Back in August this year, we learnt of eight local startups that were chosen for Cyberview’s Living Lab Accelerator Programme.
Some of these startups included names like BeeBag (a rewards app), Mesolitica (a developer that trains AIs to understand Bahasa Melayu), and LekirTech (a services-oriented software house for businesses).
But there was one in particular that stood out to me. HappyPreggie primarily focuses on bridging the gap between expectant and new parents with services for maternal health and wellness.
Curious, I reached out to HappyPreggie’s founder, Yoong, to learn more about the brand and what they’re bringing to the local parenting industry.
“Still stuck in the 80s and 90s”
Speaking to Vulcan Post, Yoong felt that the maternal care system in Malaysia is still stuck in the 80s and 90s, with many gaps that need to be addressed.
To elaborate this, he shared that some time ago, an expectant couple, Adam and Joanne, reached out to the brand’s team for support. By week 30 of her pregnancy, Joanne was still facing health challenges like reflux and vomiting, and her weight had not increased as expected.
On top of that, their baby was slightly smaller than average in size. But their OB-GYN didn’t provide additional guidance, so the first-time parents were left to stress out and worry themselves.
But upon receiving support from HappyPreggie’s care team that’s led by a dietitian and mental health professionals, Joanne’s condition improved and the baby’s size became normal by week 35.
Yoong then explained that the main challenge in supporting the family-building community is the presence of 15 distinct stakeholders (at the time of the interview), such as healthcare providers, antenatal and parenting coaches, birthing experts, and mental support professionals.
“These stakeholders often operate independently, without collaboration,” he said. “We believe that the future of maternal care will be data-driven, much more precise, and personalised. To achieve that, a collective approach is imperative.”
As such, together with his co-founder Wilson Tan, the two fathers created HappyPreggie to act as a next-gen family health and wellness support system.
Adding more value to the local maternal industry
The platform offers digital access to holistic care throughout the family-building journey, from family planning to pregnancy and parenting. “We’re reshaping how parents access health and wellness professional services, and how providers deliver care services—making it simple, safe, and affordable.”
Whether you’re looking for parenting hacks, confinement centres after giving birth, or even postpartum emotional support, HappyPreggie is able to connect you with their partnering healthcare professionals and coaches.
Besides that, the brand has a dedicated team of experts who are available round the clock, as well as custom health plans for corporations. This is one way HappyPreggie extends its support to foster a more inclusive career field for women.
“In today’s workforce, there’s limited employer support beyond parental leave, leading many new mothers to consider leaving the workforce after giving birth,” he explained.
This is corroborated by Robert Hii from the Society for Equality, Respect and Trust for All Sabah (SERATA), who reportedly said earlier this year that the main reason women drop out of the workforce is the lack of support services.
With this in mind, HappyPreggie’s aim isn’t to replace the healthcare system, but rather complement it. And its primary focus is on filling the gaps between medical and non-medical support.
Blending cultural tradition with modern science
HappyPreggie has been in the industry for two and a half years now. And within this period, Yoong shared that they’ve gained valuable insights into market needs and have identified top-quality service providers.
This helps the brand in selecting healthcare service providers to collaborate with.
“We handpick our partners based on several key criteria. These include their credentials and qualifications, the number of years of experience they possess, the number of families they have served, and their reputation for providing excellent customer service,” he stated.
Yoong further explained that HappyPreggie continually monitors and re-evaluates the brand’s partners to ensure they maintain the quality and standards expected.
Interestingly, he also shared that all of its partners are mothers themselves who have served many other families. “This unique perspective allows them to better understand the needs and challenges faced by expectant and new parents.”
As for the growing trend in foregoing traditional pregnancy and parenting practices, such as pantang and confinement meals, Yoong clarified that modern parents still follow these practices. The difference is that now they’re seeking the help of certified professionals who adopt evidence-based approaches.
This is why users are still able to find these services available on HappyPreggie’s website as well.
Improving the local motherhood support system
All that said, the founder acknowledged that they’re not the first or only local online platform in the parenting industry. Brands like mothercare and motherhood.com.my are also in the market as well.
However, he stressed that while others excel in providing a wide array of maternal and baby products, HappyPreggie’s key focus is to address the health aspects.
“In Malaysia, we proudly hold the distinction of being the sole platform that offers digital access to end-to-end health and wellness professional services specifically tailored for the family-building community,” he stated.
And instead of competing with others in the field, the brand embraces partnerships with others to enhance the maternal community’s experience. In fact, Yoong proudly announced to us that they’ve launched the Confinement Business Networking Club (CBNC).
The goal of this club is to bring experts from different industries to better support businesses aiming to provide evidence-based and personalised care.
“We understand that motherhood can be isolating at times. [So] our platform acts as a constant companion, helping parents make informed decisions on their parenting journey.”
Although I’m not a parent myself, I have seen my stepmother struggle with a difficult pregnancy and rather challenging postpartum recovery. Much of it had to do with not being able to locate the right resources.
Knowing that there are platforms like HappyPreggie available to ease the journey of others brings some comfort to me. And with the brand gaining recognition from Cyberview, I would like to think that Malaysia is moving in the right direction to support expectant and new parents.
Featured Image Credit: HappyPreggie