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New Mom's Wish List (NMWL)

The New Mom's WishList allows friends to gift their time/services to help a new mom-to-be find time for self-care, sleep, and mental health.

Photo of Sofya Savkina
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In no more than 3 sentences, please tell us who your idea is designed for and how it reimagines the new life experience.

The NMWL value is creating a network of support for a new mom in the gifting of postpartum services aimed at mitigating PPD. Unlike a baby shower, NMWL aims to put mom and her mental health first, allowing to create a wishlist of services she couldn't afford on her own or services that may have previously felt weird to ask for in the context of a baby shower.Engaging with the tool will help mom to feel supported by her network during this emotional time and feel more in-control of her pregnancy

The Problem 

During pregnancy, moms-to-be don't account for the lack of sleep after the baby is born and during first weeks of taking care of the baby (postpartum period). Sleep deprivation, lack of support and inability to ask for help are strongly linked to postpartum depression.

The mom-to-be doesn't have all the information to consider exactly the help/services she might need during the first weeks after birth and requires a comprehensive list of available support.

Friends are very excited for the new mom and are willing to help but don't know what exactly she might need after the baby is born and how might they help. They will benefit from a checklist/wishlist of help items and things she will need that reflect her individual needs.

The Need

Help, support, promote self-care, getting enough rest to be able to happily continue motherhood duties and eliminate risk for postpartum depression and social isolation. 

What is The New Mom's Wish List (NMWL)

NMWL is a digital application that allows soon-to-be moms, recent mom's or friend's and family of moms to create a maternal "registry" of postpartum services that focus on maintaining mom's mental health and well-being during prenatal and postnatal periods. With over half a million moms experiencing postpartum depression every year, there is a growing awareness and push to create environments and services to help prevent it. We want to break the stigma surrounding postpartum depression by creating a tool that taps a mother's network to help support her through a challenging time via monetary contributions to a New Mom's Wish List. NMWL not only connects mother to services she may not on her own be able to afford or even knows about, it connects her to her network by providing friends, family, and acquaintances with a low-impact but a high-value way of showing their support for the new mom.

The Value Proposition

The value of NMWL is creating a network of support for a new mom in the gifting of prenatal and postnatal services aimed at mitigating PPD. Unlike a baby shower, NMWL aims to put the mom and her mental health first, allowing to create a wishlist of services she couldn't afford on her own or services that may have previously felt weird to ask for in the context of a baby shower. 

Beyond the gift itself, engaging with the tool will help mom to feel supported by her network during this emotional and unsure time however far they may be. It will also help her to feel more in-control of her pregnancy without worrying about money and access to quality services.

Moreover - our low barrier to gift-giving impact will encourage more friends to participate.

User Base 

PRIMARY USER: First-time mom Sosha

Context: Sosha is in her 2nd trimester of her first pregnancy

  • 27 years old 
  • Works as an executive assistant (demanding but lower-paying job)
  • Just relocated to a new city away from family for her new job, doesn't know many people yet outside of those she works with 

Pain Points:

  • Hasn't had the time to plan for her pregnancy that she would've liked to have
  • Is anxious about having a baby without her family and network nearby and feels lonely
  • She wants what's best for the baby, but she's not even sure what that is, and even so, is scared she wouldn't be able to afford it


  • Feel in control of her post-partum plan
  • Feel connected and supported by her network during an emotional time
  • Access to expensive but meaningful services to help in her post-partum experience

SECONDARY USER: non-parent casual friend Ronnie

Context: Ronnie is a former colleague of Sosha's. 

  • She hasn't talked to Sosha since she moved away, but recently saw a post on Facebook about her registry and pregnancy. She always liked Sosha is excited that she can let Sosha knows she's thinking of her without buying some extravagant gift
  • 30 years old
  • Has never had children, but has frequently bought gifts for other's

Pain Points:

  • Feels like she's spending an insane amount of money between babies, showers, and weddings without ever knowing if the gift is truly ever used
  • Not having time to shop for the perfect gift


  • An easy way to let friends who are new mothers know that she is there for them
  • Give an affordable and desired gift
  • Recognition of her gift-giving

Design Focus

For this sprint, we are focusing now on first-time expectant mom - how might we engage her to start to use our product early in her motherhood journey. We know that we need to help moms to plan their postpartum period in advance, so we are focusing on the pregnant moms to understand what would engage them effectively with the solution. 

