know you want to have kids or are still deciding; whether you are in the throes of trying to conceive or are thriving in your first pregnancy; whether you are navigating postpartum as a first-time parent or after your third kid, we are excited to join you on your wild ride.
Starting today, here’s a sneak peek of what you can find on Expectful:
Quick answers to your most pressing questions about pregnancy and breastfeeding, including can you take CBD or eat edibles during pregnancy? How about get your teeth whitened or give in to your craving for cookie dough? And if you’re breastfeeding, can you get back on the caffeine bandwagon or begin to use your retinol-based skincare again?
We have in-depth health and wellness articles to help guide you from your early days trying to conceive through the postpartum+ period. Did you know that, in addition to a prenatal vitamin, there are a few helpful supplements you can take before and during pregnancy? We have a guide to what those are and when you should consider taking each of them. “Geriatric pregnancy” is one of those terms that we would love to retire, and to that end we’ve researched all the ways that age does–and doesn’t–matter when it comes to fertility. The postpartum period can be both the best of times and the hardest of times. Whether you’re trying to figure out when and how to pump, if breastfeeding will work as birth control, or how to bathe your newborn, we have you covered.
We’ve called on leading experts to answer all of our pressing questions on things like what to be prepared for when it comes to going into labor and what lactation consultants wish you knew about breastfeeding.
We also have a library of meditations and mindfulness resources to help care for your mental health, whether you are trying to conceive, pregnant, postpartum, or navigating a loss. Mental health is one of the most overlooked but impactful aspects of this time, and 1 in 5 women will suffer from some type of disorder before, during, or after pregnancy. We hope to be part of the solution to this problem and to make your experience better.
We are excited for you to dive into everything we have to offer, but our dream for Expectful is so much bigger than that.
We are on a mission to become your go-to resource for everything you need to know—including those things you don’t know you need to know—from the minute you start having babies on the brain until your little one is out in the world and celebrating their first birthday. If you have a question, no matter how big or small, we want to have an answer for you. And we promise to tell it to you like your best friend would—always the truth, in all of its real and messy glory—but backed by the top medical research and expert sources.
In addition to helping you navigate your health and wellness during this time, we plan to explore all aspects of the fertility journey: relationships (with your partner, your friends & family, and yourself), lifestyle (from food and fitness tips to the ins and outs of travel while TTC and pregnant), the financial questions (we’re looking at you, fertility treatments), and the latest news and trends. We also want to share and uplift a rainbow of first-person experiences, like this one in which Yukie McGregor chronicles her home birth, because there is so much we can learn from each other’s stories.
Whether you are going about things the good ol’ fashioned way or blazing your own trail to motherhood, we are here to celebrate the wins big and small, hold your hand through the difficult times, and offer radical honesty, even when things get weird. (And let’s be honest, things can get really weird. Mucus plug–‘nough said.)
But most importantly, we want you to feel like you are a part of a community, the Expectful community. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past 2 million years, it’s that no one can go it alone, especially when it comes to becoming a mom.
We would love to hear from you! If you have a comment or story you want to share with us, or if there’s something you think we should be covering, please email email@example.com.