S2 009: Astrid Gyllenkrok Kristensen. Digitalising the post-partum period. 👩🏻🍼📲🇸🇪
With a background of digital innovation at CNN and ViaPlay in Sweden and social impact startup, Astrid Gyllenkrok Kristensen’s story to healthtech starts from a personal, lived experience. Having had three children, she found that in Sweden, she had access to great healthcare support during her pregnancies. However, once the child was delivered, she was left alone, without support. She realised this wasn’t just a problem for her or her community, rather a global issue. This is where the idea of LEIA health started – to provide comprehensive support for the mother and family during the post-partum period, the time after the birth, which can be up to 1 year. LEIA is the world’s first digital post-partum tracker, ensuring the mother checks in to assess her mental, physical and sleep health.
Post-partum care globally varies in terms of care delivered to the woman. However, it is universally offline. LEIA want to digitalise the post-partum period and build a comprehensive dataset around health outcomes during the post-partum period. All whilst destigmatising the shame that women might feel around health issues such as vaginal or perineal tears, postnatal depression and a breakdown in relations with their partner. Astrid also touches on how LEIA are building a medically-validated and data-driven solution, her approach to raising a pre-seed round (including LEIAs investor Whatsapp group) and her experience of being part of both the Fast Track Malmö accelerator and Norrsken’s accelerator in Stockholm.
I also got to reminisce about my time as an NHS radiologist where I have done many endo-anal ultrasound scans on women who have torn their perineum during delivery. I was struck when speaking to these women that they often had no idea about how to deal with the physical and mental strain of post-birth injuries or how to deal with the feelings of shame that some of them felt during this period. This real-life frontline experience is what led me to invest in LEIA health and their mission to digitalise the post-partum experience.