Supporting the journey of motherhood, in style

Discover How to Rewrite your Fertility Journey with Empowerment, Education…and Vitamins

Beyond prenatal vitamins, Jess Rosenberg advocates for body awareness and fertility education, involving male partners, and challenging societal norms in healthcare.

Jess Rosenberg, business owner and mum of 3, is on a mission. After a traumatic first birth followed by long-term pain (plus no sex for 18 months) she wants to shake up the stories told to women. She sees many real and challenging experiences like her own being dismissed as a normal part of motherhood. “I want to make sure that the true stories are being told so that people don’t feel like they are the only ones experiencing something,” she says.

As the founder of prenatal vitamin company Moode, Jess reaches women early in their motherhood journey. Beyond vitamins, Jess says Moode (pronounced moody) includes powerful conversations and education about what’s normal in pregnancy and birth…and what’s not.

Difficulty conceiving is one of those challenges that’s still a bit taboo. To improve your chances, Jess (naturally) is an advocate for eating well and supplementing as needed. “I think for a lot of us, we put nutrition to the side…I think that’s a missed opportunity. It’s not expensive and it’s not time consuming, and is a pretty simple tweak.”

This fine-tuning of our health before pregnancy is something we often see as a women’s issue. But it’s something our male partners need on their radar too. As Jess explains, “Almost 50% of infertility cases are actually the result of a male factor infertility issue. So even though women are hardwired to believe it’s our responsibility, and ours alone, it’s absolutely not the case…So we need our men to step up.”

“When I was in high school, the sex education we received was how to not get pregnant. And I think it's a missed opportunity. I think what would have been a really beautiful conversation would have been how to understand my cycle."

Male partners can and should take the same pre-pregnancy steps as women. This means checking in with their GP, having health tests, improving their diet and reducing alcohol use. “That’s going to support the conception process enormously,” says Jess. “And at the very least, we’ll be providing a lot of emotional support to women who are going through all of this regardless.”

Long before starting a family, Jess would love women and men to have better body awareness and fertility education.

“When I was in high school, the sex education we received was how to not get pregnant. And I think it’s a missed opportunity. I think what would have been a really beautiful conversation would have been how to understand my cycle. And understanding not just fertility but my moods and emotions, my fluctuating hormones, my energy levels, my sex drive, my everything.”

Even from a young age, we can educate our boys on reproductive health, a task Jess takes on at home.  “As a mother of boys, I feel I have a responsibility to make sure that my boys become men who understand how our bodies work. And that they understand they’re involved in this process if they choose to have children.”

As well as changes to education, Jess is keen to see changes to health care where women have more control over their bodies. After her difficult first birth, Jess explored her maternity care options. “By the third birth, the way I engaged with my healthcare provider was completely different from my first time, where I turned up meek and mild and gave 100% of my power to my male doctor… I wanted to be a likeable patient and I didn’t want to cause trouble.”

“By the end, I knew that I wanted a woman. I wanted to be very clear about what I did and didn’t want in my experience. And it was my most positive experience – my most straightforward and simple and less traumatic.”

“So I wish it didn’t take us three births to get it right. I would love for all of us to be more empowered to try and get it as close to right the first time around.”

Jess believes that these big social changes in education, gender roles and health care could have profound impacts. “I think that we’d have a completely different society. And I’d love to see a snippet of that in my lifetime.”

Learn more from Moode about reproductive health and fertility

By Louise Wedgwood