Our previous sprint showed that friends were not engaging with the mom when she asked for help AFTER the baby was delivered. It's too late, and friends are confused "Why would she need help?" 

The whole idea about asking for help is very difficult to address; "asking for help" goes against the cultural norm. That's why we have shifted our focus to a celebration of a new life away from helping a mom. And there are 3 important high points in the new motherhood journey:

  •  a pregnancy announcement (2nd trimester)
  • a baby shower (3rd trimester), and 
  • a baby's birth. 

The idea is to get moms aware of NMWL while she is making her public announcement on FB.

Through surveys and in-person interviews using a low-fidelity prototype as a prompt, we worked to uncover insights around key questions such as:

  • Would mom feel comfortable asking friends for help in this way?
  • Would friends feel happy to give help using the tool
  • How would a friend feel about her friend being pregnant?
  • Will a friend plan on helping somehow to her mom-to-be friend? 
  • What do you think 1st-time moms need? How would you figure this out?
  • Would a friend want to find out about mom's wish list?
  • Would a new mom-to-be share her wish list?
  • Would a new mom-to-be have enough friends to fulfill her wish list?

Sprint Results

We have learned that friends don't know what moms need and want to offer a meaningful contribution ($20 toward $800 felt insignificant) 

Prototype Test Results

At what stage is your idea?

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Having established relationships with a few DC's perinatal support networks, this prototype is being tested out with the expectant mothers and their friends that we recruited.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Prototyping/User feedback - it will be grate to gather feedback to refine the prototype and to get support to help launch the development (coding) of the solution. Any help with recruitment of mothers/users for usability testing will be very valuable.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a mother of a 7 year old boy and a freelance UX designer utilizing HCD. I have a diverse background with 5 years of IT marketing and communications and 3 years of business analysis and graphic design experience in various domains.

This idea emerged from...

  • A group brainstorm

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • yes

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • no

Are you a current employee of UCB Pharmaceuticals or Sutter Health?

  • no

How would you describe this idea (in 2-3 sentences) while in an elevator with someone?

A first-time mom is caught by surprise how intense the postpartum period is. Establishing breastfeeding alone feels like a full-time job while caring for a baby, trying to perform household chores, running on a few hours of sleep. Nevertheless, she is reluctant to ask for help due to social pressure to "be a happy mom". This may lead to the common complication of childbirth for 1 in 7 new moms - postpartum depression. Advanced planning for a postpartum period might help prevent PPD.

What is the specific problem your idea is trying to solve? 1 sentence.

First-time mothers in the U.S. lack basic physical, mental, and emotional support needed to ensure a timely 'quality of life' recovery during the first year following childbirth; they remain vulnerable to physical, emotional, and societal stressors during a major life transition.  

How has your idea improved or evolved throughout the Refinement Phase?

With the storyboard, we are illustrating journeys of new mom-to-be and her non-parent casual friend while interacting with our product.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

We follow Lean startup methodology, so we apply Build, Measure, Learn cycle iteratively. After the refinement phase where we define a value proposition for a product "New Mom's Wishlist", we plan to test value proposition with the intended users via direct observation of the users while they use an early prototype. Their feedback is a way how we measure the impact of our idea, whether the product concept performs a critical job, alleviates a common pain and delivers a meaningful gain.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

Attend Global Startup Weekend 2017 | November 10th, 2017 | Washington, D.C. | Techstars The goals are: - to network - to build an additional team of marketing + development - to find investor opportunities The grant will be used for one video on the product concept to launch a Kickstarter funding.

How is your idea different or unique from what is currently on the market?

