Amid the 2022 baby formula shortage, I discovered a lifelong ally in a brand – a bit ironic, isn’t it?

My son, a hefty bundle weighing over nine pounds, arrived right in the chaos of the formula recall. Breastfeeding felt less like an option and more like the only path forward, and I dove in headfirst. From upgrading pumps to stocking up on lactation bars, if it promised a boost in supply, I was all for it. I was so committed that just a week postpartum, despite being sick with COVID, I was masked and feverish and still making sure never to miss a feeding.

The conversation around maternal mental health is louder than ever, yet still not loud enough. Conversations about postpartum depression are gaining traction, yet they often overlook the daily stresses and tolls of motherhood. When your baby arrives, you’re engulfed by their needs, bombarded by countless people trying to sell you things you’re told you need, yet there’s little guidance on how to navigate it all.

Even as an experienced mom, I was overwhelmed by the set of circumstances when my son was born. While my older daughter was a formula baby, the day I realized breastfeeding might not work for my son felt like stepping into uncharted territory. Our first hunt for formula was a reality check. Confirming all my fears, it took five stores to find a single can, our supplies always teetering on the brink.

Every day in my work, I emphasize understanding as the cornerstone of connection. For a brand to build a relationship, it must first understand its audience’s needs, feelings and circumstances.

I was incredibly frustrated by the marketing of parenting brands at that time. Formula companies inundated me with emails and social media posts, emphasizing the benefits of formula and comparing it to breast milk. While I understand this has long been a challenge for the formula industry, all I wanted to shout was, “Read the room!” I was solely focused on feeding my child. The more I got from them who didn’t recognize this, the more I felt disregarded by them.

I first learned about Bobbie from a neighbor when we urgently needed formula one night. A quick text brought a can of Bobbie to our door, easing our stress and piquing our curiosity. Initially, I was skeptical about the brand’s subscription model; it seemed too good to be true that a baby company would prioritize helpfulness over sales pitches. But the more I investigated it, the more Bobbie stood out for understanding.

The first communication I had with them wasn’t an automated, templated marketing email but a genuine message from a real person. A person who took the time to address my barrage of questions and made me feel—for the first time—that someone cared.

Bobbie went beyond being just a supplier; they became a comforting presence during a vulnerable time. Thoughtful gestures, like the care packages and fun stickers on their formula, made me feel truly understood as a fellow mom. While many brands are solely focused on pushing their agendas, Bobbie stood out by listening, responding and delivering on their customers’ needs in a way that was true to their mission.

I sincerely hope Bobbie continues to grow and evolve, staying committed to supporting families and advocating for crucial policies like universal paid family leave. I also hope they maintain their genuine approach and continue finding innovative ways to assist parents, such as creating a parents’ room at events (with amenities like a pumping area, postcards for the kids, a quiet space for a video call and speakers discussing various aspects of working parenthood from finances to bedtime routines) or developing an AI system for late-night parenting questions. Bobbie has set a high standard in my eyes, and even though my son no longer requires their current products, I’ll always remain a devoted fan.


Jenna Isken is Group Director, Experience.