Christy Turlington Burns
Christy Turlington Burns is a renowned model turned non-profit founder (perhaps the best second life turn a career can take). We're in love with her generosity, take on motherhood, and her favorite ONDA buys. Take a look.
During the month of May Join Every Mother Counts in a choose-your-own-workout Global Fitness Challenge in honor of Mother's Month. Learn more about it here.
1. How did EMC approach helping women globally during the extraordinary challenges and struggles that the pandemic brought to the forefront of all stages of motherhood?
Every Mother Counts is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe, equitable and respectful for every mother, everywhere. Our focus is all about putting women and childbearing people at the center of their maternity care. We also invest in community-led organizations who provide high quality and compassionate care to largely marginalized communities of BIPOC. Throughout the pandemic and still, we remain focused on these groups because we have seen how deeply and disproportionately these communities have been impacted as a result of a broken and structurally racist health system. One of the ways we have always worked to change birth outcomes is through advocacy and policy change. It’s been a busy almost eleven years. We have seen progress, but there’s a long way to go.
Photo credit: Steven Klein, Vogue
2. What is the most important thing you've learned being the founder of and running your non-profit foundation Every Mother Counts?
I have learned that meaningful change takes time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But this is one of those rare issues that we know what’s needed to solve it. We aren’t waiting for a cure. Most maternal deaths are preventable. Knowing this, and seeing the momentum we are seeing around the issue right now, gives me the motivation I need to get to work every day.
Photo credit: Pamela Hanson
3. What do you love most about being a mother?
I love how much I learn from my kids every day and through this experience of motherhood. I feel so connected to so many other women now who I would never had met had I not chosen to become a mother when I did, or had I not had the exact childbirth experience that I had when Grace was born that led me on the path to do this maternal health advocacy work.
4. You seem to have a beautiful relationship with your mother and 2 sisters who are also Moms. Can you share anything that you've learned from your mother or sisters on being a Mom that you now find yourself utilizing as a Mom yourself?
I am the middle of three daughters. My mom always considered herself the 4th sister, even before we lost our dad. My mom and younger sister live in California and my older sister and I are just a few blocks away from one another in NYC. My sisters became mothers well before I did. I got the advantage of watching them learn through mistakes. I leaned on them during my pregnancies and postpartum. We all have our own styles of mothering, which we all do, but we are all pretty affectionate with our kids. We say “I love you” a lot.
5. This year was so difficult for everyone for so many reasons. Falling apart seemed to be everyone's natural state. How do you make sure to take care of and connect to yourself and your family?
As hard as the last year has been, I feel pretty blessed to have had this precious time with my teenagers and the privilege of being able to support Every Mother Counts’ grantee partners who were, and continue to be, on the frontlines throughout the pandemic. As little control I had over the situation or the future, I never once felt helpless. I would attribute that to my steady and consistent yoga practice that has kept me physically, mentally and spiritually in line.
Photo credit: Kassia Meador