7 lessons from Mamamoon app’s start-up journey

Because every woman deserves to feel like a superhero after giving birth


The Mamamoon app, an interactive birth & postpartum preparation coach, is a behavioral change program guiding expecting parents toward smoother birth. Think: ‘Duolingo for birth preparation’.

Below is a story of how we brought the Mamamoon app from an idea in PowerPoint slides to an actual product with no investment, but instead with our time, expertise, dedication, and creativity to bring people together.

Being grateful for where we are, and for being able to share the lessons we’ve gained till now.


1. Look for solutions rather than focusing on what you miss or what doesn’t work

I joined the Antler cohort in Amsterdam last summer. I will never forget the feeling when stepping into the room: 90% were men, and everyone was so young!

It got ‘better’ when they started sharing the ideas that they came to the cohort with: blockchain, crypto, artificial intelligence. I didn’t even know what crypto is.

I came back home asking myself ‘What the hell am I doing here?’.

Me: Kasia. From Poland. A mother of two young kids. Motivated to make a difference in the space of pregnancy, giving birth, postpartum, and parenting. How am I supposed to find a co-founder here?

But I didn’t give up.

I went back the next day, involved in discussions, listening, observing, and in parallel looking for a co-founder outside of the Antler cohort.

Within a week I found a co-founder and got her in. We managed to convince the Antler team that we were good together and they bought into our idea: an interactive birth & postpartum preparation coach.


2. Focus on the feedback you receive that brings value to your product/team

It was a proper ‘pressure cooker’. Every week we would pitch in front of investors, and you either go through to the next week, or you don’t.

We were one of the 5 final teams that made it to the end. The only female founders.

It wasn’t easy though. Especially when you get questions in the reviews such as: ‘What have you done over the last week?’

‘Well, I flew from Amsterdam to Poland, took care of my kids, drove back to Amsterdam after the summer break, and in the meantime, I worked through the new UI for the app, GTM, found a new partnership for us, and updated the pitch deck for today’.

My Co-founder had a 12-week-old baby at home with no babysitter or daycare. What did she do while working on the startup? A lot!
So yeah, it didn’t always feel good.

But you know, after those questions, the really good feedback came. Focusing on the product, features, tips on how we can improve, which partnerships we can pursue, and opening contacts to start discussions with fellow founders and learn from them.
Once you separate those two: your personal involvement and the product, you take what you need, ignore what’s not adding value, and move forward.

3. Don’t give up when you know your product works

I lost my Co-founder short before the final review with the Investment Committee. With a newborn at home, it was too much, and I must admit she was right. I didn’t like it, but it was a good decision for her and her family.I didn’t stop building the product though, as I knew it worked.

During this whole period with Antler and beyond, I haven’t stopped working closely with parents-to-be. Every other day I would get, and am still getting, messages on WhatsApp with beautiful baby pictures, saying thank you for the help, for tips, and sharing their stories that may have not always been easy, yet they felt in control, stronger, ready to what was waiting ahead. Proving that birth & postpartum preparation does make a difference.

So I didn’t give up. Opposite in fact.

We pivoted and focused on the behavioral change aspect of the solution, getting great results from UX tests.

We switched from B2C to B2B2C after talks with two large companies in NL. They loved the solution as it would perfectly fit into their Employee Benefits offerings. It turns out those two were not the exception.

We tested the program manually, which took time, yet it helped us to fine-tune the focus areas of our expectant parents and test their willingness to buy products and services recommended in the program. The feedback was stunning, plus we got many sales from links hidden in the content. They wanted more!

I went back to Antler with a new product, that was tested and proven by about 70 pregnant mamas, and with a serious lead on a B2B contract. They loved it, but there was one question still: ‘What about your co-founder? You know, if you fall under the bus tomorrow, what happens with our money?’

I ignored the comment about the bus (lesson #2 above), and got into the serious search for the co-founder.

4. Your network is gold

I made a post that a friend posted in a few start-up groups. In less than a week I had a few interviews scheduled. One guy seemed pretty serious, maybe too serious for the stage we were in. I thought he wanted to sell me something, but we had a call anyway. You never know.

It turns out that he was triggered by the product itself. ‘My wife had a serious postpartum depression. I know it’s an issue, I know there is a lack of service for it. And you came up with a product that’s engaging, I can make it, and it works in a preventive way. We can help many families out there.’

We started working together with him and his development team. To see if we like it.

In parallel, I was learning from a fellow founder on the specifics of B2B sales in NL. A founder from India helped me out by sharing his learnings about building an app for mamas-to-be. An ex-colleague worked with me through our marketing strategy, bringing our strategy to the next level. A student of mine with a strong business development background, helped us shape business models and pricing. A LinkedIn contact contacted me to see how she could contribute to the product she loved. She opened up her contacts to us, which resulted in great partnerships, and we helped to promote her work in the parenting space.

And that’s just a small part of all the amazing connections that supported us on the way.


