"Infertility crushed us. We each sought to find something to cling to during our own journeys. More answers, control and hope. Once we made it through the darkness we wanted to help others find tools they could use to navigate their own journey. Tools they could trust, because they were built on research and evidence. And so here we are. Right here with you."
For founders Lyndsey Clabby and Michelle Strong, infertility proved to be a stepping stone for something much bigger and meaningful; a support system they felt all families battling infertility needed along the journey.
1. For our readers, could you provide some background on how and why you started myMindBodyBaby? What was your motivation and the driving force behind it?
My co-founder, Michelle Strong, and I started myMindBodyBaby because we truly understand what it is like to struggle to get pregnant and not have trusted resources and support available to you. We each went through countless cycles at our respective fertility clinics, pursuing IUI, IVF, each experiencing miscarriage, before we were each able to conceive. We wanted to create a community where those struggling to conceive could find research-based answers to the fertility questions, and find practical guidance when going through fertility treatments.
We launched myMindBodyBaby in 2019. Our mission is to increase support and resources for those undergoing fertility treatments or trying to conceive on their own. My business partner Michelle is a registered nutritionist and was running her own business prior to our launch. I have a BMSc in Biochemistry and an MBA and I built my career in brand management in the CPG and healthcare space; I’ve also been a trained fitness instructor for the past 17 years. We left our previous positions and combined our passions and our expertise to build a community to deliver programs and tools to those trying to conceive.
2. What are the different tools and resources that myMindBodyBaby has to offer to the TTC community?
We have created the myMindBodyBaby Fertility Framework, with unique programs tailored to each type of cycle: trying on your own, for those diagnosed with PCOS, for those preparing for or undergoing IUI or IVF and for those pregnant after struggling to conceive. Each program provides nutritional guidance, a complete meal plan, exercise guidance, a video workout library and mental well being tools to support you – wherever you are on your fertility journey.
Our programs are available directly to patients online, and we also partner with fertility clinics to make our programs available. REIs and fertility nurses have told us that patients have a lot of questions on fertility lifestyle factors, but that they don’t have the time during appointments or expertise to provide functional guidance to each patient. Our programs are research-based trusted resources fertility clinics provide to their patients to help support their health and fertility, increasing their chances of conceiving.
3. Do you have any programs for gestational carriers or intended parents about to embark on a surrogacy journey in terms of mental health, managing stress levels and overall coping with the emotional challenges that come with decentralizing childbirth?
We have had a lot of interest from surrogacy and egg donation agencies looking to provide more support for their donors and intended parents. We have programs that can be made available to support all aspects of the path to parenthood.
4. You put a lot of emphasis on exercise and overall maintaining a healthy lifestyle being key contributors to positive fertility outcomes. Could you shed some light on that area? As in how can exercising support your reproductive health?
So, the research has shown that regular, moderate exercise (which is qualified as 150 minutes of exercise a week over at least three workouts a week, at an exertion level where you can speak in short sentences but are not be able to have a fullconversation), has been shown to support fertility and increase chances of pregnancy and live birth. Our programs provide day-by-day guidance on the best types of exercise at each stage of your ferility journey, with accompanying videos.
Nutrition also plays a critical role in support all aspects of fertility – from egg health to ovulation to implantation. Research has shown that certain dietary modifications increase chances of pregnancy, and our meal plans are built off of this research.
Mental health is also important. Finding ways to manage stress during a fertility journey not only improves quality of life, but has been correlated with higher success rates. Our programs provide specific tools, including meditations and visualizations, to help guide patients through their journey.
5. When did you launch myMindBodyBaby and what were some of the challenges you faced while starting out MMBB? And what did you learn from that experience?
We launched myMindBodyBaby in May of 2019. We have built myMindBodyBaby from the ground up. So things like website building, program delivery, e-commerce options – they were all new to us! So those were hurdles we had to get past. And of course, like every new business, we had to work to increase awareness and visibility.
We are very A-type organized people, and we have had A Plan from day one. While having a plan is great – we also had to get very used to our plans… well, not going according to plan! We have become even more nimble and adaptive, adding many new skills to our resumes over the years. I come from the pharmaceutical world – from big organizations where you have access to tons of resources and support. Being an entrepreneur and launching your own business requires you to be extremely flexible and nimble, and really ready to roll with whatever comes at you.
So yes, like every business, there are challenges that you encounter and you have to figure out how to tackle them without affecting the support process for this huge community we have amassed.
6. What do you ultimately want to achieve through this platform, and where do you see MMB in the next 5 years?
Well both Michelle and I struggled to get pregnant. It took us a long time each to get pregnant and we went through a number of fertility treatments ourselves and our mission is really to provide that support that we were looking for during our own treatments to as many people going down their own fertility journey as possible.
From an online perspective, our reach is global. Our community is made up of people from all around the world. We will continue to operate globally, reaching even more people trying to conceive and scaling our offerings to provide even richer support.
This morning I received an email from a member of our community letting us know she's now 3 months pregnant. She wanted to reach out to us to let us knowwhat an immense support myMindBodyBaby has been for her on her journey and that she could not have done it without us!
It's feedback like this that keeps us pushing us to expand our reach further, and that is definitely one of our main goals.
We also want to work towards increasing the breadth and depth of our support and resources. A fertility journey, as we know now, can take many different forms, and we will continue to develop our programs to expand the scope of support we provide to our community.