iHeartMedia and Thinx Bring Awareness to Black Maternal Health

Black women's maternal mortality rate is three-times higher than white women

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Audio giant iHeartRadio teamed up with menstrual care brand, Thinx, to shed light on Black maternal mortality inequities through a podcast series, MEternal—Because Pregnancy is About Mom Too.

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With iHeartMedia as one of the founding partners of the audio program, MEternal discusses all things maternal health among Black women and families. 

The series aired Sept. 28 with two episodes currently live on iHeartRadio, featuring interviews from maternal health experts like Adonica Shaw talking about her experience as a midwife, and victims sharing stories of being medically neglected while carrying or giving birth.

Podcast episodes are expected to launch biweekly, according to Thinx.

“As a founding member of ‘MEternal—Because Pregnancy Is About Mom Too,’ we hope to increase public awareness of the many issues surrounding Black maternal health and ultimately, provide resources to give people of color the maternal care they need and deserve,” Thinx chief executive officer Meghan Davis said in a statement.

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According to the CDC, Black women’s maternal mortality rate is three times higher than white women, due to reasons like structural racism and implicit bias in healthcare. This compares to 2.5-times higher in 2019, according to a report.

In general, podcasting is a growing medium for listeners and advertisers, with ad spend expected to rise to $2 billion by the end of 2022, per Intelligence Insider. Black audiences are growing too. A SXM Media report in 2020 shows that 17% of Black Americans were listening to podcasts weekly, in 2021 the number of weekly Black listeners jumped to 26%, that’s compared to 28% of the general market.

In an effort to share resources and education on maternal health, iHeartRadio and Thinx are holding community events for MEternal across New York City’s five boroughs and boosting resources through iHeartRadio’s core local radio markets like HOT 97 and Power 105.1.

“iHeartRadio’s New York radio stations together reach more than 1.6 million women of color,” president of iHeartMedia New York Bernie Weiss said in a statement.

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Thinx is also debuting its donation sales model, where with every purchase from its brands Thinx, Speax and Thinx Teens, Thinx will donate a pair of underwear to Alliance for Period Supplies and Planned Parenthood. The initiative aims to make feminine care and resources accessible and end period poverty and racial equity in the health system. This will extend through the end of 2022, according to Thinx.

“We are proud to join forces with MetroPlusHealth and Thinx to do our part and shine a light on this critical issue by providing information that can help prevent tragedies.”