Mobile Health Centers
Throughout 2021, March of Dimes Mom & Baby Mobile Health Centers® provided 2,400 patient visits. These units, operating in five communities in Arizona, Ohio, Maryland and Washington, D.C., helped uninsured and under-insured women of childbearing age receive quality health care for themselves and their babies. Services include prenatal care and well woman visits. We also provided 4,500 COVID-19 vaccines.
We reached more than 50,000 families through our NICU Initiatives, including the NICU Family Support® (NFS) program and the My NICU Baby® and Mi Bebé en la NICU apps, which were downloaded more than 14,000 times. With your help, we continued to support and innovate with hospital partners in working both on site and remotely with families who weren’t able to be present in the NICU due to COVID-19 or other barriers, such as needing childcare or transportation. And this year marked NFS’s 20th anniversary, celebrating evidence-based programming reaching more than a million families over the past two decades.
We also launched our new completely virtual NFS model, reaching even more families and health care providers through digital resources and education. And, our award-winning educational content was also featured in the Wellness Network and Ovia platforms.
Healthy Moms Strong Babies Webinars
March of Dimes is there for moms through every stage of the pregnancy journey, even when everything doesn’t go according to plan. In 2021, we hosted 10 Healthy Moms Strong Babies webinars—with topics ranging from infant loss, to debunking COVID-19 myths, to Black motherhood—reaching more than 156,000 people to help moms and their families hear from experts to best prepare and care for their baby.
It Starts With Mom
Together with our partners and your support, we helped women feel better prepared for motherhood and their entire pregnancy with It Starts With Mom (ISWM), while increasing awareness of March for Dimes and our work to support moms and babies. ISWM raised more than $3 million through corporate partner activations and contributions, and $99,000 during Mother’s Day week through digital/direct marketing solicitations.
ISWM also generated more than 562 million media impressions, resulting from five national media placements, four local radio placements and 89 press release pickups.
ItStartsWithMom.org offered moms pregnancy health resources with more than 17,000 website views. And our second annual It Starts with Mom Live took place on May 7, hosted by Shawn Johnson East, entrepreneur, author and former Olympic gymnast, and received more than 30,000 views.
Supportive Pregnancy Care
Thanks to our supporters we were able to continue providing local programs like Supportive Pregnancy Care® (SPC), our group prenatal care program that brings high quality prenatal care along with education and social support where it’s most needed. In 2021 March of Dimes trained providers to implement SPC in person via socially-distanced groups and through Virtual Supportive Pregnancy Care to provide social support and education to expecting individuals in a safe, virtual space. Fifty SPC sites exist around the country with 13 brand new sites trained.
March of Dimes is working to mitigate bias among maternal and infant health care professionals to promote better outcomes for pregnant and postpartum people, newborns and their families through advocacy, research and programs. In 2021, our Implicit Bias training was offered to 30,000 health care professionals to increase awareness and stimulate action in care setting nationwide. In addition, 5,000 health care professionals completed our continuing education on topics such as: reducing stigma in the care of women with maternal mental health and substance use disorders; care practices to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality; and strategies to improve care and outcomes in the NICU.
March for Babies
The U.S. remains among the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth, especially for women and babies of color. That’s why together with our incredible community, we continued our largest annual fundraising event virtually—in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and restrictions on in-person gatherings—with the March for Babies: A Mother of a Movement™ campaign. Across the U.S. 41,000 individuals, companies and teams stepped up to raise nearly $23 million to make America more equitable and ensure that every mom and baby is healthy.
Throughout 2021, our volunteers have done some pretty amazing things to help us drive our work to mobilize communities, raise critical awareness and funds and improve the health of moms, babies and families. With 18,300 volunteers joining our fight, we made an impact together by:
- Providing almost 800 military families educational information and baby items through Mission: Healthy Baby®.
- Donating nearly $125,000 of Meals that Matter to families in need around the country.
