After Oula founders Adrianne Nickerson and Elaine Purcell opened their first maternity clinic in Brooklyn this year, there was still a missing piece of the puzzle. They had built up a service to care for people from the beginning of a pregnancy through postpartum care, but there was still the matter of where the births would take place.
The startup struck a partnership with Mount Sinai West, which would allow them to deliver patients’ babies there. Patients would still receive care from their obstetrician and midwife through Oula, but would also have access to hospital resources and specialists as needed.
The Manhattan-based hospital once hosted one of New York City’s few remaining birthing centers, but it closed in 2018. Still, that history and the fact that many of Oula’s clinical staff worked there made it a natural choice, said Dr. Ila Dayananda, Oula’s medical director and chief clinical operations officer.
“Our partnership with Mount Sinai West is the perfect fit given our shared vision for offering a low intervention approach to low-risk patients, as well as our team’s prior experience working at this hospital,” she said in a news release.
The hospital reports a primary C-section rate of 22% and an episiotomy rate of 4%.
Nickerson and Purcell founded Oula in 2019, as they began to navigate their own maternity plans. They started with the idea of building a maternity clinic around a collaborative care model, where patients’ care is coordinated between OBGYNs, midwives, and other members of their care team. Oula also offers patients the ability for patients to message their care team between visits or receive virtual coaching.
In the future, Oula plans to open a birthing center in Manhattan, and offer more support services for new mothers, such as lactation counseling.
To date, the startup has raised $3.2 million in seed funding, with backers including Collaborative Fund, Chelsea Clinton’s venture capital firm Metrodora, and the founders of One Medical and Maven Clinic.
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