Our product idea - the "New Mom's Wish List" better prepares first-time moms for parenthood by providing different types of support services to help with transitioning into motherhood. The Wish List saves time and money proactively engaging a trusted network. Unlike other baby registries, our New Mom's Wish-List allows friends to contribute their time for support and provide donations much needed and often expensive prenatal and postnatal services


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jenica Domanico

Hello! This sounds amazing! I am an occupational therapist also hoping to help change mom’s experience with in Home rehab.

I am also a mom and have wished for such a thing. Basically a registery for postpartum support. I think as a mom, I would click on a targeted ad or investigated an email or mailing. An extra step of it being part of a prenatal appointment where I was asked if I wanted to receive info or be added to a postpartum registry where I could select local services to add to my wish list.
A video talking about postpartum and explaining the scientific reasons why a woman’s body needs to rest and how emotionally and physically beneficial having others support you can be.

Maybe you have covered this. Keep going, it is great work!

Photo of Sandra Sobanska

Hi Jenica Domanico thank you for sharing your insights about mothers' postpartum challenges! We're working on a voice-operated device that helps parents track their baby's health and cognitive development right from home and connect with specialists using their smartphone. We'd love to connect with you to conduct more user experience interviews and hear your feedback :) My email is - please let me know if we could schedule a brief chat this week!

Photo of Kendra

Have you checked out This is a solution for cancer patients and others who need help to organize their friends around their needs (rides to appts, meals for family, etc.).

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Sofya and team.
I am familiar with team (family/friends) organization using an online platform around a few friends who have been ill. It was a very effective way to organize providing food for the family, provide in home support, help to get to appointments etc. during very stressful periods of time. I am not sure if it was CaringBridge or another mechanism. Great idea to look at this model Kendra! In my experience friends took on the role of managing these platforms for the person who needed help. How do you envision the Wishlist Sofya? Will mom be the primary person organizing it or will someone else take on this role?

In some cultures women are given baby showers where they receive needed items for the newborn. I have seen these events take place at home, and also at work sites where co workers come together and pool funds to buy much needed items for the mom to be. I wonder if the Wishlist might become part of these occasions. Is it an opportunity to introduce the Idea and to start to build a team gifting time to the expectant mom?

How might you expand the reach from family / friends to include a broader community to help a new mom, particularly if she is far from family and may have few friends around, such as new immigrant moms? Can the Wishlist become a tool for a faith based community to support new moms in their congregations and also in the greater community?

It would be great to see how the expectant/new mom and their supporters engage with this tool via a scenario or user experience journey.

Good luck developing the idea!

Photo of Natalia Tsymbalenko

Hello Bettina,
Excellent question on who will initiate the wish list. Based on our research, we know it depends on the friendship type. For now, we have decided to engage casual friends (acquaintances) and we know that this type of friends expect a mom to lead - to create a wishlist and share.
The friends like the idea of $20 contribution - feels easy to gift and no need to spend time on researching what a mom would need.
Now, we are still researching what would motivate a first-time pregnant mom to create a wishlist.
Yes, we have been thinking about a baby shower as a trigger to use the wish list. Baby shower focuses on the baby though, and we want to find a right time to focus on a mom. Some of the opportunities we see are:
- pregnancy announcement
- baby shower
- baby birth.

When friends would feel gifting is appropriate. While we are now focusing on "celebrating a new life", on the back of our mind, we are planning for a mom how she could keep herself healthy and happy during the challenging postpartum period - redeeming massage, mani/pedi service or household services, or even requesting a night nurse support.

Regarding expanding support network, anybody who wants to organize the wishlist can do it.

If you are interested to see how the idea is developing, you can join our maillist -

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Sofya Savkina Elisa Chen Natalia Tsymbalenko 

The refinement phase closes on Nov 5 at 3:00pm PST. Please reach out to me if you have any questions at all.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Sofya, Natalia and Elisa,

When you press the ‘Edit Contribution’ button on your idea submission you will be able to see the questions for the refinement phase when you scroll down.

Could this be expanded to a care team that might spend an hour having a conversation which could cue mental state of mom and report back, or be used in a way to screen someone’s mental health?

