Femtech health and wellness brand Elvie is shining a light on serious pregnancy and postpartum challenges as part of a report and campaign unveiled Tuesday morning.

The company issued a report conducted in partnership with mom-focused content startup Mother.ly to examine the contemporary maternal health market, including the most common challenges faced by mothers.

The report – aptly named the Motherload – found that new moms consider breastfeeding to be the most significant postpartum challenge, followed by untreated pelvic floor, lack of sleep as well as other mental health and physical health issues.

Respondents said they feel more prepared to use postpartum technology, but have had a hard time adjusting to life postpartum. 

The biggest misconception reported by new moms was thinking breastfeeding would be easier, with nearly as many mothers deciding to stop breastfeeding due to challenges related to the activity than for natural reasons.

Nearly four-in-five new moms said they experienced at least mild pelvic floor issues after giving birth, with less than one-third deeming the treatment they received for this condition to be satisfactory. 

The behavioral health issues were just troublesome, per the report.

More than three-quarters of respondents said they experienced at least mild mental complications after giving birth and 20% of that cohort said they have severe postpartum depression.

As with so many aspects of women’s health, there is a growing recognition of the longstanding, under-resourced nature of these conditions. However, despite the increased investment for treatment options, postpartum challenges remain among the most stigmatized health topics for patients.

That’s why Elvie’s chief marketing officer Aoife Zakaras-Nally told MM+M the company sees itself as responsible for empowering women and working to address these issues.

To that end, Elvie debuted a billboard in Times Square to bring greater attention to the issue at hand with provocative creative assets. 

The sign, which will be on display in Midtown Manhattan for the next few weeks, includes an animation highlighting a variety of underdiscussed words from women surveyed in the report, including “Baby Blues,” “Bleeding,” “Loneliness” and “Breastfeeding.”

Photo of Elvie billboard
Image used with permission.

The billboard, which was designed by Elvie’s in-house creative team, urges viewers to visit the Motherload landing page and download the “mama’s game plan,” which provides people with educational content about navigating postpartum challenges.

Zakaras-Nally acknowledged that Elvie seeks to bring attention to health issues facing its target audience of patients in disruptive ways, but clarified that this billboard isn’t controversy for the sake of controversy.

“We want to elevate the challenges that our healthcare systems and our communities continue to strive through for better moms,” she said. “Secondly, we all want to ensure moms are actually educated on what tools and support systems are available to them at this present time.”

In addition to the report and the billboard, Elvie’s campaign will have visual elements and digital marketing content posted on Instagram and Facebook as well as a paid content partnership with Mother.ly and integrations on the brand’s Skin Like a Rhino podcast.

She said that the company sees value in having this campaign be as close to 360 as possible, noting that activations in women’s media can have a galvanizing effect and influence more moms to engage with the brand.

While Elvie is eager to stir up discussions around postpartum health, Zakaras-Nally noted that the campaign is still scratching the surface, adding that one brand alone is not going to be able to change everything related to women’s health.

“However, what we’re quite proud of is that we’re one of the original femtech brands and we are seeing more and more startups in this space,” she said. “The more people fighting the fight, the more likely that we’re going to have things changed.”

For a May 2024 article about the Merck for Mothers campaign, click here.