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Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns campaigns against pregnancy- and childbirth-related deaths

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In town this week for a Monday airing of her 2010 film "No Woman, No Cry" at the Gene Siskel Film Center, supermodel Christy Turlington Burns talked about her campaign against pregnancy- and birth-related turlington72-2.JPGdeaths of women around the world.

Eight years ago, when Burns was delivering her first child, she didn't advance to the fourth stage of pregnancy. Everything went fine until an hour after the birth, when she experienced postpartum hemorrhaging.

"Why did that happen to me?" she said. "I found out it is quite random. For the most part, 15 percent of pregnancies will result in complications. ... When women live far away from a facility, they can bleed to death within two hours."

Her mother is from El Salvador, and when traveling to that country Burns realized she

Christy Turlington Burns
(John H. White~Sun-Times)

wouldn't have had access to the medical team that pulled her through.

She thought to herself: "Had I had my first child in this community, I would have died." (She now has two children, a daughter, 8, and a son, 6, whom she is taking to Tanzania this year for the first time.)

After learning that hundreds of thousands of women die from pregnancy- and birth-related deaths every year around the world and that half of the deaths in the United States are preventable, Burns founded Every Mother Counts.

"Ninety percent of these deaths are preventable," she said. And for every woman who dies, 20 more incur lifelong disabilities.

Her film, "No Woman, No Cry" (which takes its name from the Bob Marley lyric), was shot in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Guatemala and the United States. The film has been shown on the Oprah Winfrey Network

"There is this assumption that there will always be women dying in childbirth," said Erin Thornton, executive director of Every Mother Counts. "It doesn't have to be that way."

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1 Comment

Agreed, in todays world we should not be losing so many to child birth and child birth related circumstances. What with the huge improvements in medical procedures and the training of midwives and doctors today. Quite often simple solutions remain the best course of remedy, sure education, education, education is the key.

How can it be that over 50% of deaths in the states count alone are preventable. As a global community we must put added pressure on the Western Governments and Governments across the globe to improve the standards of care.

Children are our future and the mothers of those children deserve every protection to ensure a safe and healthy outcome.

Lisa Mills
Creative Gifts Ltd
Mum of 5


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