March Of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for the health of all moms and babies, announced today that nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix has joined the organization’s Celebrity Advocate Council to shine a spotlight on the nation’s maternal and infant health crisis.
Felix will be kicking off her advocacy through It Starts With Mom Live, a virtual conference on Facebook Live where she will be speaking about pregnancy and motherhood. March of Dimes recently launched the It Starts With Mom campaign, which provides moms, moms-to-be, and women trying to conceive with tools and resources to navigate pregnancy and childbirth.
Felix is the most decorated track and field Olympian in history with 25 global medals at the Olympics and World Championships, but her path to motherhood wasn’t easy. She gave birth to her daughter, Camryn, premature at 32 weeks via emergency C-section due to preeclampsia and nearly lost her life. After her daughter was born, Felix was in negotiations with Nike to renew her sponsorship contract when the brand offered her 70 percent less than before. Her powerful op-ed in the New York Times about her experience not only caused Nike to change their maternity policy, but helped shine a spotlight on the issues working mothers face across the country. She even testified before Congress in 2019 on the black maternal health crisis and her experiences.
“Every day in America, women face additional roadblocks and setbacks that we shouldn’t have to just because we become moms. And the challenges often begin before that during pregnancy when complications and premature birth are still rampant,” said Allyson Felix, Olympian and member of March of Dimes’ Celebrity Advocate Council. “I’m honored to advocate for March of Dimes as we fight for the health of all moms and babies.”
“We are thrilled that Allyson has joined the March of Dimes team as a national advocate. Her story is a source of inspiration, but it should also be a catalyst. The health issues moms and babies face require our attention and should spark a common drive to ensure the programs, education and resources exist to provide the best possible outcomes for healthy moms and strong babies. This is even more true during the COVID-19 pandemic when the strain on our medical system is further compounding the maternal and infant health crisis,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes.
March of Dimes’ It Starts With Mom campaign is raising awareness of the maternal crisis and associated health risks, as well as providing a comprehensive collection of health information and resources to moms and moms-to-be. ItStartsWithMom.org will serve as a central hub and provide easy-to-access health and wellness information and resources.
The March of Dimes Celebrity Advocate Council is comprised of leaders from throughout the entertainment industry who are using their platforms to advocate for research, programs, and education so that every baby can have the best possible start. By raising awareness about the issues impacting moms and babies, the advocates help drive attention to areas where it’s needed. Allyson joins Ally Brooke, Nick Lachey, Porsha Williams, and Tatyana Ali as members of the Council.