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Ronit Menashe Is Breaking Barriers in Prenatal Health. Here’s How.

Ronit Menashe's headshot

Ronit Menashe, Co-Founder and CEO of WeNatal, embodies resilience, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a dedication to revolutionizing prenatal wellness. 

Ronit’s Israeli roots, shaped by the independence fostered in its culture, laid the foundation for her willingness to take on challenges. From serving in the army, where she honed her disciple and adaptability, to starting a career in fashion after moving to Los Angeles at just 20 years old, Ronit’s journey is the epitome of versatility. Prompted by personal experiences of pregnancy loss, Ronit and her best friend, Vida, embarked on an insightful research journey. They uncovered a significant gap in the prenatal industry, identifying the overlooked aspect of men’s health in the path to parenthood. WeNatal emerged as the solution, creating the first comprehensive prenatal supplement for both men and women.

We asked Ronit about the issue WeNatal addresses, how embracing her uniqueness fuels her entrepreneurial journey, and what lies ahead for her and her company.

Tell us the story behind your company’s founding. How and why did you start working on WeNatal?

In early 2020, I experienced pregnancy loss just a week after my best friend, Vida, went through a similar experience. Determined not to accept the notion that miscarriages are common and just happen, we embarked on a journey of research. To our surprise, we came across numerous studies emphasizing the crucial role of sperm health in the journey to parenthood. It became apparent that we had unknowingly overlooked the well-being of our husbands in this entire process of having a baby.

Throughout history and across cultures, women have shouldered the burden of fertility and infertility.

Recognizing the immense potential for improving sperm health, we initially set out to develop the best male prenatal supplement on the market. However, as we delved deeper into available options, we noticed the oversaturation and confusion in the women's prenatal industry. Many supplements made lofty promises but ultimately failed to deliver. 

This realization prompted us to create WeNatal—the next generation of prenatal supplements designed for both women and men. Our aim is to empower couples with comprehensive support and reliable solutions, revolutionizing the prenatal experience. We are extremely passionate about supporting and educating couples on a healthy road to parenthood.

What problem does WeNatal solve? 

The preconception period, or the time before pregnancy, presents a significant opportunity for both men and women to prioritize their health and, consequently, their fertility. Yet, there were no prenatals on the market for men. Most prenatals on the market are not comprehensive and don't have enough nutrients that are critical for pregnancy. 

So we launched WeNatal for Him—a supplement that provides comprehensive, evidenced-based levels of vitamins and minerals, which have been shown to optimize fertility in the male partner and improve pregnancy rates. WeNatal for Her contains 24 key nutrients that are clinically-proven to support preconception, improve chances of a successful pregnancy, optimal development of the fetus, reduce chances of pregnancy complications, and support mom’s recovery post-delivery. This is also one of the only prenatals on the market that contain 400 mg of choline and 4,000IU of vitamin D, which is based on the most current research. The average prenatal on the market contains only 50-100 mg of choline and 800-2,000IU of vitamin D.

And last but not least, this year we introduced our WeNatal Omega DHA+—the ultimate prenatal fish oil supplement for both parents pre-, during, and post- pregnancy. Our pure and natural formula is sourced from wild-caught and sustainably sourced fisheries, ensuring the highest quality. With 600 mg DHA and a total of 830 mg EPA, DHA, and DPA, it supports your baby's cognitive development and promotes mom and dad’s overall health. As with all of our products, it undergoes third-party testing and is non-GMO, mercury free, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. Plus, our easy-to-swallow capsules eliminate any unpleasant aftertaste. 

What are some of the most meaningful impacts WeNatal has had so far? 

Throughout history and across cultures, women have shouldered the burden of fertility and infertility. When we launched WeNatal, we were determined to change the narrative from "me" to "we." Men have largely been excluded from mainstream conversations about fertility, despite contributing to approximately 50% of infertility cases and pregnancy loss. Most of our subscribers are couples who are excited to embark on this important journey together. 

