Did you know that a woman dies every 90 seconds from pregnancy complications and 90 percent of those deaths are preventable? It's serious stuff, and an issue that's become Christy Turlington's life passion. Today Turlington, supermodel, wife to Edward Burns, mom to Grace and Finn, and founder of Every Mother Counts, an advocacy group that's working to reduce the global maternal mortality rate, launched a new campaign called No Mothers Day. For the video above, Turlington enlisted the help of famous moms including Jennifer Connelly, Debra Messing, Ann Curry, Kelly Rutherford, and Blythe Danner, along with a host of real moms, to support the cause, which asks moms to "disappear" on Mother's Day. "This Mothers Day I am honoring all moms by going silent," Turlington told us. "The . . . public service announcement features moms encouraging other moms to join in solidarity by disappearing May 13, Mother’s Day. No Mothers Day is a powerful social issue campaign designed to raise awareness about the hundreds of thousands of girls and women around the world who die each year from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth."
Keep reading for the rest of our interview with the simply amazing Turlington.
LilSugar: What first drew you to the issue of maternal mortality, and why has it become such an important cause in your life?
Christy Turlington: I experienced a potentially life threatening complication after delivering my first child eight years ago. The midwife and an obstetrician managed the situation, but I was lucky. I later learned that hundreds of thousands of women die from the same complication around the world every year. I also learned that 90 percent of these deaths are preventable and this is what left me needing to learn more. The result of the journey I took to try and understand why is the documentary film No Woman, No Cry.
LS: What are your future plans for Every Mother Counts?
CT: I founded Every Mother Counts after completing No Woman, No Cry to help increase awareness about the hundreds of thousands of girls and women who die each year from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. The campaign has been so successful and the demand for continued engagement so strong that EMC has evolved into an ever-growing community of maternal health advocates. EveryMotherCounts.org is an essential educational resource to help individuals, companies, and organizations find their own voice on this issue. As we move forward, I hope to continue this positive growth and truly drive the global community to take action to reduce maternal mortality globally.
LS: As a mother of two kids under 10, how do you balance motherhood with your work?
CT: I feel like the word balance is overused, because balance sort of implies we must give and take all the time. When I consider the role of motherhood and everything else I enjoy, I prefer using the word integration. I am a woman, which means all of these roles are already integrated. I am a mother and a daughter, an activist and a model. As women, we're all of those things. These various roles that we play, they have to be integrated. It's not easy at all, and I don't think anyone could attempt to do it except women.
LS: Your dedication to yoga is inspiring. Why is your practice such an important part of your life?
CT: I have been practicing yoga for more than 20 years and I can’t imagine my life now without it. I try to incorporate it into all that I do and who I am as a mom, as an advocate, and as a partner. It has taught me the skills I need to nurture myself and gives me mental clarity when needed so I can approach all aspects of my life with mindfulness.
Learn more about Christy Turlington, Every Mother Counts, and No Mothers Day here.