March of Dimes, a nonprofit focused on mother and infant health, just launched a new podcast: Unspoken Stories. Hosted by Tatyana Ali, the show shares true, often painfully honest stories of pregnancy and childbirth. It’s part of March of Dimes’ #UnspokenStories initiative, intended to shine a light on “the darker corners of parenting.”
Most parenting podcasts feature happy times, but loss and complications are part of the reality of pregnancy for many. The United States is in the midst of a maternal- and child-health crisis, with more than 380,000 babies born prematurely each year, and more than 50,000 women experiencing life-threatening pregnancy complications.
March of Dimes President and CEO Stacey D. Stewart tells Parentology, “Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all experience, however, people often feel isolated when things don’t go as planned. What we must understand is there’s no perfect pregnancy, birth, or parent—and yet we rarely hear their REAL stories.”
March of Dimes started the podcast to show these stories aren’t rare and sharing them is “what ties people together.” Stewart adds, “It only takes hearing one story like your own to know you are not alone.”
Each episode of the podcast features a parent’s story about the realities of starting a family. Maternal mortality or loss of a child can feel incredibly lonely and disorienting. Unspoken Stories hopes to raise awareness and bring together a supportive community.
March of Dimes itself is working to help reduce premature birth and maternal morbidity rates in general, but the podcast features individual stories about family and parenting life, as well as the complex US healthcare system.
Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who was interviewed on the podcast, said, “Just knowing what other people go through makes you feel exponentially better. And you don’t feel so isolated… you don’t feel so cursed.”
Complications and loss during pregnancy and parenthood are never easy to face, but now parents don’t have to face these struggles alone. Sigler reminds listeners, “Other people that are good people have to go through it, too.”