The other most gratifying aspect is the ultrasound pics, pregnancy announcements, and baby pictures we get. We get the most amazing emails and messages from our community. Countless couples who have struggled with fertility issues share stories of discovering WeNatal and getting pregnant naturally. We are so honored to be able to help these couples become parents!

What makes WeNatal different from other companies in the industry?

WeNatal is the first prenatal supplement intentionally optimized for her and him. We are female-founded and backed by industry-leading functional medicine doctors, nutritionists, and fertility experts, including Dr. Mark Hyman and Kelly LeVeque. WeNatal was started with the goal of helping couples navigate the increasingly confusing, stressful world of preconception with a clean, trusted product backed by clinical research, at an accessible price. A main point of differentiation is that it is formulated with key nutrients that others leave out—such as choline, in the most bioavailable forms—in only three capsules per day.

Green and pink "WeNatal" jars

In what ways has your upbringing or past experiences contributed to how you operate as an entrepreneur?

I grew up in Israel, which is a country that fosters independence and confidence from a very young age. When I was 17 years old, I joined the Israeli army and served for nearly two years, gaining valuable skills like discipline and teamwork. The army compelled me to step outside of my comfort zone and learn how to thrive in an unfamiliar environment. Although it was a challenging period in my life, it laid the groundwork for my subsequent move to the United States. At the age of 20, I moved to LA on my own and started a job in fashion design. I independently bought a car, secured an apartment, and applied to college.

I had an extremely fulfilling career working at Nike Inc. and in the wellness industry with functional medicine pioneer Dr. Mark Hyman. However, I always felt a little out of place in my corporate job because it was hard for me to stay in my lane. I loved contributing to every part of the business, something that is necessary when you are starting your own company. This independence and discipline set the foundation of being an entrepreneur and building a brand from the ground up. 

Have you ever felt like you’re “different”? If yes, in what ways has this contributed to your journey as an entrepreneur?

I have always felt a sense of being different, primarily as a generalist. Throughout my 20-year career before founding WeNatal, I often struggled with not excelling in one specific area. It took me some time to realize that my ability to navigate various domains as a generalist was a strength, enabling me to successfully launch and build the WeNatal brand. Initially, I didn't appreciate the value of my diverse skill set. It turned out to be a crucial factor in my entrepreneurial journey.

Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

As a child I was immersed in entrepreneurship and never knew anything outside of that until I went to business school and received my MBA. My parents were both entrepreneurs who owned fashion boutiques. When I embarked on my journey in corporate America, it was extremely foreign to me. I grew up learning how to run a business from my parents. Every outing and family trip were also business trips. I put every ounce of energy into my work. Being able to grow my own brand after learning so much from my corporate career is incredibly rewarding.

What’s one thing you wish you had known before starting WeNatal?

Trusting your gut is the most important thing when starting a business. Any time we had a bad gut feeling about working with someone, it turned out to be correct. As beginners, we didn't trust our gut with confidence. But now we do, and it's so important. 

What were the most difficult and most impactful lessons you’ve learned starting and running a company?

Ask for what you need. People are generally willing to help, but it's crucial to recognize that they are also busy. Making it easy for them to assist you has been a key strategy in navigating challenges and building meaningful connections.

Another significant lesson has been the transformational power of viewing customers as a community. Fostering a sense of community, offering support, and consistently giving fuels our mission in the most powerful way. It's not just about transactions; it's about building relationships and creating a supportive network.

In the competitive and cluttered business landscape, I've discovered that having a genuine story is a powerful tool for innovation. It's not just about launching a product; it's about sharing the authentic narrative behind it. This approach has allowed us to stand out and thrive even in spaces saturated with competition.

WeNatal was started with the goal of helping couples navigate the increasingly confusing, stressful world of preconception with a clean, trusted product backed by clinical research, at an accessible price.

What’s been the hardest and most rewarding part of your entrepreneurial journey?

