Erica Chidi, co-founder of LOOM and a first-generation Nigerian-American, learned how to wrap the language of self-care around her body from an early age. He spent the early part of his life in South Africa, then at the center of the HIV and AIDS epidemic, and his father worked as an endocrinologist and infectious disease specialist.
This exposure was complemented by Chidi’s mother, a registered nurse supplement who “said something about the body of our house that was very common in our house.” Her childhood developed an understanding of women’s bodies, a conversation that can be stigmatized in many immigrant families. Eventually, Chidi becomes a cradle, a trained person who guides mothers in the process towards motherhood.
“As a swing, I focus on personally caring and helping people advocate for them … so that they can optimize their health care experience wherever they are in their sexual reproductive health journey,” he said. “When I flashed at what I’m doing now 10 years later, I knew then that what I was actually focusing on was the user experience.”
This is not just the video company that took the seedling to Loom, but a digital learning platform on women’s health with a clear focus on sexual and reproductive health journeys. It was founded in 2017 by Chidi, along with Queen Lundberg, an advocate for women’s health care policy. After raising $3 million for these two seed funds last year, Weaving is now officially launching the first course to the public: a pregnancy and postpartum program. The program, which costs $90 for 12 months of access, includes asynchronous and synchronous learning components.
The video archive, which Chidi describes as a “masterclass, but for sexual reproductive health”, contains videos on medicated, untrained and caesarean births, as well as advice on choosing a caregiver. Live ingredients include weekly small hips that are managed by most clinicians, go into specific issues and concerns that mothers may face, such as postpartum care or trimester tips.
There is also a monthly talk hosted by Chidi, inviting the whole community to dive into a single topic between pregnancy and the postpartum world. For now, these sessions are held on Zoom, but Weaving is in the process of creating its own video platform.