The CEO of women’s health and wellbeing firm Baby2Body says technology helped her “create a machine version” of herself to help others.
Melinda Nicci has harnessed tech in creating an app which supports healthy lifestyles among pregnant women and new mothers.
It includes personalised workouts, meal plans, meditation and podcasts about visualisation and breathing exercises.
She originally founded the business as a service platform with an email subscription as she struggled to find the answer to her pregnancy questions around supporting a healthy baby.
She decided to go back to university to finish her master’s degree in science, sport and psychology to develop the technology in the company. She was then headhunted by Philips in Amsterdam to work as senior director in health and wellness innovation.
She said it was her “deep dive into the tech and into all things that were possible” which prompted her to transform Baby2Body into a women’s digital hub and wellness coaching platform in 2015.
“I grew Baby2Body, realised that I was getting to hundreds of women but I really wanted to get to millions,” she told BusinessCloud. “This is my life’s work and I’m very devoted to it. I’ve been doing this for 25 years in one form or another and I think using technology as an enabling tool enables me to create a machine version of myself.
“I’m a trainer, I have nutrition qualifications, I’m a psychologist, I’m a mum, and I’ve lived through it and understand what the pain points are. To be able to deliver this kind of inspiration and information to women… we’ve got women all over the world, from Australia to Costa Rica to India, writing to us and thanking us for what we do – it’s very cool.
“In this age to use technology to better the world is such an incredible gift so I’m very grateful we’re able to do this.”
Today the platform, which employs 14 people in its London headquarters in Piccadilly Circus, boasts one million users, with 400,000 women using the app across 150 countries.
“It’s going really well, we’re changing women’s lives,” she said. “At the moment, apart from us, no one else is really looking at how the mother lives and helping her to live better.
“I think there’s a lot of things that are interventions after something happens but this is about prevention, and prevention has always been lagging behind.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s the most powerful thing because if women have a better lifestyle they will have a healthier baby, which means we’ll have a generation of healthier kids.
“Studies have shown if women are more aware of their mental health while they’re pregnant they’re less likely to suffer from baby blues and post-natal depression and are more able to cope with going back to work and other challenges that motherhood brings.
“We aim to be the indispensable support for women through this period of their life.”
Nicci hopes to increase Baby2Body’s user base fivefold to five million by 2022. She will soon release a platform for women who are trying to conceive, with a product for women going through the menopause also in the pipeline.