MISSION + VALUES
We exist to inspire and connect a community of women to rethink and reimagine what parenting, entrepreneurship, work, and motherhood looks like.
MISSION: Tell the stories of women and their journeys across pregnancy, parenting, entrepreneurship, and leadership, with a focus on how they’ve transformed (themselves, their work, their beliefs) as part of the process.
VISION: Build a thriving media company that connects an incredible number of women, parents, and entrepreneurs together to help them realize, grow, rethink, and build the next iterations of what work and parenting can look like.
The following are the first ten core values of Startup Pregnant.
1 — We speak first using the words ‘in my experience’.
Our favorite three words are “in my experience.” There are multiple stories of what it looks like to be a parent and to be an entrepreneur, and there isn’t one size that fits everyone. The first principle or philosophy that guides us is knowing that there are multiple experiences, perspectives, and choices that we each make for ourselves along the way. Listen to the episode.
2 — There is deep power in community and collaboration.
We aren’t born to live alone, and we’re not meant to parent alone, either. We are a social and communal species. For us, this translates across our startup, business, parenting, and pregnancy lives — and how we build and embrace communities of support across all of these experiences. We need teams, we need diverse communities, and especially at the beginning of adventures in entrepreneurship and parenting, we need lots and lots of support. There’s an outsized burden on parents, and mothers, to try to do it all or somehow be everything to everyone. It’s an impossible goal, and something that sets us up for failure. Listen to the episode.
3 — Work-life balance is a myth. There is fit and there is tension.
The strive towards some sort of perfect work/life balance is a myth and a fruitless exercise. Life is always changing, and our goals—many of them—are often in tension with each other. That tension often creates interesting results; for example, many women have shared that they adore their businesses and work lives, and their families have created a hard edge and new set of boundaries in how they approach work. Instead of some idealized “balance,” we strive to find the right fit for us as individuals, in this moment, in this season. Listen to the episode.
4 — Life is not all hard labor.
Life is not all hard labor, and it’s not an all-out hustle sprint. In pregnancy, there are distinct phases and changes, with deep periods of fatigue, moments of sickness, periods of high energy and excitement, and everything in between. Listen to the episode.
5 — Plans are important. And things rarely go according to plan.
A wise doula told me that in preparing for birth, she encourages women to consider the range of birth experiences and possibilities. In this way, designating “preferences” instead of a “plan,” we would be able to plan for something that was, effectively, un-plan-able. Babies are the ultimate plan-changers! Inviting a human into your life is inviting chaos in. They have their own ideas and what happens is often different than what we planned or expected. Listen to the episode.
6 — What ‘work’ looks like today is broken.
The current version of work—the idea that we work in offices, that we work from 9 to 5, that we’re continuously productive throughout the day, at equal measures—there is overwhelming evidence that this isn’t true. Research shows that we aren’t effective in an 8-hour workday. Work is especially broken for women. And when we layer in parenting, and we try to make all of it fit together, within the paradigm that currently exists, well, what we see is that across the board, it doesn’t fully work. Listen to the episode.
7 — You don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done.
You don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done. And startups are one of the best places to imagine new futures. It’s okay to break things, to rebuild things, and to do things differently than the way that they’ve always been done. Startups and Pregnancy have a lot in common because they are both creators of new things—ideas, businesses, structures, life—and to do so, they harness a huge range of power. Listen to the episode.
8 — Feelings matter.
Here at Startup Pregnant, we believe in the call for a greater emotional dexterity. We believe that it’s important for each of us to experience our emotions. Not just experience them, but feel them, name them, and work with the entire range of emotions that we’re given. To us, this means that you’re allowed to be your whole self. All of you is welcome here. Listen to the episode.
9 — Most of us have a sixth gear we don’t know about.
Most of us have a sixth gear we don’t know about. We’re all capable of far more than we can imagine. At Startup Pregnant, we believe in the power of human potential, both individual and collective. Parenting often teaches us that we have a previously-unknown-to-us “fifth gear,” and then when faced with a challenge, maybe even a sixth gear we can tap into. Listen to the episode.
10 — Culture change starts with stories.
Stories are the first part of culture change. In order to create a new future, part of the process is unearthing all of the stories of what’s happened, and what’s happening. So much of the stories of motherhood and parenting are hidden or silenced, not public. To change the narrative of motherhood, we need to start by first telling the stories of what motherhood looks like, from a place of truth, honesty, and compassion. Listen to the episode.
11 — Live and learn out loud.
12 — Ship it.
We shipped the first version of our core values with ten tenants. In the process, we learned a bit more about what we stood for, and added two more. Including “Ship it,” the idea that you won’t learn until you make. Listen to the episode.
“In life and in business values are important. They keep us accountable and let others know what we stand for and who we stand with. Without values, there is no way to gauge who or what is in alignment with us and who or what is not.” — Toi Smith
A purpose is why you exist. A mission is what you’re going for and how you’re going to do it. A vision is where you want to go. and your core values are the operating philosophies or principles that guide an organization’s decisions, behaviors, and relationships.
MOST POPULAR POSTS
Our latest + most popular posts across entrepreneurship, business-building, pregnancy, and parenting.
Data Driven Parenting: An Economist on Breastfeeding, Sleep Training, and Vaccinations — Episode #111 With Emily Oster
After disrupting the fear-based pregnancy advice space with her first book “Expecting Better”, Economist Emily Oster is back, applying her data-driven decision making to parenting with her second book, “Cribsheet”. Many of her conclusions will surprise you: like who is the biggest beneficiary of breast-feeding, who is correct in the sleep train or not debate, and how to understand the full body of research around vaccinations. If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate Oster’s warmth and candor about her own parenting experiences and you’ll leave this interview feeling informed, empowered, and confident in your own parenting choices.