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey has been an incredible adventure. The most challenging aspect has been forgoing the stability of a full-time job with benefits. As a result, I had to take a step back in lifestyle. In the case of my Co-Founder, Vida, she is juggling her full-time job along with WeNatal. While trying to handle it all is stressful, witnessing the positive impact and support we've provided to couples during pivotal moments in their lives is truly gratifying. 

Having a partner who is not only aligned with the vision but also the perfect collaborator has been a cornerstone of our success. The synergy we share has made the entrepreneurial path more enriching and enjoyable.

Furthermore, the journey has allowed me to connect with remarkable professionals including doctors, practitioners, and nutritionists. I have learned so much from them and elevated my own health and well-being through the process. Being immersed in this environment has encouraged personal growth and a heightened awareness of the importance of personal well-being.

What’s been the most unexpected part of your entrepreneurial journey?

Sometimes you have to pivot quickly. Approximately six months after our launch, we had the opportunity to work with an incredible advisor, Kathie Swift, who shared some groundbreaking research that was yet to be published. She had access to a new peer-reviewed study from the University of Arizona that explored the optimal prenatal doses of vitamins and minerals based on more than 200 scientific studies.

This put us in a challenging position. After careful consideration, we chose to take the path of innovation, constantly striving to make our products even better.

This decision meant investing in new nutrition labels, updating our packaging, and making changes to our website. Despite the challenges, we saw it as an opportunity to take our formula to the next level. We enlisted the expertise of a sourcing specialist to help us procure the most potent and pure ingredients. As a result, the new formula we launched in December not only improved the efficacy of our product, but also made it better tolerated and easier to take.

It was always our intention to stay on the cutting edge of scientific advancements, but we didn't anticipate it happening so soon. This experience taught us the importance of remaining open to new information and constantly seeking ways to enhance our offerings. It reinforced our commitment to innovation and providing the best possible products to support the fertility journey of our customers.

What are the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Not trusting our instincts when it comes to hiring certain agencies. While we were building our website, we received initial designs that were, to put it bluntly, subpar. In hindsight, we should have pivoted and sought out a different agency. It was clear that they didn't get our vision, but we gave them another chance. We asked them to implement designs crafted with our brand designer. While the end result was a visually stunning website, every interaction with the developers was challenging. Their egos were bruised, and this dynamic proved to be a persistent issue. We have since transitioned to a new development team, resulting in a revamped website. However, it was a costly lesson, as we had to redo the website just a year after its initial launch.

What’s the biggest misconception that others have around entrepreneurship?

The notion that you can't start a business later in life. In our case, both Vida and I were in our 40s when we launched WeNatal. The wealth of experience we had accumulated in our corporate careers in marketing and strategy, coupled with our extensive networks, turned out to be incredibly advantageous for our business.

Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur? How do you navigate this?

Yes, this is a natural feeling when you own your own company. There are so many daily,  high-risk decisions involving big investments. In those moments, we have learned the power of trusting our gut.

Have you felt like giving up? What made you persist?

I never felt like giving up because we have such an important mission that stems from our personal journeys. There are definitely tough days when we are trying to juggle it all. But we always go back to why we started WeNatal: to reimagine gender paradigms and create community. Our goal is to support, educate, and give our community everything we wish we had when we were going through our fertility challenges. For us, it was never about selling a supplement. It was about sharing our mission to support anyone trying to start a family with all the knowledge, education, and resources that we uncovered.  

When you are deeply committed to your mission, giving up simply isn't an option. Additionally, having the best co-founder has been instrumental. Her support provides that extra push on days when I need a little encouragement.

We dare you to brag: What achievements are you most proud of?

Over the past year and a half, we've experienced remarkable growth in sales, social media engagement, and newsletter subscriptions, with several thousand ongoing subscribers. What's particularly noteworthy is that all this growth has been organic thus far.

Through our subscription starter kit, we successfully replaced wasteful plastic pouches with refillable glass jars and travel vials. With the support of our community, we've saved millions of plastic pouches from landfills and prevented tens of thousands of plastic bottles from being used.

