A maternal health platform geared toward Black mothers has received funding to drive progress in its sector.

According to The Brown Daily Herald, Birth By Us, co-founded in 2021 by UC Berkeley alum Ijeoma Uche and MIT pre-med student Mercy Oladipo, obtained $40,000 in unrestricted funding due to being a recipient of the 2024 Westly Prize for Young Social Innovators.

The award was created by The Westly Foundation, which provides “funding opportunities that advance education, improve healthcare access, and support the growth and well-being of our children,” its website mentions. Additionally, the fund amplifies the efforts of social innovators such as Uche and Oladipo.

“I personally felt so supported in a way I haven’t felt in a very long time. It’s harder to get the funding it needs to progress as fast as other companies,” Uche told The Brown Daily Herald.

Uche and Oladipo are now backed in their initial calling to ensure Black women can receive better maternal health outcomes as Oladipo states the demographic faces “one of the worst outcomes and the worst experiences when it comes to pregnancy and postpartum care.”

The healthcare platform helps mothers prepare for their doctor visits from prenatal leading up to one year postpartum. As mentioned on their website, it also offers a directory of resources, daily wellness checks, and health insights to help mothers determine normalities or potential areas of concern.

“We essentially empower women of color to shape their own birthing experience while giving providers and hospital systems necessary insights to best support their pregnancy, birth,” Uche said in an interview with The Brown Daily Herald.

Looking ahead, the founders hope to scale their impact by using the funding to grow their team, which includes four medical advisors, a biostatistics advisor, a technical advisor, a product and design intern, and a full-stack engineering intern, the company’s website lists.

Uche says the funding will help the Birth By Us team “make the impact that we want to make as fast as we anticipate.”