Halle Tecco: On self-care and IVF
As big fans of everything self-care, we were super excited to chat with Halle Tecco, Founder and CEO of Natalist, science-backed fertility products curated for women trying to conceive. You can call it "the self-care of conception".
Tell us about your journey to motherhood.
It took me over four years and a good deal of science to become a mom. During those long months of repeated negative pregnancy tests, I felt disconnected from my body which just wasn’t getting pregnant. I see now that my journey worked out as it should have. My relationship with my partner grew stronger as we learned patience and how to work together as a team—skills that have translated well to parenting a toddler!
How was Natalist conceived?
I had the initial idea years ago when I was purchasing all these fertility products (e.g. basal thermometers, ovulation tests) and just loathed the experience. I didn’t understand why the products had to be so ugly, and why I had to sift through so much junk to find what worked.
I started looking at the space with my investor hat on. I did not intend to start the company, I was hoping to find an existing company. So I dug into the macro: market size, incumbents, trends, etc. It checked all the boxes in terms of market size and exit opportunities. But no one was doing exactly this, so I then thought I would find a CEO, pitch them my idea and give them the funding to get up and running. I actually bought the domain "Baby Someday" on Feb 22, 2016, right after my first round of IVF. I began interviewing potential CEOs but ultimately realized this needed to be my second act.
Once I decided to dive in, I brought on a few key people to help us really understand the micro dynamics. We interviewed dozens of women, did a survey of 1,200 pregnant women, and hosted focus groups. We realized so many women felt the same way about the "TTC" (trying to conceive) experience and were ready to help us build something great.
Any advice for women going through IVF?
You are the only one who can be your best advocate, so learn as much as possible about the science of IVF. Learn about the injections, the timeline, how many embryos to transfer, etc.. Knowledge is power, so don’t be intimidated by medical terminology or all the acronyms. Ask questions in online forums, read books about IVF, and always double check with your patient coordinator or nurse. Lastly, make time to love your body and yourself. Remember how lucky you are to have IVF as an option to parenthood.