New platform connects parents with supportive peer groups led by expert doulas
NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Seven Starling — a platform that supports parents from pregnancy to parenthood — announced its public launch, with $2.9 million in seed funding led by Pear VC, Expa, and Magnify Ventures. Seven Starling connects expectant and new parents with supportive peer groups led by experienced doulas, building digital communities that lead to happier, healthier, and stronger families.
"Our goal is for parents to feel empowered during pregnancy and early parenthood. New and expectant parents often feel isolated and overwhelmed — even more so during the pandemic. Seven Starling offers parents access to doulas and peers who quickly become invaluable partners in the pregnancy and parenting journey. The results are more meaningful connections and better maternal health outcomes," said Tina Beilinson, CEO and Co-Founder of Seven Starling.
Seven Starling facilitates virtual group-based care for parents and parents-to-be who are at similar stages of their pregnancy or first year of parenthood. Each small group is led by a doula who is uniquely matched with them based on their goals, preferences, and support needs. The doulas use Seven Starling's proprietary evidence-based curriculum to guide parents through every stage of their pregnancy from 8 weeks pregnant to 1 year postpartum. Expert-led group care is proven to improve maternal health outcomes: according to research, new mothers with higher levels of social support are 2x less likely to develop postpartum depression, and parents that participate in group care see a 36% reduction in preterm births.
Additionally, Seven Starling's platform makes doula support more accessible and affordable for all. Research shows that doulas are an important yet underused resource in improving maternal health outcomes and reducing the cost of care. But, they've historically been out of reach for many. Depending on the level of experience and services provided, a doula can cost between $800 and $2,500. For $37 a month, Seven Starling's membership program gives parents access to a dedicated doula in addition to the benefits of group care.
"Technology innovation in maternal care and parenting has long been overlooked and underfunded, but that's starting to change," said Julie Wroblewski, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Magnify Ventures. "Seven Starling is a leader in a growing field of innovation that will address long-standing, costly pain points in the pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting journey that have been exacerbated and highlighted by the pandemic. We are thrilled to invest and support this talented team."
During the company's beta phase, Seven Starling supported hundreds of parents through pregnancy and postpartum. The platform sees strong engagement from its users, with an average session attendance rate of 86% and a learning activity completion rate of 75%. Users share positive feedback across the board, with many commenting on the lasting and meaningful bonds they forged with other parents — especially valuable during the pandemic — and the quality of care and guidance. For parents in rural communities with limited access to doulas and local peer groups, the platform provides a critical lifeline for connection and support.
"As a first-time mom, I was looking for a live person I could turn to for answers and advice. But due to COVID-19, I had a hard time finding birthing classes that were affordable and interactive enough to meet my needs. With Seven Starling, not only do I have learning modules and interactive exercises to complete at my own pace, but I also have live sessions every other week in a small group setting led by a doula specifically assigned to me. Knowing that I can reach out to my group or doula with questions at any time has me feeling prepared — not only for the birth of my baby, but also for postpartum," said Seven Starling member Mallory Dickmann.
"Seven Starling is building the kind of safe and responsible online community that we sorely need as we spend more and more time online," said Mar Hershenson, Founding Managing Partner at Pear VC. "By enabling meaningful relationships to develop in a trusted environment, Seven Starling advances an exciting new vision for the future of community-building and care-giving online. This platform has the potential to transform essential parts of the human experience, starting with parenthood."
Seven Starling offers monthly membership plans for new parents starting at 8 weeks pregnant through 1 year postpartum. At $37 per month, the membership includes access to a dedicated doula via chat, live bi-weekly expert-led group sessions with a small cohort, and self-paced learning activities and exercises developed by maternal health experts.
Now that Seven Starling's platform is more widely available, the company is working with healthcare organizations to integrate its offerings within traditional models for prenatal and postpartum care. Through a partnership with Inflect Health, the innovation hub of Vituity, Seven Starling will reach a network of providers and clinics that serves 6.5 million patients each year across 400 practice locations.
About Seven Starling
Seven Starling is a next-generation platform making high-quality care more accessible for expectant and new parents. With dedicated doulas, personalized learning, and peer support in a group care setting, Seven Starling uses the most effective, proven methods to empower parents and improve health outcomes. Sign up today at www.sevenstarling.com.
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SOURCE Seven Starling