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

"It is estimated that 358,000 women die each year from complications related to childbirth."

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?

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Tags: christy turlington

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

CathyT May 05, 2012 | 6:00 PM

Not celebrating my mother and all her sacrifices that she willingly peformed to raise her three children (along with my father) will not bring an awareness to the dangers of mothers in developing countries. There is a better way to do this. Maybe if someplace like planned parenthood would actually help people by offering healthy alternatives to their culture of death and stop the insitance that babies are a disease to be removed, fewer third world mothers would have to die. More resources devoted to actual women's health and healthy pregnancies, and births, and less abuse of funding that should be used to HELP women instead of oppressing them, fewer women would die in childbirth. But NOT celebrating the joys of motherhood does not help those who need help.

Cheryl D. May 04, 2012 | 9:26 PM

I honestly don't see how celebrating motherhood here has any impact on the dangers of childbirth in third-world countries. I think, in fact, getting this cause out while honoring all mothers is more productive and less counter-intuitive.

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