Allison Kasirer created the platform Robyn after her struggle to conceive a child. In the process she brought a conversation out of the shadows to both empower and educate women. Robyn serves as a partner in the journey to parenthood. It provides access to integrative maternal wellness tools and resources while offering a community of support where you can share, learn, and grow. From pre-pregnancy to early parenthood, Robyn has become a powerful tool for women as they navigate their unique path to conceive, from pre-pregnancy to early parenthood.
Oola: How has Robyn evolved over the years from your personal fertility journey to being a community of support for tens of thousands of women?
Allison: When I started sharing my own IVF journey three years ago there were still very few people talking about pregnancy loss, and difficult topics around fertility. Sharing my experience was therapeutic, and after I began sharing, so many other women came out of the woodwork. As it turns out, everyone had a story– even if it wasn’t theirs, they had someone close to them going through it.
I felt alone in my situation, and sharing my journey helped me, so I wanted to offer others a place where speaking about it was freeing and they could find other ‘fertility sisters’.
Oola: What are some of the biggest misconceptions that still exist around infertility that you tackle everyday, and how is Robyn working to combat them?
Allison: People still don’t really know the numbers! 1 in 8 couples struggle to get pregnant and 1 in 4 pregnancy result in miscarriage. Those statistics still are not talked about enough. People still feel alone, women are still asking what’s wrong with them and have tremendous guilt. At Robyn we want women to acknowledge that all of those feelings are common and normal– all of it is.
Oola: What are some of the best ways women can support other women going through infertility?
Allison: It’s really hard to know what to say, and often they end up saying the wrong thing. Everyone’s experience is not the same. My golden rule is to just listen. Anytime you try to give unsolicited advice it’s never a good idea. These questions may be triggering so if you wanna be a supportive friend, family member or colleague– just be there to listen.
Robyn doesn’t just offer a community for people experiencing infertility. What are some of the new themes being explored on your platform?
We want to serve women and families during the family creation years through conception, pregnancy and postpartum, and during the first year of the last child. We know that not only was a child born, but a parent was also born, and we want to support that person! All experiences are unique and the platform was built to de-stigmatize the conversation. Once we started sharing those journeys that’s when the community really started to grow. Right now on Robyn, you can read about egg donors, IVF, and surrogacy, and also find doulas and lactation consultants.
Oola: What’s new in 2020 for Robyn?
Allison: Robyn was built to address three challenges: stigma, misinformation, and accessibility. We have spent the last three years combating the stigma, so now we are turning our attention to misinformation and accessibility. Doctors give on average 11 minutes of their time during doctor visits, and they may not have all the answers or resources around maternal wellness. Starting in May 2019, we began working directly with the experts to build a more robust destination for information and to book appointments. The goal is to make booking a doula as easy as booking restaurant reservations.