Have you thought of renaming your solution?

There are a few ideas from previous challenge that might be a source of inspiration in the refinement phase:

Respite Care Share [Updated 8.22.16: Added testimonial examples] by Joy Johnston  is a top idea from our end-of-life challenge -

Respite Care Share is a digital platform that provides vouchers for family caregivers who are stressed and need a break.

It is a well thought out and well-crafted idea that emphasises the benefits to all stakeholders including healthcare providers.

Also from the end-of-life challenge is Vykarious - another top idea where users 'Connect with people around the globe who will cross off the bucket list items you cannot, and will share their experience with you'. It has a good example of a user experience map -

Photo of Natalia Tsymbalenko

Kate Rushton , about the renaming the idea, I assume you are suggesting something more cathing and less lengthy? Any suggestions on how to approach this task?

Photo of Amy Shick

I love this idea because it is so hard to personally ask for help as a new mom. We want to feel like we have it all under control and we don't want to feel the rejection that might come with asking for help and someone saying no (although we are typically the first to offer help to others). I am sure most moms would agree help is often more needed than gifts. If you need any women for your trial and for feedback please let me know how I can assist. As a military spouse, I have friends all over the nation who would love to be a part of your trial. I am looking forward to watching your project grow.

Photo of Natalia Tsymbalenko

Hello Amy Shick , yes, you are right - "not able to ask for help" is a common theme that occurred almost at every interview we have run at early stages of this project. We have interviewed and then validated our findings with dozens of moms and maternal advocates. Unfortunately, lack of support and guilt asking for help are major contributing factors to postpartum depression, which is our focus at the motherhood design team. We would love to keep you in the loop. You can subscribe to our email list here -

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Sofya, Natalia and Elisa,

Congratulations on making it to the refinement phase!

Please tag me here with questions using '@' followed by my name (Kate Rushton).

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Sofya Savkina ,

Great to see you in the Challenge, and with a product that addresses the new life journey! I'm wondering which of these user personas aligns most with your concept ?

Have you conducted interviews with any potential users to describe the specific pain points this product addresses? Are you aware of any similar concepts already implemented?

Looking forward to learning more!

Photo of Sofya Savkina

Hi Lauren,
Thank you for your questions.

Let me start by saying that our idea speaks to three personas from your list: the under-resourced mom, the healthcare provider (Melania), and the support team (Andrea).
As to the under-resourced mom, the postpartum registry will allow her to reach out for help that she needs and specifically asks for (she will be able to specify her needs for help/support within the app and reach out to her friends), as well as provide her with the support she lacks and will eliminate her isolation in the interim. We aim to help a mom-to-be by enabling her to plan her journey for a postpartum period in advance, preventing isolation and complications such as PPD. With this postpartum registry, the new mom will be able to ask for postpartum services offered and paid for by friends or maternal professionals.
For the healthcare professionals/maternal professionals, their services will be suggestively presented to the mom-to-be so she is aware of their existence in the first place and can get those services as gifts from friends via the registry. Our research shows that many moms are not aware of such services as postpartum doulas, lactation consultants, overnight nurses, etc. and with our app, we will be able to educate the moms about them.
As to the support team, they will have a great touchpoint with the new mom to address her needs "articulated" via the postpartum registry app. Friends can gift their time or pay for the services that the mom needs, including the help of maternal specialists. It does take a village!

In regards to your second question, yes, we have done an extensive research among local moms and maternal advocates to find out their pain points and needs. We were first driven by the question: can the postpartum depression be prevented? Here is the needs/pain points diagram that resulted from our research:

In addition, to learn more please check out our blog that describes in detail what has been done during the course of development of this idea and how it progressed to its current state - the prototyping phase:

Lastly, based on our research, currently, there is no exact concept like this implemented in the market. We are aiming to increase user adoption by tapping into the familiar idea of a baby registry or wedding registry but extending them beyond material goods adding the ability to provide services or ability to gift time as part of supporting a new life journey.

Please, let me know if there are more questions I can clarify.