As a nurse, healthcare administrator and mother—Layo George saw not only the disparities that women of color faced along their pregnancy journey, but she also experienced first hand the joys that the chapter brings. After having a village guide and assist her through her own road to motherhood, she found it necessary to provide that same experience to others.
Her app, Wolomi, is now revolutionizing the way Black and brown women approach pregnancy. It is the first digital pregnancy community created by a Black nurse for women of color. EBONY chatted with Layo George—who utilized the Google for Startups to launch her app— to learn more about the platform, as well as why this work is important to her as a Black woman in healthcare and tech.
EBONY:What led you or inspired you to get into this type of work?
Layo George: I started Wolomi because I didn't want to die on my own pregnancy journey. As a maternal health nurse, I had a good understanding of what the journey was like for women, especially women like me. I owned my own pregnancy journey by surrounding myself with things, people, and providers that value me. I went on a sabbatical while I was pregnant. After having the kind of outcomes that I wanted and loved, I decided to share them with other women. I know with a bit more support, guidance, and love other women can get the type of support and outcomes they deserve.
Talk about Wolomi and what users are able to do within the app.
Wolomi is a digital companion made for women of color on their pregnancy journey. When a mom-to-be or mom downloads and logs on to the free app based on when they are due, they get weekly moments/ education written by a black midwife that helps them prepare for their doctor’s appointment. They can also engage in community discussions and ask questions in the community, all moderated by a maternal health expert. Moms who want more access to what the community offers can become a paid member, talk to experts who understand them, including doulas, and attend our virtual events. Wolomi hosts pregnancy circles and breastfeeding support groups.
Why is this work important?
Women like me—Black and brown women—can’t wait till the healthcare system fixes itself. Our lives and joy are at stake; we deserve better. The maternal health inequity is getting worse, and black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die on their journey.