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CLASS OF ’94

A Starter Kit for Babies

 

Photo: Candace diCarlo

When Sandra Samberg Nu’94 GNu’95 was in grade school, she used to help out at her father’s pediatric practice. She admired what he did for a living, but wondered if she could devote herself to both motherhood and a demanding career as a pediatrician. Her dad suggested she explore an alternate occupation of nurse practitioner. “I went to work with one one day, and I absolutely loved it.”
   
After graduating from Penn’s School of Nursing, Samberg worked in a Manhattan practice for three years and noticed in consultations with new mothers and fathers that the same questions kept coming up, from umbilical-cord care to colic to diaper rash. “I felt like there was a huge need for something out there that brought together education with products,” she says. “Everything else in life you either need a degree for, you need experience, or it comes with an instruction booklet.”
   
She began brainstorming when she was pregnant, and, encouraged by her husband, left her job to work on the idea full time, teaming up with her cousin, who had experience in marketing. Before they knew it, they had started their own business, Baby-C Inc. (www.babyc .com). Their first product is the Baby-C Bag, a reusable baby bag filled with product samples, such as nose drops, diaper cream, and nursing pads, as well as a baby-care book that combines “information you would receive from a healthcare provider, and also the kind of mom-to-mom practical tips that you don’t necessarily hear from the medical profession.” One piece of advice: Before buying a stroller, make sure you can open and close it with one hand while carrying the baby in your other hand. The book also features charts for Tylenol dosages and feeding schedules, and a cheat sheet for CPR.
   
They conducted a successful test launch through health-insurance companies in California, Colorado, and Georgia, distributing 10,000 bags free to new parents. Last year they began selling the bags through a Web site, and this summer they brought the products to stores like Baby Depot and Sears. Baby-C was recently acquired by Healthetech, a healthcare-technology company that will provide customer support and allow Samberg to focus on developing new products based on the same concept.
   
“It’s been neat to use my education in a different way,” says Samberg, “and still be able to have a positive impact on the lives of moms and dads and babies.”


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