NPR's How I Built This Fellow 2021

Be Her Village Selected For Prestigious NPR How I Built This Fellowship

Written by: The Be Her Village Team
Posted: April 19, 2021
UPDATE: December 2021: Watch Be Her Village on NPR's How I Built This podcast here!


Be Her Village, a revolutionary platform designed by two mothers to provide life-changing support for moms and moms-to-be, beat out thousands of businesses for NPR’s How I Built This Fellowship. The fellowship, awarded to only ten entrepreneurs, includes a feature on How I Built This podcast with Guy Raz, a three week mentorship, access to the 2021 How I Built This Summit, and a chance to win $50,000.

Read NPR's announcement here.

The Journey to Innovation

Founders Kaitlin McGreyes, 36, of Farmingdale, and Kristin Rosato, 38, of West Islip, know how America’s current health industry fails mothers all too well. With six children below the age of nine between them, they’ve experienced the gaps in perinatal care firsthand. Both moms had traumatic emergency c-sections during their first births. After McGreyes arrived home with her newborn, she was taken over by fear, loneliness, and a feeling of helplessness. She was surrounded by the gifts she’d received at her baby shower, but she ultimately realized that no material object could provide what she really needed. During the moments when Rosato was left alone in the hospital, recovering from major unplanned abdominal surgery, her son stopped breathing. Luckily, he was rushed to an incubator and resuscitated by a family friend. Following this experience, Rosato navigated being a NICU mom and was shocked at the gaps in care that started her motherhood journey. Both women adamantly agreed - it doesn’t have to be this way. 

“As appreciative as I was for the swings and swaddles, what I really needed was help,” McGreyes said. “We created Be her Village to make motherhood better. I want all mothers to not only survive their first few weeks at home, but thrive. It really does take a village.”

A Solution

Be Her Village is the beauty born out of the trauma of millions of women in the United States. The platform allows moms-to-be to register for what they really need - support during and after pregnancy. Women can choose from providers in their area or register for a general service that family members and friends can contribute toward. Birth and postpartum doulas, lactation specialists, midwives, mental health professionals, and so much more. The response from moms across the nation has been clear. They want support, not stuff. 

The need for Be Her Village has only been further validated by it’s selection in NPR’s How I Built This Fellowship. The fellowship’s judges, led by NPR correspondent Guy Raz, were focused on finding entrepreneurs that showed resilience and whose ideas would provide a solution to a widespread problem, ultimately making the world better. Beating out thousands of other applicants, McGreyes, Rosato, and their team have proved all the late nights working after their kids’ bedtimes was worth it, not solely because of the recognition, but for the impact they’re making in women’s lives at the particularly challenging time of a global pandemic. 

Making an Impact

Launching a company in September, 2020 may have sounded like an ill-fated investment to many, but McGreyes and Rosato knew that the world could not wait for their platform; new moms needed them now more than ever. 

The U.S. has higher rates of maternal deaths than 45 other countries and is the only developed country where the maternal mortality rate is consistently rising. In 2017, the rate was 17.3 deaths per 100,000 live births. That rate increased more than 15% in 2019. Black women are three-to-four more times likely to die of pregnancy related complications than white women. The country is facing a complex maternal health crisis due to a lack of comprehensive care and insurance, racial and socioeconomic disparities, rise in chronic conditions, and the inaccessibility of care providers. 

Be Her Village provides easy access to imperative resources, providers, and services that have been proven to make positive impacts on maternal health. For instance, studies have shown that continuous labor support from perinatal workers like birth doulas decreases the risk of Cesareans, the use of pain relief medications that may cause complications, and decreases the baby’s risk of a low APGAR score, while increasing the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth. Furthermore, birth doulas have been found to specifically benefit black mothers who face racism as a negative social health determinant. The science strongly indicates that comprehensive care and access to support services makes a significant difference in maternal health outcomes. 

With Be Her Village, the cost of childbirth education, midwifery care, or a doula does not need to be a financial burden, out of the reach of new moms. Instead, these potentially life-saving services are each woman's right as human beings, fully provided and funded by the village. 

As a member of NPR’s How I Built This Fellowship, McGreyes and Rosato will continue to change the narrative around maternal health and provide women everywhere with the care, dignity, and respect they deserve. 

About Be Her Village

Be Her Village is a new online gift registry designed to make Motherhood better by offering support not stuff. Be Her Village aims to empower moms with the support and resources they need and deserve instead of unlimited onesies and baby blankets. Be Her Village is designed to not only support new moms but also promote the local small businesses that help moms thrive. The platform strives to educate and empower moms about their support options and make it simple to find, connect, and fund the ultimate local support team. Be Her Village is also proud to have founded Maternal Spotlight, a nonprofit organization working to improve maternal well-being through evidence-based empowerment of women, birthing parents, caregivers, families, and communities. A small portion of all gifts given on Be Her Village goes to support the maternal health research and community microgrants to help underfunded mothers access the support services they need for better health outcomes. 

Follow our journey on instagram @behervillage

Watch our submission video below!

BeHerVillage is helping parents like you get the funds they need for the support they deserve! Are you having a baby and are looking for support? Create a registry for support today and get gifted funds directly into your bank account to pay for your support team. You deserve this.

Are you a birthworker who supports new moms? Use BeHerVillage to help your clients pay for your support. Create your free profile here and you can be the best baby shower gift a mom will ever get!
Category: Podcasts
Tags: NPR How I Built This , entrepreneurship , BeHerVillage


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