The American dream is driven by a pact that every current generation has with the next one: to ensure those that follow us are at least as well off—if not better off—than we are.
There is ample evidence that this dream is fading.
In the United States today, the prospect of starting or growing a family is costlier, riskier, and frankly scarier than it was a generation ago. American women are 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their own mothers were, a risk that is consistently three to four times higher for black women than for white women. And these deaths are the canary in the coal mine for a larger problem. For every death, there are tens of thousands of women who experience avoidable suffering from unreliable medical care, inadequate social support, and economic disempowerment.
Formed around a written series, Expecting More is a movement, creating space for families to share their experiences, to learn what they can expect and should demand from public leaders, and together shift the narrative of childbirth in the United States.
We envision a world in which every person can choose to grow their family with dignity.
Our mission is to elevate our shared expectations of the care and support people deserve when they are growing their family.
Do you have questions or suggestions? We want to hear from you! Reach out to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Expecting More is a collaborative movement, guided and informed by a wide collection of voices, including parents, scientists, artists, health care providers, and you. These are only a few of the people who are working behind the scenes at Ariadne Labs to make it happen.
Associate Director of Delivery Decisions Initiative, Ariadne Labs
My Role in the Expecting More project is to provide a clinical lens to caring for growing families. I am a nurse and have cared for thousands of parents and their newborns.
My preferred pronouns are She/her
My hometown is Edmonds, WA. It’s a beautiful town just north of Seattle, situated on the Puget Sound. I grew up collecting shells and gunkholing in the San Juan Islands.
When I need insight, I go to My dad. He knows me better than any person on this planet- my strengths and weaknesses and he has a never-stopping, never giving-up love for me. He is a strong man, tender, brave and brilliant. We can talk data, poetry, policy, ukulele, sailing, birth and his thoughts always provoke me to a greater depth of understanding.
When I was a baby, I was colicky and challenged my parents patience. This was a foreshadow into my teen years, when I would continue to test their patience.
I want every growing family to know they are not alone. In the United States today, starting and growing a family can be isolating and scary. I want every family to be knit into a community where they have a strong sense of belonging, safety and hope.
I am Expecting More from myself, my profession, my community and my country
Writing Specialist, Ariadne Labs
My Role in the Expecting More project is as a Writing Coach. I give advice on background research and fact-checking and help with the planning and editing of essays and other writing projects.
My preferred pronouns are I would have to say my favorite pronoun is “much” because it always sounds a little jarring in a sentence, even when it’s used correctly; though, I also have a sneaking fondness for the often misused “whom.” (Oh, the pronouns I use for myself? She/Her.)
My hometown is Edgewood, KY.
When I need insight, I go to my bookshelf: The Thinker’s Thesaurus, The Oxford English Dictionary, Bartlett’s Famous Quotations, Leviathan and the Air-Pump, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, The Cheese and the Worms, Proust and the Squid, The Hobbit, Metaphors We Live By, The Butter Battle Book, “The Death of Luigi Trastulli,” etc. Not necessarily in that order.
When I was a baby, I routinely ate the ice from my grandfather’s bourbon glasses.
If I could choose one person from history to be my parent, it would be JRR Tolkien. The bedtime stories would have been, quite literally, epic.
I want every growing family to have the supports they need to rear their children not only without outside stress but joyfully and lovingly.
I am Expecting More from everyone. Don’t disappoint me, people.
Graphic Designer, Ariadne Labs
My Role in the Expecting More project is in graphic design and communications. I create visuals to tell our stories and support our web and social media platforms.
My preferred pronouns are she/her/hers.
My hometown is Marstons Mills, MA, on Cape Cod.
When I need insight, I go to my partner, my friends, my journal, the internet, art, books…wherever help and inspiration might be.
When I was a baby, I was energetic, according to my big brother – which probably translates into “annoying.”
If I could choose one person from history to be my parent, I’d go for Octavia E. Bulter and/or Ursula K. Le Guin, two amazing feminist sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction authors.
I want every growing family to have safe, reliable care and support from their family, community, and society as a whole.
I am Expecting More empathy, from everyone. We need to take better care of each other.
Social Media Specialist, Ariadne Labs
My Role in the Expecting More project is as a social media specialist. I work with the team to spread our message through social media–sharing content and creating and nurturing an online community.
My preferred pronouns are She/her/hers
My hometown is Lakeville, MA.
When I need insight, I go to my journal–that’s where the “aha” moments happen.
When I was a baby, I was quiet and mellow…still am!
If I could choose one person from history to be my parent, it would be my parents. I can’t imagine being raised by anyone else. They did an exceptional job.
I want every growing family to have the utmost support that aligns with their needs, wants, and goals.
I am Expecting More from all of us to drive change in the ways that we can for growing families.
Project Manager of Communications, Ariadne Labs
My Role in the Expecting More project is to bring my experience in systems change and communications to help change our collective expectations of childbirth. I will bring my communications skills across web, social, digital media, and my real skills gained from fathering my two year old son and newly arrived daughter, born August 2019!
My preferred pronouns are he, his, him and Jim
My hometown is East Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
When I need insight, I go outside.
When I was a baby, I was off the growth charts (and still am)
If I could choose one person from history to be my parent, it would be my mom or dad, preferably both, so I don’t end up a different person. That would be weird!
I want every growing family to know that they should feel comfortable leaning on their community for help. Everyone needs and deserves some help.
I am Expecting More empathy! Being a parent is hard. Everyone knows it. Show someone that you care.
Research Manager, Ariadne Labs
My Role in the Expecting More project is as a curator, researcher, and manager. I work with the writing team and contributors to identify and research topics and orchestrate our content and public engagement. I have been at Ariadne Labs since 2017 working on primary health care and maternal health projects both domestically and internationally.
My preferred pronouns are she/her/hers
My hometown is New York City
When I need insight, I typically go to the internet, for better or worse!
When I was a baby, I was infatuated with my dog, who – to my delight – used to gently pull me around the house by my leg.
If I could choose one person from history to be my parent, it would be Jane Goodall – it would’ve been a very adventurous childhood!
I want every growing family to be able to choose when and how they want to start and grow their family and have access to resources commensurate with their need.
I am Expecting More from all of us to listen to each other, have difficult conversations, and confront how racism and sexism play a role in our health care system.
Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative, Ariadne Labs
My Role in the Expecting More project is as a producer/writer
My preferred pronouns are he/him/his
My hometown is Holmdel, NJ.
When I need insight, I go to my family.
When I was a baby, I was a lot cuter
If I could choose one person from history to be my parent, it would be my mom and dad
I want every growing family to be given the support they need to thrive and be treated with dignity
I am Expecting More from all of us. We all have a role to play–friends, neighbors, employers, health care providers, policymakers–in making sure every person can choose to grow their family with dignity
Research Assistant, Ariadne Labs
My Role in the Expecting More project is a researcher. I also assist in the planning of other narratives and blog posts
My preferred pronouns are she/her/hers
My hometown is Anaheim hills, CA and Amman, Jordan, but I truly believe that home is where the heart is
When I need insight, I go to my family and friends. I’m so grateful to every one of them because they each provide a unique perspective
When I was a baby, I used to sing a lot and still do (disclaimer: there’s a reason why I don’t sing professionally)
If I could choose one person from history to be my parent, it would be my parents! I wouldn’t trade them for the world
I want every growing family to be treated with dignity and empathy, to be given quality and respectful care, and to have access to resources and support
I am Expecting More from everyone- on a federal, state, local, community, neighborhood, and individual level. We need to work together to fix the structural discrimination and biases, embedded within our healthcare system, that lead to health disparities and prevent growing families from receiving the best possible care