We've been featured in notable publications such as Forbes Health and The Wall Street Journal. We received top rankings for WeNatal for Him as the No.1 men's prenatal on Motherly and both WeNatal for Him and Her as No.1 on The Good Trade.

We are dedicated to growing and supporting our community, recognizing the challenges of the parenthood journey. Through grassroots events and private online communities, we remain committed to our consumers.

The reviews and feedback we've received are invaluable. Our consumers appreciate the support, innovative nature of our product, and personalized service. We've started gathering video testimonials and sharing them weekly.

Has your definition of success evolved throughout your journey as a founder?

Yes, it has. At first, all we cared about was helping people—guiding them, giving them resources, and ensuring we can share the vast amount of knowledge we have gained from our medical experts. This world of fertility is so stressful. We just wanted to make it easier and ensure no women took on the burden of fertility alone. As we have grown, we are seeing a shift in culture with both partners investing in their health, preparing their mind and body for their future babies together. This has now become such a greater form of success. 

Ronit Menashe and her business partner

What resources or people have contributed the most to your successes?

Our network has been instrumental in our journey to success. Fortunately, Vida and I have cultivated an extensive network over our more than 20-year careers in marketing and strategy. Our prior experience in the wellness industry, predating the launch of WeNatal, proved invaluable. Friends in functional medicine played a pivotal role in formulating and promoting WeNatal and connecting us with key individuals who have been crucial to our success and growth.

We highly recommend surrounding yourself with fellow founders and business leaders for collaboration and idea sharing. Building a network that includes individuals a few steps ahead of you, as well as those at a similar stage, is essential for growth and support.

Trust your gut. You get to choose who you work with. If you are not aligned with that person or team, they are not for you. 

How do you celebrate successes along the way?

It's important to take the time to celebrate success, no matter how big or small. With so much going on in the day to day, it's easy to skip over the wins. We maintain a team text thread dedicated to celebrating wins, including sharing exceptional testimonials and recognizing milestones such as surpassing one-million views on social media. We also take time with our team at the end of the year to get together in real life and reflect back on the year, celebrate, and dream up what our next year can look like.

How have you grown as a leader since starting WeNatal? What experiences have contributed to this growth?

We have way more perspective and confidence in ourselves even just after one year of our business. At first, we were quick to doubt ourselves or try to edit the same reel for social media a million times until it was perfect. Now, we realize it is progress over perfection. We move forward with what we have and realize that getting the content out to our community and being human is way more important than a polished Instagram video!

Have you discovered any underappreciated leadership traits or misconceptions around leadership?

There are common misconceptions around leadership, such as the belief that a leader cannot be friendly or must always be authoritative. We wholeheartedly disagree with these notions. In our experience, our entire team is like family to us and our leadership style is built on a foundation of genuine care and camaraderie. We believe that a leader can be both approachable and effective.

What would you tell your younger self if you were to start your entrepreneurial journey all over again?

Trust your gut. You get to choose who you work with. If you are not aligned with that person or team, they are not for you. 

How would you describe the journey you’ve had in a few sentences? Would you do it all over again?

I would unquestionably embark on this journey again. Recognizing the crucial role of men's health in supporting healthy pregnancies, we made it our mission to reshape gender paradigms surrounding fertility and pregnancy. We also learned that despite the oversaturation of the female prenatal supplement market, many products overpromise and underdeliver. Worse yet, few are tailored for consumers seeking clean wellness brands with a premium experience—consumers like us. Daily, we receive messages from growing families, often the first people contacted when someone receives a positive pregnancy test. It's incredibly gratifying to support so many and to find healing for ourselves from the losses we experienced.

What’s next for you and WeNatal?

We have two new innovative products in the works, both which will continue to support couples who are trying to conceive. We are accelerating our content and supporting our community with more education through workshops and masterclasses, amplifying our blog and social media. Our goal is to become a trusted resource for everything related to fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum.  

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