+
upworthy
Family

This supermodel icon's message about maternal health serves as a huge wake-up call.

True
Maybelline New York Beauty & Beyond

When '90s supermodel Christy Turlington had her first child in 2003, her life changed.  

After she gave birth to her daughter Grace, she started hemorrhaging because of a retained placenta. Thankfully, she was in a hospital surrounded by experienced medical practitioners and life-saving equipment, which ultimately kept her out of danger.

The distressing experience led Christy to learn more about the complication she experienced which is when she uncovered some harrowing facts about childbirth.


Christy Turlington Burns in Hinche, Haiti. Photo by Kassia Meador.

While a retained placenta only affects 2% of mothers and is usually easily treated in hospital, it has a high rate of mortality for mothers in the developing world.

"In trying to understand what happened to me, I learned that hundreds of thousands of girls and women die each year from the same and other complications," writes Christy in an email.

That was it for Christy. From then on, she made it her mission to break down barriers between mothers-to-be around the world and the health care they need.

Christy in Tanzania at Oldonyo Sambu health dispensary with local maternal health advocate Mackrine Rumanyika, mother Lightness Sisitivi, and her baby in 2015. Photo by Heather Armstrong.

Her first major project in this vein was a documentary called "No Woman No Cry." It focuses on the struggles pregnant women and young mothers face in the developing world as well as in the United States.

When Christy traveled to other countries, she saw firsthand just how difficult it can be for women to access proper health care. It was a defining experience and ultimately led her to get her master's degree at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in 2008.

"No Woman No Cry" ended up being her first of several documentaries that show how small facilitations can often be the difference between life and death.

The documentary came out in 2010, which is also when Christy founded Every Mother Counts — a nonprofit that advocates for improvements to maternal and infant care.

[rebelmouse-image 19533019 dam="1" original_size="700x467" caption="Christy in Bangladesh in 2009 shooting "No Woman No Cry" with crew, Clancy McCarty, Dina Hossain, and Wellington Bowler. Photo by Josh Estey." expand=1]Christy in Bangladesh in 2009 shooting "No Woman No Cry" with crew, Clancy McCarty, Dina Hossain, and Wellington Bowler. Photo by Josh Estey.

"The point of both [the documentary and the nonprofit] is to educate the public about a global tragedy and invest funds raised to improve access to quality and respectful maternity care," explains Christy.

And that's not limited to countries in the developing world.

While 99% of maternal deaths occur there, the United States is only ranked 46 globally in terms of maternal health. In fact, maternal mortality in the U.S. is on the rise.

According to estimates, every nine minutes, a woman suffers from a life-threatening birth complication in this country. And since 1 in 4 Americans live in areas where medical care is scarce, a disproportionate number of those complications can lead to death.

Perhaps the most upsetting stat, however, is that 98% of maternal deaths worldwide are preventable.

Thanks to Christy and her nonprofit's tireless efforts, these issues are finally getting the attention they deserve, and things are slowly but surely starting to change.  

Happy International Women's Day! To celebrate #IWD2018, members of the Every Mother Counts team are in Washington, D.C....

Posted by Every Mother Counts on Thursday, March 8, 2018

Change, however, won't happen without improved access to three things: transportation, skilled medical attendants, and medical supplies. It might sound simple, but in countries where women have to walk miles just to get clean water, they're often incredibly hard to reach.

Every Mother Counts' priority is to increase access to these life-saving elements in the United States, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Uganda, Tanzania, India, and Haiti. So far, their work has positively affected the lives of over 650,000 women and children to date.

And they're not alone in their fight to improve maternal care worldwide. In 2010, Melinda Gates announced that the Gates Foundation would invest $1.5 billion over five years promoting maternal and child health, family planning, and nutrition in developing countries. And just this month, they declared they'll be adding another $170 million to that.

What's more, Maybelline — the beauty brand that Christy has represented for years — has stood behind her activism every step of the way.

You don't need to have a ton of money or influence to support this issue though. The nonprofit's site has a number of different ways you can get involved.

Inspired everyday by our founder, Christy Turlington Burns who completed the Kilimanjaro Half last month & the London...

Posted by Every Mother Counts on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You can follow Christy's example and be a running ambassador for the cause. There are official charity races you can participate in, too, or you can simply run on behalf of Every Mother Counts in the race of your choice.

Not a runner? No problem — you can also host a fundraising event or pledge to support bipartisan, no-cost legislation that will bring midwives and obstetricians to areas in the U.S. that are lacking them.

No matter your ability or capacity, you can be a part of the social change so desperately needed all over the world. As long as you have the drive, you can make life better for moms and new babies alike.

It just means taking your good intentions and acting on them as soon as possible.

Christy offers this Martin Luther King Jr. quote for inspiration: "The time is always right to do right."

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

Keep ReadingShow less

Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.

Keep ReadingShow less


We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Monica Lewinsky reclaims the office power suit in new voting campaign

The activist teamed with apparel brand Reformation to combat voter frustration in a fabulous way.

Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

Monica Lewinsky knows a thing or two about reinvention.

The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

Now, the 50-year-old Lewinsky is lending her household name to sustainable fashion brand Reformation and Vote.org in hopes to encourage people to vote this year.
Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

In a world where prices are continuously increasing, prominent companies are turning to surge pricing to raise prices even further during peak demand times. Uber charges people more for a ride when demand is high. Hotels have been changing prices based on demand for years and Amazon uses AI to keep prices constantly in flux.

Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

Keep ReadingShow less