Supporter Spotlight: Riley Cappellucci

Riley and baby Alexander. Image courtesy of Riley Cappellucci.

In this season of giving, we spoke with Riley Cappellucci, a new mom and supporter of USA for UNFPA, who shares the joys and challenges of motherhood, about why she chose to give back this year.  
Around the world, COVID-19 continues to put women and girls at risk by limiting their access to lifesaving sexual and reproductive health care. But, your gift of an emergency birth kit can help. For just $5, a kit ensures that pregnant women can safely give birth, even during a humanitarian crisis.  
All new moms deserve to be safe and healthy and to experience the joys of motherhood like Riley. 

Conversation edited for clarity.  

Hi Riley! Thank you for joining us. Can you tell us who you are and what your story is?  

Hi! Thank you for having me! I’m Riley Cappellucci: a new mom, content creator, fashion enthusiast, and lifestyle blogger from Salt Lake City, Utah. On my social platforms, I share a glimpse into my daily life as a new mom to my 4-month-old son, Alexander, and highlight my journey to motherhood and the adventures that each day brings.  

I love being able to connect with the world through social media. In the Spring of 2020, I discovered just how powerful and uplifting social media can be when my husband and I started our journey to parenthood and were soon faced with some difficult news: a pregnancy complication. This news is something that no one wants to face, and I never thought this would be part of my journey. Upon hearing the news, my joy from discovering I was pregnant soon shifted to sadness. More awareness needs to be brought to the issues that one might face throughout their sexual and reproductive journey. I am thrilled to be partnering with Friends of UNFPA this season to share your mission with others and to make the world a safer place for new mothers.  

What is your own experience with pregnancy and motherhood? 

Motherhood is the most incredible journey I have ever embarked on. Each day brings a new experience, and I am so grateful for all that it has brought. My journey to motherhood wasn’t necessarily an easy one. In the Spring of 2020, I experienced an ectopic pregnancy. If my doctor hadn’t noticed the warning signs, I know I would be in a much different situation than I am today. I am so grateful for the care I received throughout my journey to motherhood, and I believe that all should receive this level of care no matter where you live.  

Riley, thank you so much for sharing and for bringing light to such an important issue. That must have been incredibly difficult and scary for you and your family. For our readers, ectopic pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg begins growing outside of the uterus. It is one of many life-threatening complications women can experience during pregnancy and childbirth. Ectopic pregnancies can be difficult to detect, and, left untreated, can cause organs to rupture, severe bleeding, and stillbirth. In the worst cases, ectopic pregnancy can lead to death.  Like Riley said, women everywhere should have access to the care they need to survive such dangerous complications.  

What inspires you about USA for UNFPA’s mission to provide lifesaving health care to women and girls?  

As a new mom, the mission of UNFPA is something that I am proud to support. I believe that every woman should have access to healthcare, especially when bringing a new life into the world. I love that UNFPA focuses on this by providing reproductive care, like prenatal check-ups and safe delivery care, and empowering women to take control of their reproductive and sexual health. UNFPA’s work providing the education that so many need to feel empowered over their sexual and reproductive health is also so inspiring.

I am grateful for the health care I had to help me plan my family. But even so, I had no clue what one could face when trying to get pregnant or the struggles one faces to have a healthy pregnancy. Before getting pregnant, I had no idea what an ectopic pregnancy was. I hope more awareness is brought to the various complications that can happen before, during, and after pregnancy. I have always felt that knowledge is power and the more knowledge and awareness that can be brought around sexual and reproductive health care the better.

Thank you, Riley. Providing support for pregnancy complications and reaching girls with sexuality education are some of many important ways we care for women and girls around the world. For example, we support programs in Kenya that reach girls with disabilities with information on their bodies and rights. Thank you for sharing your story with us! Is there anything you would like to say to our supporters?  

I am honored to have the opportunity to support and partner with Friends of UNFPA this season. I am so amazed by all that you are doing. Your efforts are changing the lives of the women and girls your organization touches. 

You can join Riley in caring for women and girls around the world by donating an emergency birth kit. The kit contains items like a plastic sheet, gloves, soap, and an umbilical cord tie so that a woman can prevent infection and survive birth, even when a health care professional is unavailable. Each kit is just $5, but it has the potential to save two lives: that of a woman and her baby. Donate today.  

Dana Kirkegaard
Your support delivers care to women and girls when they need it most. Donate today.

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