The premise of Rosie Pope's new Bravo reality show, Pregnant in Heels, sounds like Real Housewives meets A Baby Story. A "pregnancy concierge" gets paid by hugely rich preggos to come in and prep them for baby. So we'll have to watch someone paid to step in and do what a Grandma should be doing naturally?
Wait 5 minutes. You won't be able to change the channel. That's how long it took to turn my rolling eyes saucer-sized as I first gasped then giggled at the insane hoops the yummy mummies of Manhattan were making the British-born maternity clothier jump through.
After I watched Pope make a surprise visit to a set of parents with a shrink in tow to make them face that they are acting like this baby they claim to want is more like an alien, I called her on the eve of the show's premiere with one big question in mind. Speaking at home, reminding us she's a pretty down-to-earth regular mom as she breastfed her youngest son and toddler JR played in the background, Pope filled us in on how a pregnancy concierge manages to tell the richest women in Manhattan that they're just not going to cut it as parents.
My initial reaction was: Do you worry about your business, having these people see HOW HARD you are on the women who are on this show?
[Laughs.] Um, no! I mean, I think for me the particular clients we picked to be on the show really needed me to be hard on them, and I think people watching will understand that. Every client is very different, and these particular ones, if I hadn't been hard on them, who knows what kind of parents they would be!
I think you have to be honest as opposed to give them excuses, especially because these are privileged and wealthy women. They shouldn't get off the fact that they need to be good parents.
Tell us about the start of the pregnancy concierge business.
It started after JR. I have a clothing line, which I'm very proud of. We have literally everything from baby CPR to breastfeeding education to anything you can imagine to prepare for childbirth and parenting. And what happens is, well, firstly I'm on Madison Avenue, so women started coming in and wanting private services.
They didn't want to come and take classes with everyone else, and they didn't want to shop with everyone else. They wanted me to make clothes for them, and they wanted me to tailor classes for their specific needs.
I started doing this, and the requests just started getting more and more outlandish, and that's representative of the microcosm of New York City that I live in. Before you knew it, Bravo had heard about this.
When they brought this to you, did you automatically say yes or were you worried?
Oh yeah, I was like absolutely not! Then I got to know the producers, and we came up with a concept that I felt was OK, I felt would be fun, and does show a little bit of what I do day to day.
Were you more worried about the business end or how it would affect your family?
More my family. Being on TV can really help your business, it can tell the rest of America that you exist. But for me, the family element was really tough. Especially difficult because if I did it, I didn't want to put my husband, my in-laws, my son on TV that much. But I didn't think it was right not to tell my personal story about pregnancy and because of what I do ... clients often have difficulties, and for me to just pretend that everything's perfect and easy, it just felt like the wrong move.
I had to decide I was OK talking about all that hard infertility stuff.
That's SUCH a taboo subject for moms. Women won't talk about.
Yeah, and to me, it really feels like it's talked about on TV. I'm not sure that's right, but it FEELS like that ... I didn't know anything about this when I went in. I didn't know my mom had a miscarriage until it happened to me. It's really interesting how as women we don't really share this stuff, because you just feel kind of inadequate if you can't get pregnant.
I really wanted to bring that to light, and also in Hollywood, I think people are obsessed with pregnant celebrities, and all of sudden these Hollywood celebrities are having these perfect twins. I just think with the pressure women put on themselves as it is, to not be realistic about what's going on is making it even harder on themselves.
Do you see that side of it, the infertility side, as your service to the everyday mom? Because the moms you feature on the show, most moms can't relate to their circumstances.
Yeah, definitely the infertility side relates to everyone, and the struggle of being a parent in general. For us, the concierge part is fun and interesting for a reality TV show.
Pregnant in Heels premieres tonight and will air Tuesday nights on Bravo at 10 ET/9 Central. Will you be watching?
Image via Rosie Pope