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SNOO partners with Snap for bassinet rental program

Dr. Harvey Karp, Pediatrician & CEO of Happiest Baby and Jackie Nith Ishibashi, Snap Inc. Wellness Manager, joins Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Kristin Myers to discuss mental health for working mothers.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: May is Maternal Mental Health Month. And a new study shows that postpartum depression and anxiety disorders among pregnant women and in new moms cost the US economy $14 billion a year in lost productivity. Our next guests are trying to change that. Dr. Harvey Karp is a pediatrician and inventor of the smart baby bassinet, the SNOO, also author of the book, "The Happiest Baby."

And we also have with us Jackie Nith Ishibashi, wellness manager at Snap Inc, and a new mom herself. So this is your-- coming up, your first Mother's Day. Congratulations. Dr. Karp, I actually want to start with you for folks who are not familiar with it. The SNOO doesn't come cheap, starts at about $1,300. But tell us what it is and its impact on moms' mental wellness. Not just moms, but dads, too.

HARVEY KARP: Yeah, you're right. Well, you know, I think that I would just say put that price tag away because you can rent this for the cost of a Starbucks coffee. Our goal since we introduced this bed is to make it accessible to the broad population. So people can rent this bed, free shipping, for literally the cost of a Starbucks cappuccino. And then on top of it, anyone can get a free SNOO. And they can get that through their employers. That's why we're loving to work with Snap in this program so that folks like Jackie and her colleagues can have access to this.

You know, it really gets to the comments that were being made in the last segment about leaning in. Actually, we need the government, we need corporations and industry to lean in to support working mothers and fathers to help keep them in the workforce. So once our kids get a little bit older, they can stay through. And SNOO, by increasing sleep, it adds one to two hours to the baby's sleep. And by improving sleep, that's the goal to improve maternal mental health, because postpartum depression, which occurs in 20% of the population-- and actually, during the pandemic, it's gone up to 33%, 36%-- is largely related to exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed.

KRISTIN MYERS: So Jackie, I'm going to come to you now. You actually use the SNOO. And as the doctor was just mentioning, it's actually a part of one of the benefits that's available to mothers and to family members, actually, at Snap. Why was that such an important part of just your post-pregnancy life? And why was it so important to also make that one of the benefits for moms and perhaps also new dads at Snap?

JACKIE NITH ISHIBASHI: Yeah, thank you for the question. So the Snap benefits philosophy is that we have your back, and we want to support you every step of the way. And I've been with the company about four plus years. And we've really seen our employees grow and mature and grow their families. So we launched the SNOO benefit in 2018. And we've had about 400 rentals since then. Around 70 this year alone, we've seen a big boom.

But we just really wanted to support employees at this really important stage. As a new mother myself, just like sleep, that's just almost nonexistent, especially in the first few months in the newborn phase. And sleep is so essential to our well-being. So even though employees are on leave to get that sleep and to have the confidence and that stability in their well-being is so important. And for me, when I was released from the hospital, I was like, are you sure? Do you want to let me go? So I was being taught and trained about SIDS, the Sudden Infant Syndrome. And I was just so worried.

But when the SNOO came into my life and I was so excited to use it-- it's been a long-time benefit-- it just checked off the boxes to make me feel confident in taking care of my little one. Like, making sure they're swaddled, making sure they're sleeping on their back, making sure it's a perfect temperature. So it's just really giving me that peace of mind and confidence as a new mom. And then, when I spend time with my child, I was mindful and present with her.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: That is the best thing. We're watching video now of a sleeping child. New parents know. That's like the best thing you can see. Doctor, tell us what other companies you're working with to have SNOO be offered as a benefit. Because I know that the program has grown quite a bit over the past year or so.

HARVEY KARP: It really has. We're in over 60 major corporations, so groups like Activision Blizzard and Snap, of course, and Hulu and Under Armour and Weight Watchers have really gone out of their way to support their families with this. Imagine that your corporation gives you a 24-hour caregiver for the first six months. That's really the way to think about SNOO.

You know, we know about SaaS corporations. We're really a PaaS corporation, a product as a service. Because this is a 24-hour caregiver for the employees. And in terms of the way it resonates with families, we currently get about an 88 net promoter score from the families who use this product through their employer. So it's been just a phenomenal-- matter of fact, it's been so impactful that companies like Snap and other companies rent the beds in the United States. But outside the United States, they purchase beds and give them as a gift because of the return on investment.

KRISTIN MYERS: Jackie, I'm hoping I can ask you one quick question here. Obviously, you're in charge of wellness over at Snap. And we've been having this conversation about what companies can do to help working mothers beyond the SNOO. What should other companies and corporations be doing to help the moms on their workforce?

JACKIE NITH ISHIBASHI: I highly recommend offering a series of benefits because there's just so many different challenges as a parent, one being backup childcare and elder care. During the pandemic, we saw the need to increase that benefit for the year. In addition, we offer Maven, which is a digital clinic offering telemedicine for various things, such as OB GYN, breast feeding assistance, nutrition, physical therapy, and that's available 24/7 for mothers and fathers, just to provide that in the moment support that's so important.

We don't just want to provide benefits that you need in case of emergencies. Like, when it comes to wellbeing, it's an ongoing journey. And to provide that support along the way is super important. In addition to benefits. It's really important to provide the proper spaces for team members to feel safe and heard. So we have a SnapParents ERG, a SnapWomen's ERG, and just really bringing that conversation alive and providing flexibility and options for all our team members, really empowering everyone to work with their manager of rearranging meetings and just doing what works best for them. Because everyone is different. Everyone has different needs and schedules. And we really need to accommodate and support that.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, well, Jackie, happy early Mother's Day, your first one. Enjoy. Jackie Nith Ishibashi at Snap Inc, and of course, Dr. Harvey Karp, thank you both for joining us.