"Baby bump" selfies ad delivers a healthy message

Screen shot from March of Dimes PSA encouraging full-term pregnancies.

March of Dimes

The "baby bump" selfie is one of those quintessential social media posts that always earns a lot of "likes." Now a new TV ad from the March of Dimes is capitalizing on that trend to spread an important message for expectant mothers. It's part of a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of a full term pregnancy.

"We understand your pregnancy is a beautiful thing and it gets more beautiful the longer you go," says the narrator of the public service announcement. "If your pregnancy is healthy, don't schedule your delivery until 39 weeks. Or wait for labor to begin on its own. Healthy babies are worth the wait."

The March of Dimes, the largest nonprofit organization for pregnancy and infant health, based their PSA on photos generated through CineMama, a mobile app created by organization that allows women to turn their weekly or daily baby bump photos into a memorable mini-video that chronicles the story of their pregnancy. More than 87,000 women have downloaded the CineMama app. The app is also part of the March of Dimes' "Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait" campaign.

It's trying to combat a trend in the U.S. which has led to large numbers of women choosing to induce labor or undergo a C-section for non-medical reasons. Some expectant moms find it reduces anxiety to know exactly when their baby will arrive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14.1 percent of births in the U.S. in 2008 were induced before 37 weeks.

But many recent studies have shown that preempting mother nature can be detrimental to a baby's early development and long-term heath. Research has shown the final weeks of a healthy pregnancy are critical to the development of the brain and lungs as well as other organs. One study published last year found that inducing labor could increase a child's risk for autism.