5. Stay close to your customers

Throughout the whole process, I haven’t stopped working closely with my parents-to-be. Teaching yoga, hypnobirthing courses, and giving pregnancy retreats.

I see it now as a privilege, as I honestly don’t have so much spare time, but I love it so much! Plus it helped me understand them better, test ideas from the app, involve them as testers, and add their learnings and questions as topics for our parents-to-be.

In essence, we built the program with experts, but it was pregnant mamas and their partners that fine-tuned the end result of it.


6. There is always a way

We came to the point where we had the app, and the content for the full program. We were almost there!

And then the legal part came up. Even though we were not medical, because we target pregnant women, who are considered a vulnerable population, we had to take care of the detailed legal review of the app. To make sure that also our mamas and their partners have the same understanding as we do – we are not there to replace a midwife or an ob-gyn, but to provide support on the way.

The quote from legal was not small, and we just didn’t have this money.

In that moment one of my teachers, who happens to also be an advisor to finance investments, did research on angel investments, crowdfunding platforms, and VC programs, and she advised me to do a crowdfunding campaign driven by rewards from all our teachers.

We shared it with the teachers. They were all in.

Natalie prepped the campaign.

I got us an intern from the US to run with it (pure luck).

I met an amazing woman who was all into our journey as a mama, mindfulness trainer, and ex-Uber from Moscow. She was a game-changer and the main driver of the campaign. She drove us home.

The campaign ran for 45 days. It was stressful and brought us many times out of our comfort zone, but it also helped us in many more ways than we imagined:

  • We tested marketing strategies of bringing our app to the market
  • We started new partnerships with brands that jumped in to help
  • The total team of experts got fully on board, and new experts reached out to join the team
  • But the best part was our Mamamoon students – they were the ones who were cheering the most!

“The trial version helped me a lot!! Too bad i most likely wont get pregnant again. I would definitely use the final version again!!👏”

“Congrats mamamoon and good luck with the new app to coach more mamas! Always grateful what you have meant for me during my pregnancy 👏”

“Thank you for nurturing a safe and loving space on one of the greatest journeys in life! 🙏”


7. Find something that keeps you sane

The ride has been a total roller coaster. In so many ways you are a ‘one-man-show’. It’s not like you can delegate things to your team when your team is mostly you.

You have days when everything falls into place, but then also days when you only get a ‘no’.

Not to mention your to-do list that simply never ends, and only gets longer.

So it’s important to have something which gives you energy. That motivates you. That reminds you why you are doing, what you are doing. And that gives you a way to rest.

For me, it was my kids, and my yoga practice, but it can be anything for anyone.

Kids are my why: I don’t want my daughter to go through the same stress when thinking of giving birth that I did. And I don’t want my son to feel powerless when on the journey.

Yoga is my safe place. Same as after becoming a mother, when things went all upside down, it was that one place where I could feel myself again. Also now, when I feel that it may be just a little bit too much, I stop thinking and start breathing and moving on the mat. Sometimes my practice is very smooth, and flowing. Sometimes I stop every 15-20 minutes to make notes on the things that came up to me, so I don’t forget. I welcome it all.

The Mamamoon app was launched on October 3rd, 2023. We used a soft launch so we can quickly improve it with real users’ feedback. Within the first week from the launch we streamlined onboarding for a smoother start, simplified guidance on earning ‘unicorn points’, enhanced the user-friendly landing page, welcomed two new experts for personalized 1-on-1 consultations, squashed bugs, and enjoyed the journey!

This is just the beginning and we couldn’t be more excited about what is ahead of us!


About the Mamamoon App

The Mamamoon app, an interactive birth & postpartum preparation coach, is a behavioral change program guiding expecting parents toward smoother birth. Think: ‘Duolingo for birth preparation’. 

It combines expertise and tools from the digital health space, together with domain experts’ knowledge working with expectant parents on a daily basis (yoga, hypnobirthing, mindfulness, Spinning Babies, nutrition, Ayurveda, sleep coaching, breastfeeding, postnatal fitness, pelvic floor health, early childhood education, parenting coaching, relationship care, baby massage, essential oils, and many more).

The app is designed to give relevant guidance at the right time, with one goal in mind: smoother birth to minimize risks of birth trauma and postpartum depression.

Kasia Pokrop

Kasia Pokrop

Co-Founder @ Mamamoon app

Kasia Pokrop is a seasoned professional and co-founder of the Mamamoon app, where she currently serves as CEO and Domain Expert. With over a decade of corporate experience, including a significant period at Philips specializing in Digital Health, Kasia has refined her expertise in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape. Kasia’s passion for maternal well-being and family health led her to dedicate six years of her life to the art of sharing birth and postpartum preparation. Her certifications in HypnoBirthing®, Spinning Babies®, and Yoga empower her to guide individuals through the transformative journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenthood. Kasia’s diverse background, rich experience, and deep commitment to maternal and infant health make her an invaluable leader in the field, shaping the future of women’s healthcare through Mamamoon.