The CDC has said that Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die during or after child birth than white women. This is just one statistic of many that shows the disparities between health care for Black and Brown women versus White women. A new app is now revolutionizing the way these women can search for health care providers that will meet their needs.
Irth, created by Kimberly Seals Allers, is a Yelp-like review system allowing women to share stories about their own experiences at hospitals and with healthcare providers not only for other women to see, but to enact change in the places where it's needed.
"We really need to use the digital platform to put all these experiences together because that's where we have power," says Allers. "Now we can identify hospitals, now we can find those providers, and work with them to make the change that's necessary."
Once you enter the app you can leave a review or you can search the locations around you and see what reviews have been left. Reviews can be left for pre and post-natal care, including pediatrician visits through out the first year.
"If you don't like what you see let your provider know!," she says.
Reviews can be left by the birthing person themselves, or even the other parent who was there for the birth. Reviews allow for others to make more informed decisions, or speak with their provider about what they would like to change.
Allers has a non-profit, Narrative Nation, which also works to eradicate health disparities. The group looks toward changing the narrative so that the community is in control of it, ensuring the correct messages get out.
"Part of the issue is, who's telling the story matters," says Allers.
The Irth app is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.