Christy Turlington-Burns is a 48-year-old mother-of-two, supermodel and activist, and yet, amid her busy lifestyle, she still wants to share her hardships and challenges with fellow mothers around the world.
The model penned a heartfelt op-ed on her difficult childbirth experience – specifically, about her struggles with postpartum hemorrhage (commonly referred to as PPH). The issue is the leading cause of maternal death, with more than 300,000 women dying each year from complications during pregnancy and childbirth. "After I gave birth to my daughter here in New York City in 2003, I started to hemorrhage," Turlington-Burns explained. "Postpartum hemorrhage or PPH is a leading cause of maternal death, but I was lucky that I was in a birthing center in a hospital and had a team of skilled providers, including a doula, midwife and ObGyn, who managed the situation seamlessly."
Turlington's experience was so impactful that it led her to continue work in maternal health. "Before enduring my own pregnancy and childbirth complication, I was not aware that women all over the world die every day because they don’t have access to basic or emergency obstetric care, and up to 98% of these deaths are preventable. I knew I had to do something. I became a global maternal health advocate that day," she explains.
Today, she's heading her own nonprofit organization, Every Mother Counts, dedicated to creating safer pregnancies and childbirth for every mother. The organization raises funds to support services and care for women all over the world who need help with the child-bearing process. This includes donating supplies to healthcare providers, organizing trainings for professionals and similar vital skills to equip every individual with the means for a healthy, successful childbirth.