Sep 07 , 2021
Today, we’re catching up with the two amazing mamas behind our favorite new app. Carry
is a movement and meditation app full of tools to carry you through pregnancy, birth and beyond. The friendly and easy app offers prenatal yoga videos (and postpartum), audio meditations and educational articles for all four trimesters of pregnancy. Everything is created by experts and designed for pregnant people of all shapes and sizes.
Before launching the Carry app, Maya (Carry founder and CEO) worked in design and innovation for big brands like adidas, Target and IDEO. Serving as the company’s Head of Content and Co-founder, Heather brings two decades of experience working as a doula, yoga teacher, physical therapist, lactation counselor and childbirth educator to Carry. Together, they make quite a team.
Scroll below to read more about their inspiring founders' story and how they’re empowering people on their parenthood journey.
Maya, how did you two meet?
I first met Heather seven years ago in Minneapolis, Minnesota when I was pregnant with my first baby. At the time, I lived on a street with a yoga studio and I had recently heard about prenatal yoga and wanted to give it a try. I already practiced Yoga and love being active in general, so I decided to check it out. Lucky for me, Heather was the teacher.
That first class I remember feeling so awestruck by both Heather and the other women there. At the start of the class, we went around the room and shared a bit about our pregnancy journeys thus far. There was one woman who was 40 weeks pregnant and I was so impressed by that. I thought that if she can do this, I can, too.
That first Yoga class with Heather was a special moment for me, especially getting to learn about all the other women there. Pregnancy is tough and it was comforting to bond with fellow moms-to-be who understand the highs and lows that come with pregnancy. Beyond the community aspect, I knew that what I was learning in those classes held so much power. I wanted other people to experience this and learn from amazing teachers like Heather.
On starting the Carry app
Momentum happened shortly after giving birth to my second baby. Heather was actually our doula and helped me so much through the birth. My second baby, Skye, was born via unintentional home birth. Luckily, Heather had come over to check on things and was an amazing, incredible guide. I remember saying, “I'm scared,” right in the middle of contractions, and her just getting in my face and saying, "you can do this" and believing in me.
After that, I began getting intentional about bringing Carry into the world. I knew that other women needed access to this; plus, Heather and my professional skill sets really matched up. We started prototyping and soon after, Carry was born. I've since moved from Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon where I live now and we've kept up our relationship through Carry work, and also through her support as a doula and friend.
What makes the Carry app unique?
Carry is a beautifully designed app that offers yoga, meditation and articles curated by trimester, body ache or need. We’re pretty realistic in our imagery and will always show real bodies moving through this parenthood journey. We invite all pregnant people, regardless of yoga or meditation experience, to jump in with us.
One thing we’re proud of within the Carry app is our focus on safety. We verbally cue positions as safely as possible. You won’t hear us advocating handstands or other extreme poses. If someone is experiencing gestational hypertension or high blood pressure during their pregnancy, we work to make sure positions are done as safely as possible such as avoiding inversions. If a baby has still not found their way to head-down in the third trimester, we avoid certain positions, and recommend alternates to help the baby hopefully find a more optimal position.
That said, we always remind users that just because they were able to do one thing at one stage of their pregnancy, doesn’t mean they can do it at another. We focus on safety, especially since we are not there physically in the room with them to correct their alignment. A lot of what we do at Carry is recognize that there's a lot of fear and doubt and that it takes courage to go through this journey. We want each person to feel empowered and confident.
While building Carry, it was very important to us that we be inclusive of all bodies and backgrounds. We think about this not only in our sessions but in all our brand imagery and messaging that we use. It’s key that all people feel represented and that our programming feels encouraging and approachable.
How can pregnant people get started with Carry?
The app is essentially organized by trimester. Alternatively, you can browse meditations and classes by what you’re looking for that day. Do you want a short session or do you want to hone in on a sore muscle or particular body part? Maybe you want to do something to lessen your anxiety or you want to learn a new skill.
We keep things flexible, because every pregnancy is different and can even vary from day to day. We want to offer Carry users a menu of options to safely support them during pregnancy and as new parents. Anyone can try the Carry app (available on iOS) free for eight days and we encourage women to get curious and explore our offerings at their own pace.