A new texting service is hoping to give Black pregnant women and moms more access to resources and information to help with all their pregnancy questions and needs.

According to the Chicago Tribune, ‘The Cord,’ the free news and information service, was created by reporters at City Bureau, a nonprofit civic journalism lab based on the South Side of Chicago.

Four of City Bureau fellows – Janaya Greene, Camille Powell, Emeline Posner, and Sarah Conway – created the service, allowing women to text their questions and get the help they need. The idea came up after the fellows were discussing maternal health and spoke to women across theWest Side about the lack of resources and information.

“Somebody I talked to, she was saying that she didn’t really trust the doctors that she went to, and she felt that they couldn’t answer her questions adequately,” Greene told the Tribune. “We had to think about: What’s another way that we can bring information to people that’s easier to access?”

Texting as an option came up because, according to Greene, “we think it makes the information sharing a little bit more personable.”

It is an important service to offer, particularly for Black soon-to-be moms or already-moms, as Black maternal health is often precarious.

As the Tribune notes, Black women in Illinois are six times more likely to die from pregnancy-related conditions than their white counterparts. A majority of these deaths are often preventable.

Racism within the healthcare industry, which often causes Black pain to not be taken seriously, is often pointed out as one reason as to why the complaints and questions of Black patients – in this case, Black mothers – go overlooked.

The Chicago women who subscribe to The Cord will get tips and information about other resources, such as where to go for certain services. The women will also not only be able to ask questions, but share their own stories and experiences. They can also share their own stories and ask questions.

“We want it to be a two-way conversation,” Greene said.

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