Busy expectant moms hire baby planners to prepare

Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:52am EDT
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By Colleen Jenkins

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) - New Yorker Melissa Garden learned she was pregnant with her first child last year just as her communication director job at New Meadowlands Stadium hit full throttle.

When exactly, she wondered, would she squeeze car seat and stroller shopping into 70-hour work weeks packed with concerts and prepping for the Jets and Giants season openers?

Garden opted to hire professional baby planners who, much like the better-known niche of wedding planners, came armed with expertise to ready the overwhelmed, soon-to-be mother for her big day -- her son's arrival.

"I had no time to think about what I needed to do to prepare," said Garden, 39. "They pulled everything together for me."

Others have gotten their first glimpse into the burgeoning baby planning industry this month with the premiere of Bravo's reality series, "Pregnant in Heels."

The show stars Rosie Pope, a self-described maternity concierge who caters to "million-dollar mamas" living on Manhattan's upper east side. One couple requests a focus group to help pick the perfect baby name, and another expectant mother gets her hair and makeup done from her hospital bed.

It might make for entertaining TV, but baby planners around the country said the over-the-top demands don't reflect their reality.

Their typical clients are stressed-out, high-powered executives; new mothers without a local support network; and brainy types who seek safe, eco-friendly products but don't know where to start.   Continued...