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Skip the tissue-paper flowers: Boycott Mother's Day

Sherri Kuhn writes about raising teenagers, the perils of a clean home, wistfulness over babies, and anything else that makes her laugh (or cry) in the years between changing diapers and wearing them. With a son just starting college and...

Why Christy Turlington Burns isn't celebrating

Mother’s Day has traditionally been the day to celebrate all things motherhood – with flowers, handwritten cards, breakfast in bed or other such luxuries. Why would any mother want to skip celebrating the very day that honors her? Christy Turlington Burns is calling on mothers to support “No Mother’s Day” this year. Keep reading to find out why.
mother's day

Why Christy Turlington Burns isn't celebrating

Mother’s Day has traditionally been the day to celebrate all things motherhood — with flowers, handwritten cards, breakfast in bed or other such luxuries. Why would any mother want to skip celebrating the very day that honors her? Christy Turlington Burns is calling on mothers to support “No Mother’s Day” this year. Keep reading to find out why.

Giving birth can be deadly

For many women in other parts of the world, the simple act of giving birth is dangerous and often deadly. It is estimated that 358,000 women die each year from complications related to childbirth — and that 90 percent of those deaths are preventable. Christy Turlington Burns is behind the push for mothers everywhere to be silent this Mother’s Day, and to support “No Mother’s Day” as an act of solidarity among women. The movement calls for no phone calls, no Facebook status updates and no emails on Sunday, May 13.

Learn about how to plan a natural birth >>

A mother picks up a cause

Turlington Burns took a personal interest in maternal mortality when she herself suffered complications during the delivery of her daughter Grace, now 8 years old. When she found out that the same complication she experienced is one of the leading causes of maternal death, she took action. She founded her Every Mother Counts campaign in 2010, which supports projects aimed at reducing the maternal mortality rate with better training, education and supplies. One of the projects they support provides motorcycles to health-care workers in Kenya, allowing them to reach laboring mothers more quickly.

The film No Woman, No Cry, which documented the difficulties at-risk pregnant women have in attempting to access decent medical care, was directed by Turlington Burns. Maternal mortality isn’t just an issue in the developing world, either. While most American women probably feel confident in the process of giving birth, the U.S. actually ranks 50th in maternal mortality prevention.

Read more about Christy >>

What has the response been?

What does Turlington Burns expect the response to be when she calls for a boycott of Mother’s Day? “The litmus test is how quickly people wrote me back and said, 'Count me in'. We have five facts we share with people — like 90 percent of these deaths are preventable — so at least on that day you think about things you wouldn’t otherwise think about. This is happening but it’s one of those things we actually know how to solve.”

Tell Us

What do you think? Will you participate in “No Mother’s Day” and silence the celebrations in support of mothers all over the world?

More about giving birth

Christy Turlington's Every Mother Counts comes to Facebook
Dangerous birth: Is childbirth becoming over-medicalized?
Home birth or hospital?

Photo credit: WENN.com

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