- Raising $500,000 in over 250 do-it-yourself fundraisers.
- Writing 18,700 Notes of Hope to families in the NICU or Notes of Gratitude to health care workers.
Healthy moms. Strong babies. That’s what we fight for each and every day—and our Celebrity Advocate Council helps amplify the impact of that work. Our eight members are deeply connected and involved with the work of March of Dimes and continue to make an impact.
We added three new members in 2021: influencers and podcast hosts Jade Roper Tolbert and Whitney Port, and actor Rob Huebel. We’ve also continued our work with ongoing supporters, including musicians, Ally Brooke and Nick Lachey, athlete and Olympic champion Allyson Felix and TV personality and influencer Porsha Williams.
During a time of an unprecedented public health crisis—thanks to the voices of people like you—March of Dimes’ Office of Government Affairs (OGA) led a successful aggressive maternal and child health policy agenda, advocating for 106 pieces of state legislation, 34 of which were signed into law. Among the most significant achievements was the passage of the federal law, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The legislation included key March of Dimes’ priorities, most notably a new option allowing states to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for up to 12 months for eligible moms and pregnant women. This policy is already making a positive impact for tens of thousands of underserved women, especially Black moms, across the country.
Also, last year our #BlanketChange advocacy network acquired nearly 11,000 new advocates with more than 47,000 actions taken to call on policymakers to improve mom and baby health.
Mom and Baby Action Network
At the national level, our Mom and Baby Action Network (M-BAN) is a consortium of national, state and local partners dedicated to addressing inequities in maternal and infant health. At the local level in nine communities across the U.S., March of Dimes is building partnerships with local public and private organizations to improve maternal and infant health within each community. In 2021, our national service partners increased our M-BAN membership by more than 3,000 advocates from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
March of Dimes is mobilizing cross-sector partners at the national and local level to tackle the maternal and infant health crisis using Collective Impact—a proven approach for solving complex societal challenges. On the local level, this resulted in support of our programs such as Supportive Pregnancy Care and Mobile Health Centers and our pandemic response, but also included 19 sites for doula care and local training that included 15 digital events and 14 webinars.
Our relentless research to end preventable preterm birth continued at our Prematurity Research Centers in the U.S. and London, and beyond. Our studies showcased a variety of factors that impact preterm birth, including wildfire smoke that increases the risk of preterm birth and a father’s education (as a father’s education level increases, preterm birth rates go down). We also reached a significant milestone at our Prematurity Research Center at Imperial College London, where researchers developed a first-of-its-kind testing device that may help advance diagnosis and treatment of preterm birth.
We continued our funding of COVID-19 research at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the University of Pennsylvania. Researchers at MGH showcased how antibodies generated by the COVID-19 vaccine cross the placenta and pass into the umbilical cord and into breast milk, providing some level of immune protection for the newborn and breastfed baby.
We also invested $6.5 million in 26 active grants to speed the development of lifesaving diagnostics and treatments for moms and babies, and we published 74 publications. Our scientific reports, including the March of Dimes Report Card and Nowhere to Go: Maternity Care Deserts Across the U.S., garnered nearly 208,000 webpage views.
You helped us continue to be there for moms and babies during the COVID-19 pandemic with critical information and medical supplies, including:
- 6,249+ meals for frontline workers and NICU families
- 82,050+ masks
- 281+ tablets delivered to hospital partners
- 9,190+ NICU bags with essential supplies
We’re online engaging people, making it easy for everyone to support our fight for the health of every mom and baby. Nearly 12 million people viewed our educational webpages to find information. We also partnered with Amazon Smile, where we received more than $50,000 in 2021 thanks to supporters choosing March of Dimes as their charity of choice.
Since the launch of the TikTok channel on August 9, 2021, we've gained 3,471 followers, have acquired over 2.7 million video views and 203,000 engagements and maintain an 8.6 percent engagement rate by reach (well above industry standard at two percent).