One of the most difficult tasks for new mothers is undoubtedly feeding the baby. There are so many decisions to make, and you never know if you’re making the right ones. Since so many parents believe they are not receiving adequate support throughout this process, our guest for today decided it was her responsibility to facilitate this journey for them. Her name is Andrea Ippolito, and she is the founder and the CEO of SimpliFed.
Andrea is a warm and contagiously positive person who decided to devote her career to guiding pregnant and postpartum women through the journey of feeding their newborns. She founded SimpliFed as a result of her own experience with inadequate healthcare solutions. Andrea is here today to share her story about a recent multimillion-dollar success, to provide information on breastfeeding, and to swarm us with her positivity, humility and kindness. So, take a seat and enjoy the show!
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- Meet Andrea Ippolito, a true hero in the field of mothers struggling to feed their babies.
- From engineering to baby feeding: How Andrea overcame all the obstacles and founded SimpliFed.
- Most parents both breastfeed and use formula, and this is very important as most people see them as two separate things.
- How Andrea’s background in navigating bureaucracy helped in understanding the red-tape aspect of the story.
- Dr. Dweck is curious about how this platform handles the lack of hands-on approach that breastfeeding women usually require.
- Lactation consultants are pretty scarce in rural areas and women frequently don’t have access to their services.
- Rachel’s questions are spot on: how does the money flow and how is the company developing?
- Per Aspira Ad Astra: SimpliFed closed their $6 million seed round in May.
- Andrea claims that the company’s most important mission is to democratize access to care for all pregnant and postpartum families.
- Dr. Dweck wants to know how SimpliFed supports those who choose formula over breastfeeding, and how the company navigated the recent baby formula scandal.
- Andrea’s personal experience as a mother of two, as Rachel correctly predicts, had a significant influence on her business ideas.
- SimpliFed does not discriminate against parents’ preferences and offers plans for all parents, whether they opt for breastfeeding, formula, pumps, or combo feeding.
- Astounded by SimpliFed’s success, Rachel asks: how did the company raise such a generous amount of money?
- Andrea reveals that this journey has been anything but simple or casual, and that she had to roll up her sleeves and dig in.
- Relationships are essential: It’s vital to join as many networks as possible and maintain contact with everyone you might need later in life.
- But how did she manage to catch these people’s attention? Andrea attributes this to a complex combination of many factors, including the sheer size of the women’s health market.
- Andrea ends the discussion on a fiery note: breastfeeding is not a niche; it serves all people born in the US, as well as their parents!
- HOT FLASH: According to CDC, the percentage of babies breastfeeding at six months increased from 35% in the year 2000 to 49% in the year 2010.
“Most parents both breastfeed and use formula. 85% of women start off breastfeeding and most at some point transition to formula.” (Andrea)
“What I learned is that so many women seem to need that hands-on approach, e.g. this is the way you place your breast, this is the type of pillow hold you should use, etc.” (Dr. Dweck)
“The way we see ourselves is we are complimenting [the in-person care delivery] and improving access to care.” (Andrea)
“As we are contracting with health plans, we commonly hear things like ‘There is one lactation consultant in network for 350,000 members’.” (Andrea)
“Going live with TRICARE was particularly powerful for me just because there is no better patient population to serve than military families and veterans.” (Andrea)
“Oftentimes we hear people describe their journey and it doesn’t seem quite as linear as yours.” (Rachel)
“Something I’ve come across in practice and I don’t have an answer to are some of the judgements placed on people who choose not to nurse, and I don’t mean because they have a medical issue that makes it impossible.” (Dr. Dweck)
“We do a lot of listening upfront, starting during pregnancy but also, of course, postpartum, to understand what [the parents’] goals are and what their needs are. And then, based on their goals, we work to design a plan that works for them.” (Andrea)
“You said something early on in the conversation very casually, that you just closed $6 million in funding. I know that you don’t pull something like that out of a magic hat, and you said it very casually, but I know that it wasn’t a casual effort.” (Rachel)
“It is so important to embed yourself in networks as much as possible and look out for people that maybe don’t have as thoughtful networks or as rich networks as you do.” (Andrea)
“Getting those kinds of numbers and having 6 firms with term sheets are among the best stats that I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been doing this a long time.” (Rachel)
“When you look in the market size, a lot of times people will refer to us as a niche. We are serving all people born in the US and we’re serving their parents, so stop referring to women’s health as anything as niche because we are half the population and our economic force is powerful as heck.” (Andrea)
LINKS FOR BUSINE$$ OF THE V:
Dr. Alyssa Dweck: https://drdweck.com
Rachel Braun Scherl: www.sparksolutionsforgrowth.com/about-rachel-braun-scherl/