Two mothers take on Black maternal mortality with She Matters, a platform for pre and postnatal care

BY Ben Ebuka Oji February 26, 2024 8:26 AM EDT
Jade Kearney and Marguerite
Jade Kearney and Marguerite, the founders of She Matters digital app and Syptoms Tracker. Photo Credit: She Matters

Black women face a higher risk of maternal mortality compared to white women, as highlighted in a recent study. The maternal mortality rate for Black women in the United States is 69.9 per 100,000 live births for 2021, which is nearly three times higher than that of white women, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To address this issue, Jade Kearney and Marguerite Pierce, two Black mothers, have introduced She Matters, a digital health platform that enhances maternal health outcomes by incorporating cultural sensitivity and technology.

Kearney and Pierce entered the maternal healthcare field following their struggles with postpartum anxiety and depression. They have transformed She Matters into a platform where Black women can access culturally sensitive resources and technology to enhance their well-being and maternity experiences. She Matters offers a supportive environment for mothers to connect and share their experiences without fear of judgment or racial bias.

Through She Matters, the founders organize monthly virtual events tailored to educate Black mothers, each led by a specialized subject matter expert.

“Our events are curated to tackle any subject that is relevant to the community from managing postpartum depression as a Black woman to Faith & Mental Health, Health Equity & Advocacy, Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation, Nursing & Antidepressants, and Navigating Single Motherhood to name a few.”

Symptoms Tracker App

To enhance their offerings and extend support to mothers in minority communities, She Matters has recently obtained $2 million in funding to introduce its new Symptoms Tracker app. This latest investment boosts She Matters’ total funding to $3.5 million. Supporters include the American Heart Association, The Fund, and The Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

The Symptom Tracker application is a cutting-edge tool created to enable pregnant and new mothers to monitor blood pressure, track vital signs, and keep an eye on symptoms linked to severe conditions like preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP syndrome. This tool is particularly vital for Black mothers, who experience a maternal mortality rate three times higher than their Caucasian counterparts.

“In 2024, SheMatters will grow our team and build out our product offering with our symptom tracker leading the way to create real change for Black mothers,” said Kearney.

Cultural Competence Certification Program

Kearney further disclosed that the company will expand its product portfolio to incorporate the SheMatters Cultural Competence Certification Program aimed at mitigating the prevalence of Black maternal morbidity.

This initiative imparts essential skills to healthcare professionals, enabling them to communicate and comprehend the needs of Black patients within the context of systemic inequality.

Notably, prominent universities and hospital systems have embraced this program, thereby enhancing the quality of care provided to minority communities.

The certification, crafted by Kearney, Pierce, and a team of experts, emphasizes safety, communication, and addressing the enduring effects of racism in healthcare.

In conclusion, Kearney and Pierce are dedicated to elevating cultural competency in maternal mental healthcare through a range of effective strategies, to challenge the cultural stigma surrounding mental health for Black women and fostering a supportive environment where Black mothers feel recognized and valued.