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Nov. 2, 2021

Christy Turlington Burns: On a Mission to Stop Preventable Deaths From Pregnancy and Childbirth

Christy Turlington Burns: On a Mission to Stop Preventable Deaths From Pregnancy and Childbirth

Every Mother Counts (EMC) founder Christy Turlington Burns’ work in maternal health began after experiencing a childbirth related complication in 2003—an experience that would later inspire her to direct and produce the documentary feature film, No Woman, No Cry, about the challenges women face throughout pregnancy and childbirth around the world. Under Christy’s leadership, Every Mother Counts has invested nearly $21 million in programs in Africa, Central America and Caribbean, South Asia and the United States focused on making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere.

 Before founding Every Mother Counts, Christy received international acclaim as a model representing the world’s biggest fashion and beauty brands. She was the Founder of Nuala, a yoga lifestyle brand in partnership with Puma, co-founder of Sundari, a skincare based on the principals of Ayurveda, and author of the bestselling book, Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice.

Christy has been featured on thousands of magazine covers, one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People, and among Glamour Magazine’s 2013 Women of the Year. In March 2016, EMC was recognized as one of Fast Company magazine’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-For-Profit Companies.

In this episode, we chat with Christy about her childhood growing up in Northern California, a middle child raised by an Airline Pilot father and flight attendant mother from El Salvador.  She talks openly about her experience on that fateful day that changed the course of her life forever. We chat about the problems in maternal healthcare worldwide and here in the US, where a woman is twice as likely to die in childbirth now as her mother was decades ago.  We discuss the disturbing disparities in mortality rates in childbirth between women of color and white women, and why that is, as well as the amazing work that Every Mother Counts is doing in order to bring about change around the world.

To make a donation to EMC, or to learn more about their work, please visit:
EveryMotherCounts.org

To send a quick email in support of the Build Better Act (discussed in this episode), which includes policies that improve maternal health and equity, please go to https://p2a.co/eydcbjc

To learn more about pregnancy, and postpartum during the time of COVID-19, please visit justbirthspace.org 

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Christy Turlington Burns Profile Photo

Christy Turlington Burns

Founder, Every Mother Counts

Every Mother Counts (EMC) founder Christy Turlington Burns’ work in maternal health began after experiencing a childbirth related complication in 2003—an experience that would later inspire her to direct and produce the documentary feature film, No Woman, No Cry, about the challenges women face throughout pregnancy and childbirth around the world. Under Christy’s leadership, Every Mother Counts has invested nearly $21 million in programs in Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States focused on making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere.

Before founding Every Mother Counts, Christy received international acclaim as a model representing the world’s biggest fashion and beauty brands. She was the Founder of Nuala, a yoga lifestyle brand in partnership with Puma, co-founder of Sundari, a skincare based on the principals of Ayurveda, and author of the bestselling book, Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice.

Christy has been featured on thousands of magazine covers, was one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People, and Glamour Magazine’s 2013 Woman of the Year. In March 2016, EMC was recognized as one of Fast Company magazine’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-For-Profit Companies.

Christy graduated Cum Laude from NYU’s Gallatin School of Independent Studies and studied Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She currently serves on the Yale Nursing School Dean’s Leadership Council and the Smithsonian Institute’s American Women’s History Initiative (AWHI) Advisory Committee. Previously, she has served on the Harvard Medical School Global Health Council, the Harvard School of Public Health Board of Dean’s Advisors and the advisory Board of New York University's Nursing School. Christy lives in New York City with her husband, filmmaker Edward Burns, and their two children.