• Fri, Jul 15 2011

WTF Is A ‘Maternity Concierge’?

Maybe I’m tardy to the party here, but apparently there are people out there who are selling themselves as “maternity concierges,” there to help women get through the many modern concerns of being pregnant.

I first heard about the concept from the TV show “Pregnant in Heels,” which stars one such concierge named Rosie Pope. According to her bio on Bravo:

“London-born entrepreneur Rosie Pope is the creator and designer of the renowned fashion line, Rosie Pope Maternity. She is also the creator and teacher of MomPrep, which helps expecting and new moms figure out solutions to the challenges of motherhood. From how to find the best nanny, to selecting the right fitness class and everything in between, Pope’s maternity concierge service has helped countless women when they needed it the most.”

So….she’s a totally unqualified woman, who is a smart salesperson, and has read more books on pregnancy than her clients. In other words, she’s highly compensated to do people’s homework for them.

So other than being rich and looking for ways to relieve yourself of your money, why would you hire someone like this? Do you really need one more person in your corner in order to push out a kid? And do you really need someone to help you select a fitness class? Really? Because if so, I will do it, and you can pay me $500 an hour for the honor.

More than that, most women already have a medical professional helping them navigate the treacherous terrain of giving birth. Some have a doula and a midwife as well. Some also have a partner. Most have friends and families, plus access to bookstores or libraries, which contain entire stacks devoted to every question you could ever think of to ask about pregnancy.

And most of all, every pregnant woman has herself.

And I think that’s what bothers me about this maternity concierge concept. The more hired help you throw into the mix of pregnancy, the more implication there is that women can’t handle it on their own. For instance, on one episode of “Pregnant in Heels,” Pope helps a couple pick out a name for their kid — by bringing in a panel of experts, including a poet, branding expert, magazine writer and a linguist.

In other words, if the name didn’t work out, it was everyone’s fault but the parents.

Anyway, I get that these shows are there for entertainment, and I certainly don’t mean to add fuel to the sanctimommy fire, which in no way needs my help to continue to burn. But this isn’t so much about mommies as it is about people of any gender refusing to rely on themselves for the running of their own lives…and the media (curse you, the media!) that continues to encourage such behavior.

It’s also about the fact that maternity concierges are, as far as I can tell, a total scam.

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  • Jaclyn

    Its funny…when I read “maternity concierge” the only thought that went through my mind was “damn, it would have been nice to have someone to go to the store and get me ice cream when my husband wasn’t home”. But picking out names and fitness classes? Fuck that. If I could have afforded to pay someone to make it possible for me to literally sit on my ass for my entire third trimester, I’d have been all over that. But you can sit on your ass and google “baby names” without the help of a linguist.

  • davechen

    Is that anything like the Franck character in Father of the Bride 2?

  • Lindsey

    This just sounds like a high-priced doula.

  • Karla

    This article was HILARIOUS! I felt guilty laughing because I do have friends that are maternity concierges. Believe it or not, there is a market out there for this service. These ladies aren’t as over the top as Rosie Pope’s clients. They are just working moms who don’t have the time to register because their jobs are so demanding. Other moms are nervous about child-proofing and want an expert to come in and make sure that the baby will be safe. Granted, you can do all of these things yourself, if you have the time.
    Thanks for the laugh!

  • Transfixus

    I’m a retired man, looking for something to do that will bring in a few extra bucks, and maybe give a little back. My life has been blessed and it seems only right that I try to help other folks. I’m wondering if a woman would hire a man as a maternity concierge? I am older, but in good health, so I could do some of the things that a pregnant woman might not want to do, and run errands, and just be her “boy Friday” for a while.

  • anne

    Not a scam but it helps busy working mothers…Show a bit of tolerance !!!

  • Shut it

    You obviously don’t have kids. Rosie Pope is quite ridiculous, but so is everyone else on un-reality TV shows. As a working mom of three kids, it would be great to know that there are people out there willing to help make decisions and offer advice without judgement. I would have killed to discretely pay someone just sit with my kids for 1 hour so I could sit on the toilet and run to the store.