A Brooklyn Doula brings the ancient practice into the 21st century with her new app
Yasmintheresa Garcia is a doula—a person who assists a woman before, during, and after childbirth. Doulas have been around since ancient times; the word comes from ancient Greek. However, doulas have jettisoned into the 21st century with their own app, thanks to Yasmintheresa.
The 24-year-old Afro-Dominican Brooklyn native is the creator and developer of the IbiOp app. The app provides a directory for moms to find birth workers who specialize in natural birth along with students interested in the field.
“Doulas hold everything together for the family,” says Garcia, in an interview with Black Enterprise’s Selena Hill. “It’s an ancient practice that now has turned into a career.”
Garcia is using the app as a means to launch her own private practice. The app allows women who travel, work, or who are otherwise on-the-go, access to options available in her community for gynecology services or antenatal, prenatal, and postnatal support; all at the touch of a button.
She has kicked off a fundraising campaign on Kiva.org—seeking a $1,000 loan to boost her business. With the loan, Garcia plans to hire a developer to enhance the app with tutorials and updates to make its information more accessible to users.
The loan will also help her pay for the licensing fees required to create e-commerce integration for partners to pay listing fees. She is trying to speed up the process of getting more advertisers and providers listed within the app.
Baby Tech Is Blowing Up
The baby care market is seeing exponential growth worldwide. The market was worth $44.7 billion dollars in 2011, and it is expected to increase total sales to $66.8 billion by 2017.
A sizable portion of this market is apps and technology tailored to expectant and new parents. Last years’ CES, consumer electronics show introduced a new event, The Baby Tech Showcase. Vendors demonstrated an array of technology for baby care including smart scales, monitors, and thermometers. Recently, the My Baby’s Beat app was introduced in the App store. It allows parents to hear the sounds of a baby in the womb via a smartphone.