BellyButtonBoutique owner, Karla Trotman was very inspired by mompreneur Mary Oscategui. Not only is she a fitness expert and a mother, but she has established an international organization that sets the standard for how to plan for baby’s arrival. Mary dismisses the notion that baby planners are only for the rich. Instead, she offers insight on the business and how new and expectant moms are using baby planners to support and transition into motherhood.
1. What is a Baby Planner?
A baby planner is an objective and supportive educator, who determines the types of services and products that are essential throughout their client’s journey toward parenthood. A baby planner customizes their services to suit their client’s specific needs, and is committed to empowering their client’s by showing them all their many options during pre-conception, pregnancy and beyond. This includes the various options for birthing, co-sleeping, health, fitness, nutrition, going-green, safety, budgeting, product navigation, baby shower preparation, baby registries, and much more.
2. Is this a new concept? How did it start?
Although the origins of baby planning can be traced to a few different sources, “Baby Planner” as a profession was first formally established and recognized in the media in September 2006, when a woman by the name of Keely Paice launched her business in the United Kingdom. They advise on all aspects of pregnancy.
3. How did you get into area of expertise?
It was during my pregnancy with my daughter ‘Bella Luna’ that I first discovered the importance of having a strong support system. I had always been very independent, yet when I suddenly found myself pregnant and living on the West Coast far away from my family, I suddenly realized that I was going to need to find a network of support as soon possible. There were so many services, products, and decisions to ponder. I was exhausted by the amount of energy and time spent researching all the information on pregnancy. I knew that I needed to reach out for additional support to navigate me through the process. I was blessed to come across an amazing mid-wife named Mary Jackson, who helped me find the support and guidance I needed. Through her close network of friends and practitioners I had full-time support and guidance throughout my beautiful and challenging journey into motherhood.
The entire experience stirred up in me a passion to help and support expecting moms throughout their pregnancy. I realized I had found my calling. A few months after Bella was born, I committed myself to becoming a “baby planner” extraordinaire. Prior to this I had been in the health and fitness industry for more than fifteen years as a Fitness and Group Exercise Manager. In addition I hold extensive certifications as a Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Wellness Coach, Yoga, and Pilates Instructor. Since I already had extensive training in consulting, business, management, and as a health practitioner, I saw the perfect way to combine this with my passion for motherhood.
4. What types of services are available with a Baby Planner?
We offer in-home consults. We educate and coach expecting moms on everything from birthing options and breastfeeding to maternity health to “going green” and postpartum depression. Because of my fitness expertise, I can offer pre-and post-natal personal training and yoga. Other baby planners who have additional areas of expertise can do the same. We can recommend nutritionists, lactation consultants, sleep consultants, baby proofers, child care agencies and clinical psychologists, etc….
“A baby planner does not diagnose, treat, examine or medically advise their clients. Unless a baby planner holds an additional license or certification in a specific area of practice, a baby planner does not prescribe or attempt to perform for a client additional services that require advanced training.” (As stated in the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals Standard of Practice).
5. Do you have to be rich to have a Baby Planner?
Absolutely not. A baby planner can be just as affordable as a personal trainer, life coach, lactation consultant, massage therapist etc….
6. Why did you start the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals?
Our philosophy as a baby planner is a great deal different from the philosophy of other baby planners in the mainstream market. The main stream definition of a baby planner is, “a professional consultant who is paid to assist expectant parents with some or all of the overwhelming tasks of preparing for their baby’s (or babies’) arrival such as researching baby products like strollers and cribs, nursery planning, home baby proofing, baby shower/baby registry planning, interviewing nannies and midwives, and even shopping for maternity clothes.” The cornerstone of these baby planning businesses is baby gear consulting. I found myself passionate about offering another approach.
The main stream definition lacks highlighting the most important part of pregnancy which is offering services providing education to raise awareness of a woman’s birthing options, co-sleeping choices and so on. I had a strong desire to provide a different perspective of the role of a baby planner. This passion led me to form The International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals (IABPP) in September 2009. The IABPP inspires, supports, and educates baby planners through creative and effective professionalism, business management, strong leadership, sales, and communication in order to provide their clients with exceptional service. The IABPP provides a baby planner certification program and advanced credentials to baby planner professionals.
7. What should one look for when they are looking for a Baby Planner?
They should look for someone who is educated, objective, supportive, and experienced. They should also look for someone who has interned with a baby planner or went through a form of education, like a certification program. Additional skills should include: a great listener, well-organized, excellent customer service, and empathetic.
8. What is the most unusual request that you have received from a client?
9. Have you ever had a request that you could not fulfill?
As of yet, no. I work with a team of experts who I refer my clients to, when my client’s needs go beyond my own scope of practice.
10. How does one get the most use out of a Baby Planner?
By sharing their concerns and needs, no matter how small or large. A baby planner offers support and guidance in the most objective manner.
Mary Oscategui, Founder of The Baby Planner and The International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals, has a determination and love for empowering women “The Baby Planner: A Guide to Becoming a Baby Planner and Starting Your Own Business,” which offers a new perspective on what it means to be a baby planner, and provides those interested in a baby planning career with all the tools and support necessary to get started in the new industry of baby planning.
Mary has advised baby planner start-ups businesses offering a wealth of knowledge and support. She has also coached and trained a variety of clients throughout her fifteen year career through the modalities of yoga, pilates, mom and baby health, holistic nutrition, and weight management.
She is a very passionate baby planner, single mom, mom-preneur, certified Yoga and Pilates Instructor,certified Personal Trainer, a Health and Fitness Specialist, Living Foods expert, a Home Birth Mama, and a Going-Green expert. She’s inspirational, motivating, and enjoys matching her clients with the best of everything. She is fluent in
Spanish and has a two year old daughter named Bella Luna.
Mary Oscategui, The Baby Planner http://www.thebabyplanner.com
The International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals http://www.iabpp.com
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