The Professional Role as a Maternity/Baby Product Expert

My Role as a Maternity Product Professional

by Annie Mullens, IMI/IABPP Certified Baby Planner & Greenproofer

Having owned my own retail store, working as a manager of a very successful retail baby boutique and having worked in the product industry for the last 20 some-years, I have had the opportunity to learn so much about product safety; regulations, standards, recalls and my responsibility to inform the consumer (my clients) about such. In my opinion, a responsible product expert stays informed, educated, and builds trust with their clients.

I started my journey that led me to becoming a Certified Baby Planner and Greenproofer because of baby products. I must admit that I am a self-professed maternity and child product geek.  I mean, I don’t just like checking out these products…I love it.  Helping parents find the perfect match for their needs makes me giddy…seriously! This is my passion and life’s calling.

Having become a baby planner, I feel it is extremely important to take the role of a product expert very seriously. Many baby planners specialize in various areas such as greenproofing, lactation consulting, childbirth education, child safety, yoga instruction, product expertise, etc….and having the proper training, background, and experience is essential. Not every baby planner chooses to specialize in providing baby product expertise, but with those that do it is important to understand what it is involved, our professional responsibility, and liability.

What makes a credible “expert”?   An expert is someone who has shown proven, considerable knowledge about a topic based on education, certification, accreditation, and/or experience. In essence, though, it is someone who has built trust in their abilities to inform the consumer responsibly, always placing safety and health first. Becoming a product expert takes a considerable amount of work, a drive, and commitment to delivering the appropriate information.

How does a product expert build trust?  In order to build trust, it is our responsibility to not just suggest products in a completely unbiased manner, but teach parents how to choose products themselves.  We should “work our way out of a job” when this is done correctly.  A good example of this is when I instruct parents how to install a car seat.  I don’t do it for them, instead I support and direct them how to do it themselves.  I can’t be there the next time they need to switch their seat to grandma and grandpa’s car, so it is my responsibility to make sure that they can do it on their own. The ultimate goal is to make sure that they feel educated and confident in their ability to install that car seat correctly each and every time without me there.  This is the same concept that should be used as a Maternity Product Professional™.  Not only do we give them a foundation of education, but we EMPOWER parents to trust their abilities.

A Maternity Product Professional excels in their field with the proper training, knowledge, and experience. They stay apprised of the latest updates from the major manufacturers in order to ensure that they are able to educate their clients about the best choice for their individual needs.  They understand what to look for in a product, safety, quality construction, and liability. They must also be able to instruct clients about how a vast number of maternity and children’s products work.  For example, how to safely wear each of the many types of baby carriers, how to use all those enhancements on that fancy highchair and stroller, breast pump basics, and how to properly use a car seat.

Most importantly, maternity product experts provide parents with the latest safety recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Safe Kids USA, International Association for Child Safety, the JPMA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, etc.  Safety is always of ultimate importance when working with clients.  Cute and trendy means nothing in relation to the health and well-being of a child and family.

If you are in the maternity industry, as a consultant or in a retail capacity, if you enjoy working with products and want to excel in this field, consider becoming a Maternity Product Pro™. For more information visit the International Maternity Institute at to learn more. But beware, I can’t promise that you will won’t become a product geek, too.


About Annie

Annie Mullens lives in Denver, Colorado and is a Certified Baby Planner, Greenproofer, Maternity Product Pro™ Instructor for The International Maternity Institute, and CPS Certified Car Seat Technician. She owned her own retail store, worked in finance, and eventually settled into a career as the manager of a very successful retail baby boutique. In this role, Annie had encountered thousands of expectant parents. She heard their fears and shared their joy, but more than anything she saw the stress they were enduring regarding all the decisions they needed to make. As time went on she heard more and more parents asking for someone who could help them make educated choices about their pregnancy and beyond. Many didn’t have the time (or energy) to research all of the baby preparation options out there and when they did attempt to research their options, more often than not, ended up feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and even more confused. Her passion was born! This passion led her to become a Certified Baby Planner and Greenproofer, launch WeePlan Baby Planners, and begin her role as a Maternity Product Pro™ Instructor for the International Maternity Institute. With her unbiased, hands-on experience, and thousands of parents’ feedback, she is able to tailor an individualized plan for each unique parenthood experience. Most importantly she saves her clients time and money as she supports and empowers them in their decisions as an educator and advocate, with a focus on the health and well-being of the whole family. For more information about Annie visit

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