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New MaternityMetrix app aims to support, guide and provide clear information for pregnant people in Milwaukee

Pregnant people can now find answers and crucial information from vetted resources on MaternityMetrix.
Konstantin Postumitenko/Prostock-studio - stock.adobe.com
Pregnant people can now find answers and crucial information from vetted resources on MaternityMetrix.
"We strongly believe that the better you are prepared for your pregnancy and for the different phases of your pregnancy, [then] the better you're prepared for childbirth..."

-AkkeNeel Talsma, creator of the MaternityMetrix app

According to the CDC, American women are more likely to die from childbirth than women in any other high-developed country. Even in Wisconsin, 25 new mothers are lost every year due to complications from childbirth. In Milwaukee specifically, the March of Dimes rated us an “F” in preterm birth.

While there are many factors that contribute to these poor outcomes like healthcare coverage, poverty, racism, and access to care — one app is trying to help us reach better outcomes for maternal and child health.

MaternityMetrix gives accessible, clinically-vetted, perinatal guidance for anyone, especially for mothers in underserved communities. AkkeNeel Talsma is an associate professor of nursing at UW-Milwaukee and creator of the app.

Talsma notes that Black babies are three times less likely to survive their first birthday due to high volumes of premature birth. This often correlates to persistent complications that threaten the child's life. Some of the contributing factors to these disparities are a lack of adequate insurance and the flexibility to prioritize going to pregnancy appointments where the crucial information can be presented to the pregnant person. That's where MeterintyMetrix comes in.

"The purpose of the app is to support, guide and provide content and information for pregnant people in the community — but also community care workers, perinatal coordinators, health ministries and also primary care offices," says Talsma. The app also focuses on providing clear, concise usable information for pregnant people to easily comprehend and apply. It provides answers to questions regarding topics like healthy blood pressure, harmful substances like alcohol and weed, and mental health support as well.

Talsma believes that having the information available makes a difference. "Overall, we believe that bringing this information to where the people are and having a trusted, vetted clinical content is a way for us to help improve our outcomes so that we all together can enjoy pregnancies, births and our infants growing up."


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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