ARLINGTON, Va., May 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for the health of all moms and babies, has launched #UnspokenStories, a supportive community that gives voice to all experiences around pregnancy, parenthood and loss. This new initiative aims to provide women, men and families a platform to connect and speak honestly. Kicking off just before Mother's Day, #UnspokenStories will celebrate and support families in communities across the country to build awareness of the organization as we provide the advocacy, education, research and programs they need.
The United States is in the midst of a maternal and child health crisis with more than 380,000 babies born prematurely each year, as well as more than 50,000 women experiencing life-threatening complications as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. This country cannot continue to be the most dangerous developed nation in which to give birth. March of Dimes is working in communities across the country to reduce the rising rates of premature birth, as well as maternal mortality and morbidity. Our organization supports women before, during and after pregnancy to ensure all mothers and infants are healthy.
"Unspoken Stories aims to build a supportive community for moms and families by breaking the stigma of sharing stories around all forms of pregnancy and parenting," said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes. "We're empowering those who are too often silenced or hidden in the shadows. March of Dimes has the partnerships and community-building connections to convene, help and inspire people to share their stories. We know it only takes one story like your own to feel heard and supported."
Honest stories of pregnancy, parenthood and loss are too often left unshared. To fill this void, March of Dimes launched a supportive community of parents, medical professionals, grandparents, would-be parents and friends who want to connect and share with each other one story at a time. From family planning, pregnancy and parenting to the joys, the laughter, the challenges and the heartbreaks—all of these stories help build a community and provide support for so many who have had similar journeys.
Celebrities including Rachel Platten, Stephanie Ruhle, Mayim Bialik, Jazmyn Simon, Elisabeth Rohm, Laura Benanti, Nikki DeLoach and many others have also joined the initiative to stand with women, men and families by highlighting their own experiences in an effort to normalize pregnancy and parenting experiences as well as raise awareness around the urgent health crises moms and babies face in America.
"Sharing #unspokenstories of motherhood is so important... especially when Instagram only shows a sliver of real life. We are led to believe that the moment we have our children is going to be the best of our lives. In reality it is the most overwhelming. There is a no man's land between ecstatic and clinically depressed... when most of us are living right smack in the middle. It doesn't have to be this way, and if we talk about it more, we can fill the space with support and camaraderie … crowding that 'no man's land' with some likeminded mamas."
Stephanie Ruhle, anchor of MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle and Velshi & Ruhle
To join the #UnspokenStories movement, individuals and families can:
- Share stories at UnspokenStories.org to join hundreds who have shared their #UnspokenStories via social media.
- Host an Unspoken Conversation—where friends, families and neighbors can gather to share in person—in their community just in time for Mother's Day. March of Dimes has created a conversation guide at www.UnspokenStories.org/Conversations, making it easy and meaningful to gather in person and online.
- Join our upcoming Facebook Live event with PopSugar, March of Dimes health experts and cast members from "Nine Months with Courteney Cox." Join this special interactive event on May 7 at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. We'll be sharing honest #UnspokenStories and advice and taking questions from viewers LIVE. RSVP now
- Check out March of Dimes #UnspokenStories storytelling booths in select cities near you, including Washington D.C. (5/4) and Atlanta (5/4)—at annual March for Babies events—where families can share their stories without shame or judgement.
This Mother's Day (5/12) #UnspokenStories will also help celebrate every mother's journey by amplifying all voices. Every mom, mom-to-be, those who have lost a child and those hoping to become moms should feel heard, valued and supported on Mother's Day and every day.
"If you've lost a child, if you're miscarried, if you're wishing to become a parent, but are struggling, Mother's Day can be an emotional holiday," Stewart continues. "It's a day to be celebrated, to be sure, but we want moms to know that we see each of their #UnspokenStories and we're here for them."
#UnspokenStories shows the urgent need to destigmatize this maternal and child health crisis and show families across the country that they are not alone in their experiences.
For more information about #UnspokenStories and to share your story, please visit UnspokenStories.org, upload your story and engage with others in our community. You can share on social media on your channels or March of Dimes' Facebook and Instagram pages using #UnspokenStories.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family. Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.
SOURCE March of Dimes