Denise Stern is the founder and owner of Let Mommy Sleep, a team of nurses and caregivers that help new parents just home from the hospital with their newborns, in addition to providing overnight care. Their team tends to newborns in-house any time from 10pm to 7am and offers education services as well.
Prior to starting Let Mommy Sleep, Denise owned Occoquan Basket Company. Starting and operating this business gave her the practice she needed to operate Let Mommy Sleep efficiently and successfully right off the bat. She sold Occoquan, what she refers to as her “practice business,” when she decided that she wanted to become a mother. Having a baby boy and a couple of twins shortly thereafter strongly demonstrated the importance of postpartum help to Denise. “I don’t think people realize how many new mothers and new families are struggling healthwise when they have their new baby,” she observes. After experiencing postpartum struggles firsthand, she realized that other people must be feeling the same way too, and so she started a business from her own recognition of a problem that needed solving.
“I did it by myself for a long time,” says Denise. “That’s a dumb idea. You think as a budding entrepreneur, you know, I’m gonna yahoo it, you know, and I’m gonna stay up all night and drink my coffee.” It’s an idea that can be all kinds of exciting for young people with no money who feel ready to work to no end, but not so worth it for someone who could afford the extra help. If Denise could go back and do it all over, the one thing she would have done differently would have been to establish a team to help her along quicker so that she didn’t have to work so hard as a new mother of twins.
When Denise first started Let Mommy Sleep, she had no idea what she’d be in for. “I had no business starting as a business with two two-year olds and a three-year old. I thought like, ‘Well, you know…I’ll get like two nurses, and that’ll be good and manageable,’” Denise recollects. “And I’m not kidding you, as soon as the website went live….it exploded.” There were so many mothers struggling silently who desperately needed postpartum help, and as the first person in the area to really provide that care, Denise heard every cry.
Though she didn’t expect to grow so quickly, she was able to scale her business successfully because of her practice running Occoquan. That experience taught her how to budget, prepare for the unexpected, and manage her time. “When you budget your time and money, double both of them, and you might be close to what you actually need,” she laughs. Now Let Mommy Sleep exists as a franchise in Las Vegas, New Jersey, Philadelphia, South Florida, and Loudoun County, with more expansions lined up.
“I hope that we’ll have franchises throughout the country,” Denise says. “That is twofold. Number one, you know, to grow the business. That’s what every entrepreneur…that’s what we’re doing here. And then secondly, again, to aggregate this care…The more that this business becomes an industry, we really need to have some kind of licensure or something.” Let Mommy Sleep currently does background checks on their caretakers, but as the company grows, Denise plans to incorporate some form of a third-party certification that establishes a solid, professional trust between the company and its clients.
Making a Difference
According to Denise, the mission of Let Mommy Sleep is to “change the way people bring babies home in the United States.” Compared to other developed countries, the United States is lacking in postpartum care. Denise’s goal is to spread the extent of that care across the country so that it becomes normalized. She actively lobbies with Capitol Hill representatives to work towards getting postpartum care covered but has run into issues figuring out how to get it paid for. She is also working with private corporations to convince them to implement paid leave in addition to covering postpartum healthcare. Her passion to make this happen led her to segue her business into a nonprofit called Mission Sleep, which is run through Let Mommy Sleep. With the donations that come in through Mission Sleep, Denise and her team are able to provide 3-5 nights of free care for families with first responders.
Interested in postpartum care services or joining the team? Let Mommy Sleep can easily be found on every social channel or you can visit Let Mommy Sleep or give them a call at (844) MOM-BABY for more information. Now is the time to reach out if you are interested in becoming a franchisee, as Denise and her team are expanding across the nation and establishing themselves as a necessary service.