February 24, 2022
Poppy Seed Health’s Simmone Taitt wants to eliminate maternal health inequity
The real-time health advocacy app offers a virtual best friend – no matter where users are on their pregnancy trips
Simmone Taitt is not afraid of rabbit holes. As the founder and CEO of Poppy Seed Health – an on-demand health advocacy app for births that provide pregnancy and postpartum care – Taitt digs deep, no matter how dark or scary or in the weeds. can be a topic.
“I was never afraid to explain,” says Taitt. “It’s the only thing that’s ingrained in my DNA: I don’t care to ask questions, and I don’t care to try new things.”
Over the course of a career that has taken her from the growing world of retail to the emerging world of technology, Taitt boasts of moving from the “zero day to the first day”. In order Poppy healthday zero was the day she heard the shocking and unfortunate news that she had lost her first pregnancy.
“I was in my doctor’s office, and we couldn’t find a heartbeat,” Taitt recalls of the first trimester appointment where his doctor broke the news. “I left that appointment without any medical, emotional or mental health support. I was just spinning for information. So I went on the Internet.”
After several rabbit holes led her to the discovery of a doula message board – a forum that is affectionately referred to as “a virtual bear hug” – she decided to become a doula. herself, and the seed has been planted for what will become Poppy Seed Health. .
What started out as a simple need for information after Taitt’s first few pregnancies has quickly evolved into something more. She began her journey to become a birth doula trained by WOMAN is a full-spectrum doula trained by Ancient Song Doula Services, which has a focus on reproductive rights and birthright justice. As a practitioner of the emerging movement – which aims to address inequalities in pregnancy health care for Black, Indigenous and Colored Communities (BIPOC) – it supports others in their journey from conception at postpartum, and pregnancy and childbirth. loss. “I wanted to be boots on the ground,” he says. “I needed to understand the gaps in maternal care for myself.”
“Everything I’ve done personally as a doula, between my lived experiences and what I experience with my clients, informs Poppy,” Taitt explains. “From the way we built the technology, to the look and feel of the app.”
Launched exclusively in the App Store in April 2021, and recently introduced as a App of the day, Poppy Seed Health provides 24/7 access to a diverse network of doulas, midwives and nurses for childbirth, postpartum and support for pregnancy and child loss. To ensure that users are paired with an attorney tailored to their particular needs, Poppy has introduced matching algorithms for where a user is on their journey, from pregnancy to postpartum. Soon, the app will match users with support providers based on preferences such as race, ethnicity, spoken language, and LGBTQIA + identification.
In addition, 50 percent of the hundreds of attorneys on Poppy identify themselves as BIPOC, queer, trans, and a wide range of intersections between.
“It’s really the magic of what happens at the bottom,” Taitt explains. “Users don’t just have someone, they get the person to meet them where they are in the moments when they need support the most.”
According to u American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an estimated 26 percent of pregnancies end in abortion, 80 percent of which occur in the first trimester. Worldwide, an estimated 23 million miscarriages occur each year. In BIPOC communities, these numbers can be drastically higher. A 2021 study of seven countries conducted by The Lanceta peer-reviewed medical journal revealed that Black women have a 43 percent higher risk of pregnancy loss.
Poppy Seed Health’s emphasis on diversity is intentional. Build an in-app accessibility path that Taitt and his team decided before would be their core offering: assisting newborns who need emotional, mental, and well-being support wherever they are on their journey. It was vital for Taitt that Poppy be priced in a way that is accessible to all users, and so for every member who pays the $ 29 monthly subscription price, the app is able to provide free access to a Medicaid-receiving user. . Today, 30 percent of people who use Poppy Seed Health are on Medicaid, and 75 percent of users visit the app’s free evidence-based library.
Just over a year after its official launch, Poppy Seed Health is still in its infancy. Today, it’s one of many apps available on the App Store focused on pregnancy health with an emphasis on addressing existing inequalities in healthcare, such as IrthA platform similar to Yelp that offers prenatal, postpartum, postpartum, and pediatric care reviews from black and brown people.
Although her path to technology and becoming a founder of the app may seem unconventional, Taitt has no problem pointing it to her across the board: her passion for sales is also her passion for connecting and building relationships with people, and solving problems together.
“I went from the maze of startup mistakes and the love of technology, to really building it myself,” says Taitt. “And they understand that technology is much bigger than just the people who actually build it. It’s the whole ecosystem that comes together to make technology accessible.”
Katie Clark Alsadder
Apple Media Helpline