New App That Aims to Battle Bias in Maternity Care to be Featured at Upcoming MIT Hackathon

A new app concept, known as “the Yelp for the health equity movement” will be featured at the MIT Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon happening April 27-29 at the MIT Media Lab in Boston.

“Irth is birth, but we dropped the B for bias,” says Kimberly Seals Allers, nationally recognized maternal and infant health advocate who developed the app concept after her own experiences. “I read several reviews and received great recommendations from my white girlfriends. This was supposedly a top-rated hospital. But my own birth experience as a college-educated, unwed, black woman left me feeling traumatized and disrespected. Then I realized that other black and brown women had similar experiences, even at the “best” hospitals. It was clear to me that not all types of people experience the same hospital in the same way,” says Seals Allers.

Irth collects birth experiences and allows users to enter information about themselves, including race, class, gender identification, or even sexual orientation to find a detailed hospital review and rating from someone similar to you.

“A review from a middle-class white woman does not necessarily help a low-income black woman, a transgender person, or a same-sex couple understand what their experience may be like. With Irth, you tell us exactly who you are and we find a review and rating from a person just like you ” Seals Allers explains.