Feeding babies can take many different forms and is also an area that parents may feel less supported in as they tackle this new milestone in their life.
Enter SimpliFed, an Ithaca, New York-based company that provides virtual lactation and a platform to assist with baby feeding. The startup announced on Friday that it had raised $ 500,000 in pre-seed funding led by Third Culture Capital.
The idea for SimpliFed came from CEO Andrea Ippolito, biomedical engineer and mother of two young children, three years ago. She had problems breastfeeding after having her first child, and realizing that she was not alone in this area, she set out to find a way to make infant feeding information and assistance available to everyone procure.
“Once released, the rubber does the job for us,” she told TechCrunch. “This is a huge pain point for Medicaid, and it’s not just about improving access, it’s about continued support with nutrition and the health insurance quagmire. We want to help mothers achieve their infant nutrition goals, regardless of how they eat, and find out what the diet is like for them. “
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mothers breastfeed for up to six months. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 60% of mothers do not breastfeed for as long as they wanted, for reasons such as difficulty breastfeeding or creating the baby, illness, or an unsupportive work environment.
SimpliFed’s platform is a judgment-free zone that provides evidence-based information on the nutritional health of babies. It is not intended to replace the typical care that the mother and baby receive before and after the birth, but rather to provide support when problems arise, Ippolito said. Parents can book a free, 15-minute virtual initial consultation with a lactation expert, followed by 60-minute sessions for $ 100 each. There is also a future membership option for those who want ongoing mentoring.
The new funds will be used to hire additional employees to further develop the telelactation platform and increase the company’s presence, Ippolito said. The platform is preparing for a clinical study to design the program together with 1,000 mothers. She also wants to build relationships with payers and health care providers to achieve a longer term goal of being connected to the network and being paid for through reimbursements from health insurers.
Julien Pham, managing partner at Third Culture Capital, said he met Ippolito a decade ago at MIT Hacking Medicine. As a trained doctor, he saw firsthand the chance of demystifying the best nutrition for babies.
“US culture has evolved over the years and millennials are the next generation mothers who have different questions and SimpliFed is here at the right time,” said Pham. “Andrea is just a dynamo. We love her energy and how she is at the forefront as a mother herself – she is best qualified for it and we support her.