The maternal mortality crisis continues to disproportionately affect Black women. According to new research released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for women over the age of 30, Black women are four to five times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth. Entrepreneur Kimberly Seals Allers is aiming to reverse this alarming trend through her app Irth and she recently received $200,000 in funding to push her efforts forward, Black News reported.
The app was designed to combat racial bias in the healthcare space; especially for Black moms who are expecting. The digital platform features reviews and ratings of health facilities and healthcare providers so that individuals can make informed decisions when it comes to seeking the best care during their pregnancy journey. The grant was donated by the Tara Health Foundation which focuses on the well-being of women and girls.
Seals Allers—a notable author and journalist—says that her personal experiences inspired her to create Irth. After enduring racial bias at the hospital where she delivered her child—a facility that her white friends praised—she saw first-hand how Black mothers are often mistreated. “At that time of my life, I was on student insurance and I was not yet married. Despite my career and academic accomplishments, I was treated like an unwed black woman with basic insurance. I lived that. It was clear to me that not all people experience the same place the same way,” Seals Allers said in a statement.
Several individuals and organizations have stepped up to back platforms that are focused on addressing issues surrounding maternal health. Tennis star Serena Williams recently invested in the maternal healthcare startup Mahmee which provides expecting parents with a comprehensive dashboard that tracks the health of the mother and child. Parents can also utilize the platform for educational resources.