Sunnybrook campaign gives a voice to those who’ve lost a pregnancy

Who: Sunnybrook Hospital’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network, with No Fixed Address, Stack Films for production, School, The Vanity and Grayson Music for post-production.

What: #UnsilenceTheConversation, a new campaign aimed at normalizing the conversation around pregnancy loss.

When & Where: The campaign launched this week, anchored by an online video on the PAIL site, shared through Sunnybrook’s social channels and posted to a dedicated microsite, NFA also created a browser plug-in that enables people who have lost a child during pregnancy to block online ads promoting baby products and services.

Why: An estimated one-quarter of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but many people who experience loss feel their only option is to grieve in private because of how society reacts and a lack of support. According to Tommy’s, a miscarriage research non-profit in the U.K., two-thirds of women who’ve lost a pregnancy feel they can’t even talk to their best friend about it, and 41% experience feelings of guilt and shame.

How: The campaign’s centrepiece is a 60-second video called “The Unbirth Announcement,” which features narration from both a man and a woman announcing the child they never met, touched or hugged, yet still loved. Their words are accompanied by images an unoccupied baby’s room, with an empty crib, unworn onesies and empty picture frames.

The browser plug-in for both Chrome and Firefox enables parents who’ve lost a baby during pregnancy to block targeted ads for baby products and services. Upon learning of a pregnancy, many would-be parents start researching products and services online, with ad networks collecting their data in order to continue serving them ads. This can continue long after a pregnancy has been lost, up to 18 months in some cases, and has been a well-documented problem over the years.

And we quote: “It has become so taboo to talk about early pregnancy and miscarriage, and we wanted to normalize the conversation so families no longer feel like they have to go through it alone. The words were inspired by the experiences of many people we know personally who have experienced loss, and that sense of aloneness and helplessness that results; it’s something we all should be talking more about.” — Domenique Raso, associate creative director, No Fixed Address

Chris Powell