Founder story

Why do moms come last when they should come first? How momunity was born...

By Melissa Bowley 2/18/2020


So where do I even begin? Looking back at these pictures of both of my births and my postpartum journey brings a wave of emotion from immense gratitude for my healthy boys and the support system I had around me, to the utter panic I felt when I thought “I cannot do this” multiple times during birth and sooo many times during the first year after both boys were born. If I’m completely honest - I still feel this way sometimes.

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          When we found out we were pregnant with Conrad, I instantly took to pubmed, google, apps to research everything I could. We took childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn classes and I did yoga to connect with and prepare my body for birth which were all wonderful. Being prepared, hiring a birth doula, the amazing nursing staff and my supportive husband ultimately led me to have the natural birth I wanted. However none of this prepared us for what was going to happen to ME after birth.

          Everyone focuses on the wellbeing of the baby but I had just been through the ringer. It seemed like everything was raw and bleeding. I did not know I would still look pregnant, I was an emotional wreck and had no idea how to care for this new beautiful baby that we brought home. We don’t have family nearby so most of the time we were on our own. Even with having an extremely supportive husband, it was overwhelming. There were fights and sleep deprivation, and as a mom you tend to put your own health last. I also felt like the medical world put my health last once the baby was born. Luckily, I found a nearby breastfeeding support group and this was what saved me. Other new moms were sharing their stories, challenges, and resources that helped them through all the ups and downs. I’m still friends with many of these moms today. But what about the moms who weren’t at this group? What about the nearby military moms who were in a new community with no family or partner nearby? What about the people who don't know about doulas or can't find the support they need? That got my wheels turning.

          Then came part II. In 2016 I found out I was pregnant again. Pregnancy was a bit harder the second time around for me. During the birth I once again had my doula by my side as my advocate and had a great birth experience. But there is this weird assumption that comes with being a second time mom like “you know what you are doing”. False! While I knew how important self care was and how to care for the baby, I pushed myself to “bounce back” so I could be there for my 3 year old. This resulted in a severe postpartum hemorrhage. I also had the baby blues and I was peeing with most activity. My OBs response was “what do you expect after having two?”. I went back to the same support groups where I learned about pelvic floor PT and other amazing resources. Every mom I spoke with struggled physically or emotionally and few knew where to seek help. That’s when I decided THERE HAD TO BE A BETTER WAY! I started investigating maternal health and found two fascinating things:

  1. Other countries care for moms first, like Nordic and European countries and have far better outcomes.
  2. There were in fact incredible resources in every community but there was little to no awareness and no way of connecting them all.

          So in the end, this is how momunity was born and we launched in 2018. I call it my third baby (until my husband convinces me to have another one 😉). I wanted to create a health platform where mom’s wellness is the top priority. New and expecting moms are empowered through education and can easily find and book care in their local communities. We’ve met so many amazing providers and learned so much over the past two years. Our mission is for EVERY and ALL moms to access wellness and care they deserve! We will be launching a new offering in mid 2020 so stay tuned.

You can sign up to create an account at www.momunity.co and to stay up to date on what we have going on at momunity, subscribe to our newsletter.

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Melissa Bowley

Melissa Bowley is the founder and CEO of momunity. She resides in Newport, Rhode Island with her husband and their two sons. She is on a mission to make moms the top priority and spread awareness of available wellness and support for expecting and new moms.

Thank you for sharing!! Motherhood is hard and nobody told us. And thank you for starting such a wonderful and supportive organization for women!!
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Turning your struggles and tribulations into an empowering mission is such a gift you’ve given us! Community and support is everything- we each deserve to feel our best no matter what stage of life we’re in ❤️ Janelle
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This is so awesome Melissa! I’m so proud of you and just love your family! Patty Carbone
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