On June 25, the first national telethon for Black Maternal Health is going down. With celebrities and influencers set to answer phones and share their support, the event aims are to spread awareness, hold OB-GYNs accountable and create room for new and expecting parents to share their prenatal and birth experiences.
From midday to 8 pm, the telethon hopes parents will call in with reviews on their OB-GYNs, the hospitals where they gave birth, and their experiences at pediatric appointments for their young children thus far. As a part of its mission, the telethon aims for the event to result in creating a more accountable and compassionate medical system nationwide when it comes to Black maternal health and infant care.
Black News detailed that all of the parents who call 800-450-IRTH for the “Irth A Thon” tomorrow and leave their reviews will even be “entered to win cash and prizes.” All of the information gathered from callers “will be used for a new Yelp-like app called Irth — as in birth but without the b for bias.”
The app launched on Apple Store and Google Play Store back in March, and will a place where Black and brown people can “find and leave reviews of their prenatal, birthing and pediatric experiences of care, up to the baby’s first birthday,”
With their nationwide database, parents can gain insight, information and recommendations from other parents about where to go and which infant care providers to see based upon their city, state, or zip code.
Irth also “turns the qualitative reviews into quantitative data, identifying hospitals and providers who are doing well and providing real-time, patient-reported insights to help improve those with poor reviews.” Black News reported.
Last year, its founder Kimberly Seals Allers told Madame Noire about the app: “That is going to allow us to finally begin to decode bias. We’ll be able to say that this is the specific nature of what women are dealing with at your hospital and this is what we need you to address. We’re getting to move this conversation to a more detailed point so we can actually push for change within these systems.”
Should you dial into the telethon, some of the well-known names that might pick up your call include Angela Lewis of FX’s Snowfall, Latham Thomas, a doula and the founder of MamaGlow and Coach Gessie, a health and wellness guru. The event will include video appearances from “Tonya Lewis Lee, Christy Turlington Burns, and Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter.” Black News reported
At Madame Noire, the conversations surrounding Black maternal health are always on our radar. Read more about Allers and other Black women who are using tech to empower Black mothers here.