Redefining Motherhood: Matrescence and Debunking the Myth of the Perfect Mother — Episode #110 With Dr. Alexandra Sacks
In our culture, mothers are divided into two camps: the “Perfect Mothers” and the “Bad Moms.” This false dichotomy robs women of a shared language to speak about motherhood as it really is: an expansive, grey emotional zone of swirling, conflicting feelings. Dr. Alexandra Sacks guides us a through a new way of looking at motherhood through the lens of “matresence” — or the natural psychological experience that is the identity transition into motherhood.
Postpartum Recovery: Healing, Being a New Mom, and Nutritional Health — Episode #059 With Lily Nichols
We place a lot of emphasis on planning for the perfect birth and making sure that our bodies are healthy during pregnancy. But what do we need to recover after the baby arrives? Lily Nichols shares her postpartum journey, discussing her extreme caution around physical exertion and the nutrients new moms need to heal damaged tissue and meet the energy demands of breastfeeding.
“Two-career couples have the assumption going into having a family, ‘Of course this is equal co-parenting. It’s 2019. What else would we do?’ But it so rarely plays out that way.” Despite the hope for equal partnership, it’s often mothers who are still doing the lion’s share of the unpaid, invisible labor of managing children and the home. Why is this?
If You Work Hard Enough You Can Do Anything, Except Get Pregnant: A Journey Through Infertility — Episode #118 With Lucy Knisley
Her whole life, Lucy Knisley wanted to be a mother, but when it was finally the perfect time for conceiving, it turned out to be harder than anything she’d ever attempted. Fertility problems were followed by miscarriages and her eventual successful pregnancy was plagued by health issues and led to a dramatic near-death experience during labor and delivery. She chronicled this experience and more in the book that she recently wrote called “Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos.” The book is funny and terrifying and informative and useful and real and raw, just like our conversation with Lucy today.
The Myths of Miscarriage, The Lean In Fallacy, and Mothers’ Rage — Episode #115 With Katherine Goldstein
What happens when you find out that you are pregnant as you are trying to launch a podcast about how mothers experience bias and discrimination in the workplace? Why do we force women to wrap their miscarriage and fertility traumas into a bow—“But now I have a baby, so it’s all okay”—to make it palatable to the public? Why should you look around for mothers in a workplace before accepting a new job? Award-winning journalist and podcast creator Katherine Goldstein goes deep with us on so many of the most pressing topics for working mothers and holds nothing back. Between her research, the data, her own experience, and her reported experience of hundreds of moms, Katherine is a wealth of knowledge and a truth bomb dropper. She is waging war against cultural forces holding mothers back from being their fullest, most ambitious, most rage-filled selves and we are so grateful to have her on the podcast today.
This time of life—fertility, pregnancy, parenting, all while starting and growing your business at the same time—is madness. Plain and simple. It's nutty, it's hard, it's outrageous, it's tear-inducing, it's fantastic, and you might want to rip your hair out. This website is for you, in these moments of sanity-insanity. We want to support you, and if there's something we can do to help you make the next day, week, month, or year a little better, that's our goal.
If you're navigating this madness alongside us, know that there are thousands of other entrepreneurs out there, building a little bit each day, trying to succeed despite the odds. Take a look through our resources and grab what's most useful for you. If you'd like to see something that's not yet listed here, reach out and send us an email—who knows, maybe we can build it together. Because we're like that, right? Always building what needs to be built in the world.
Our weekly newsletter is filled with stories, wisdom, and resources for working parents. If you're a female founder, a business owner, or simply someone working through your own growth as a parent and at a job, we're the newsletter that has your back.
We've interviewed hundreds of female founders and women entrepreneurs about their journeys to building businesses, getting pregnant, pivoting, dealing with the unexpected, and the transformation that can come alongside any of these life adventures. Listen to our podcast on any player or browse through our curated library to listen to episodes by topic.
ASK SARAH: PRIVATE Q/A SESSIONS
For those of you that have blitzed through the podcast and want to go deeper (or even get feedback on your ideas and challenges), Sarah hosts a private monthly Q/A series through her Patreon page. Become a backer at the $7/month level and listen to all past episodes—you can add the private podcast link to any player and listen just like a regular show. Want her to look at your project or parenting pickle? Submit your questions in advance and she'll answer as many as she can each month.
A series of mini-books for working parents, soon-to-be-parents, and people thinking about navigating the pregnancy journey. These books are short and sweet—between 10,000 and 20,000 words each—and meant to be read easily in the midst of your already-busy life. Our first in the series are now available.
After hundreds of books (and thousands of hours reading), we've curated our favorite reads on pregnancy, postpartum, parenting, business, and feminism—check a look at our hand-picked reading lists and find your next favorite book.
We're a 500-person strong group of female founders and entrepreneurs, as well as freelancers, side hustlers, leaders, corporate builders, managers, and even academics all gathering in one place to talk about what it takes to make working parenting, well, WORK in today's world.
We're gathering together in real time, with other women entrepreneurs, away from our kiddos and businesses (well, to the extent that we can—we'll have options to bring your family and/or work along if you want to!). We're going to have each others' backs, and a weekend away is just the thing to regain your sanity, clarity, and sense of self.
THE WISE WOMEN'S COUNCIL
A nine-month community group for women in business, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Every year we open the doors for people to join us in an intimate learning space for women at the intersection of business and family. If you'd like to learn more or apply to join, we open applications in January, and the program begins in March.
WORK TOGETHER 1:1
If you'd like to work together more directly, I've worked as a consultant for startups and businesses helping you with your strategic plan, marketing and communications, positioning, and growth. I can also help you put a plan into place for your maternity leave, helping your run your business smoothly. If you're looking for a coach, get on the waitlist or I can recommend some fantastic partners.