Our Narrative Shifting Projects

The Yelp for the Health Equity Movement: An App That Shares Experiences of Bias in Maternal Care

Introducing irth--Birth. Without the B for bias. 

Share Your Story. Find a hospital or doctor review from someone just like you. 

Be in the know! 


Latest News: Irth Wins "Media for Change Award" at recent MIT Hackathon


Irth™ disrupts the notion that all women experience the same hospital or doctor in the same way. We believe everyone deserves a fair medical experience and the knowledge and tools to make that happen. 


The truth is, compelling research proves that implicit bias, including your race, class, gender identification, marital status or even sexual orientation can impact the care and treatment you receive. 


Reading the hospital review of a middle-class white woman does not help a low-income black woman, a transgender person, or a same-sex couple understand what their experience may be like at the same place. 


While the impact of implicit bias on patient care is now widely accepted in academic and scientific research circles, until now there has been no consumer application to capture and share experiences of bias.  


With Irth, you tell us exactly who you are (such as your age, race, ethnicity, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, city, state, insurance type, etc.) and we find a review from a person most like you, instead of not like you at all. 


Think of it as Yelp for experiences of bias and discrimination in maternity care. It's the experiential sharing platform for the health equity movement.  


In the most recent Listening to Mothers national childbearing survey, 21% of black mothers and 19% of Hispanic mothers hospitalized for childbirth reported perceptions of poor treatment due to race, ethnicity, cultural background, or language. 

Yet we continue to only rank maternity services on availability of private rooms, the food and whether you can have overnight visitors. 


This focus on rating hospitals on amenities versus the “experience” is rooted in a false assumption that the care will be equal for everyone. 

Unfortunately, the evidence proves this is simply not true. We need a new metric. 


As we collect the intersectional experiences of birth at U.S. hospitals, we will use this information to push for social change and greater accountability among hospital and physician practices. 


Bias in medical care has been linked to the country’s high infant mortality and maternal mortality rates. It has been linked to higher mortality rates for many diseases, such as cancer.


Irth creates awareness and evidence as to how health care providers, systems and policies may be stacked against specific groups within our society. It builds a community of Irth-ers who stand up for bias-free care. 


The app’s back end data repository can be used to develop hospital ranking products, databases and research on C-section rates, breastfeeding rates and other measures of medical care across intersectional lines. 


Narrative Nation is actively seeking funding opportunities to fully develop the Irth app and the business model. 


A MESSAGE FROM THE CREATOR: 

"I am on a mission to equalize the experience of giving birth for every person in this country. "

"I had my first child days after completing my master’s degree at Columbia University. I was unwed and on student insurance. At the hospital, which was supposedly one of the best in New York City based on all the mainstream ranking services, I was completely disrespected, my wishes were ignored and I left feeling traumatized and violated. I was treated like an unwed black woman with basic insurance and I always wondered why a hospital that had treated others so well, treated me so poorly. 


Four years later, I delivered my second child with my husband by my side and the “good insurance” of my corporate employer. It was a completely different experience. The truth is, every day different types of people walk into the same hospital and leave with starkly contrasting experiences, with the most key variables being race, class and marital status. 


Researchers at Stanford University and others have documented what women have been saying all the time — implicit bias impacts the care and treatment we receive. 


Every one deserves an empowered birth experience where they are honored and respected for who they are, not treated differently, disrespectfully or inadequately because of who they are. I created the concept of the irth app to ensure that possibility for everyone."