7 Goddesses - Christy Turlington

Christy is someone I have admired since I was a little girl. She is the personification of an inner (and outer) beauty. - Jessika.

Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts

Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts

What is success to you? 
Success is being the best version of myself every day.

What is magic to you? 
Everything that doesn’t come with hard work.

What is love for you? 
Motivation to be my best self.

What makes your spirit glow? 
Serving others.

If you could say one thing to the world what would you say? 
Thank you for all you teach me.

What is the greatest lesson you've learned being a mom? 
Compassion.

What advice would you give a new mother to be?
I think the most valuable advice I received while pregnant with my first child was to go in with eyes wide open. Listen to advice, accept help that friends and loved ones offer, rest whenever possible and then make time for yourself in that state to absorb it all. There will never be a more precious time between you and your partner if you treat it as such.

What is your beauty practice?
For me, the saying that beauty comes from within has always resonated and made sense. I think to feel healthy and strong is more important than looking beautiful – if you feel beautiful you look beautiful too. 

I don’t think about beauty a lot or as an isolated quality one aspires to. I think of beauty in terms of health and wellness. When I feel good and healthy I feel beautiful.  Often, that just means feeling rested, energized, and passionate about what I’m doing at that moment.  I also think that living an authentic life can make one feel beautiful from within. I am never looking for any kind of solution outside of myself, I’d rather look within. 

How do you stay centered in the middle of chaos?
I'm pretty resilient and steady most of the time, I don’t have extreme highs and lows. I can get impatient when I feel like I can see things so clearly and can't get everyone else to see it as quickly, but I have to work on that and be a team player. With Every Mother Counts, I feel I have a certain amount of pressure on myself, and sometimes it's exhausting, but usually when something is right and you're on the right path it’s incredibly inspiring. You can’t know everything out of the gate so it’s about being gentler with yourself, too. If I’m feeling stressed, I’ll go for a run or go to yoga. Also sleep is really important to me; sometimes if I’m taking on too much or travelling too much, the quality of my sleep is compromised so getting back on track with that might be the best thing I can do. Also waiting too long to eat isn’t good for me, that can definitely affect my mood! These are all things that become more clear with every year that passes. Experience brings about wisdom.

Tell us about the work of Every Mother Counts, the maternal health organization you founded.
I endured and survived a childbirth-related complication after delivering my daughter Grace nearly twelve years ago. I was fortunate to be in the care of a competent team of providers that included a doula, midwife, nurses and ultimately an OB who together managed the situation. Unfortunately, millions of other mothers, here in the US and around the world, don't have access to the care that I received that day. Soon after my delivery, I learned that hundreds of thousands of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth occur each year and that most of them are preventable. Once I knew about these shocking statistics I had to do something about them. I asked myself what I could do to raise awareness, which then lead me to make my first documentary film, “No Woman, No Cry.” The film documents pregnant women in four countries: Tanzania, Guatemala, Bangladesh and the US, in the final days of their pregnancies and through labour and examines barriers women face when in need of critical maternal healthcare. This film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010. Every Mother Counts was born then. I wanted to create a resource to others who wanted to learn more and contribute in some way. Today, Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. We raise awareness about the critical issues surrounding maternal health and we invest in programs that link mothers to life saving care in Haiti, Uganda, India, Tanzania, the United States and Nepal.

Learn more about our work here: http://everymothercounts.org