November 2, 2021

As Prematurity Awareness Month kicks off today, March of Dimes is announcing a new Public Services Announcement (PSA) aiming to raise greater awareness of the maternal and infant health crisis by highlighting real families who have experienced issues like preterm birth, infertility and maternal and infant loss. The PSA, entitled “Unspoken”, showcases stories from diverse families in an effort to provide strength to others and greater empathy to the issues that affect all of us.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. remains among the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth—a crisis fueled by the health equity gap in our health care system that puts women and babies of color at the greatest risk. Each day in the U.S. two babies die every hour, and about every 12 hours a woman dies from pregnancy-related causes. As many as half of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage and 1 in 10 babies is born preterm each year.

“We’re grateful to all the families who openly shared their stories in order to help someone else who may be in a similar situation,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes.  “We hope audiences see themselves in these families and know they are not alone -- that there is a community here to support them and ensure that every mom and baby gets the best possible start.”

Over the past several years, the organization has encouraged families to share their personal experiences with infertility, pregnancy, childbirth and loss and built a supportive community, known as #unspokenstories, to give voice to those experiences and reduce the stigma around these topics. The new PSA shows the unspoken empathy that happens between families who have experienced major issues related to maternal and infant health.

“We wanted to use the power of storytelling, not only forge connections with audiences, but to show the breadth and depth of the work we do on in communities across the country,” said Cindy Rahman, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Every day we’re supporting moms and families throughout their childbearing journey and through this PSA we’re elevating that message to new audiences and letting them know we’re here for them every step of the way.”
Rahman and Tina Sharif, March of Dimes Senior Director of Content and Creative, developed the creative vision for the PSA in partnership with award-winning director Kerith Lemon. Lemon brought the vision to life via her production company and said, “March of Dimes’ decision to depict the highs and lows of pregnancy and childbirth through real stories speaks to its commitment to support all families.”