Christy Turlington Burns' birth story inspired her to help other mothers

"That experience is what opened my eyes to this global tragedy. You know I did not know that women and girls were still dying in pregnancy-related complications all over the world. I had no idea," shares Burns.

Christy Turlington Burns' birth story inspired her to help other mothers

She's a world famous mother, but she's also helping mothers around the world as the founder of the nonprofit Every Mother Counts.

On the latest episode of the second season of The Motherly Podcast, Sponsored by Prudential, Turlington Burns tells Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety about her journey into motherhood and why she wants the world (and America, especially) to understand that every mother counts.

How birth changed her perspective 

Turlington Burns tells Tenety that she felt empowered when she had her first child 15 years ago. She was at a place in her life were she felt ready, and had access to great healthcare. She chose to birth with a midwife and a doula in a birthing center within a hospital. She describes her daughter's birth as "perfect," but she wasn't prepared for the medical issue that came next.

"I felt so proud of myself. I felt so strong. I felt so grateful. I didn't know my daughter's sex until she was born and so I was just like beside myself that I had a daughter and she was latching on and she; like everything was like perfect, perfect. And really in the next I guess within sort of 45 minutes or an hour after she was out is when things sort of turned and changed," she explains.

She continues: "That was the part that I just was not prepared for. I did not deliver my placenta. I had a retained placenta but I didn't even know really what that meant at the time. I had witnessed my sisters giving birth and I sort of seen the placenta come out as an afterthought, not a big deal."

An obstetrician was called in to extract the placenta, an experience Turlington Burns recalls as "excruciatingly painful."

Despite the painful ending, she still looks back on her first birth as a beautiful, life-changing experience.

Helping fellow mothers 

Turlington Burns recognizes how privileged she was to give birth in a great hospital with a midwife, doula and OB to help her and that many mothers don't have that kind of access to quality healthcare.

"That experience is what opened my eyes to this global tragedy. You know I did not know that women and girls were still dying in pregnancy-related complications all over the world. I had no idea," she explains. "I'm sure I would have thought that if that happened it was an incredibly rare event. And I think that's what most people assume. And I learned that the U.S. at that time; my daughter was born in 2003, that more than half a million girls and women were estimated to be dying yearly around the world and that number hadn't come down in decades. And I was completely shocked."

She was shocked, but then she took action. Turlington stated studying this problem, seriously. She was inspired to pursue her Master's degree in Public Health at the Columbia University, and in 2010 she made a documentary, No Woman, No Cry and launched the nonprofit, Every Mother Counts, dedicated to advocating for safer childbirth, everywhere.

"That decision didn't happen overnight. You know it took me a while before I really delved in. After my experience with delivering Grace I thought okay I want to advocate for natural childbirth. I want to advocate for every woman having access to options and you know having information and being able to make those choices and how everybody deserves this you know empowering transformative birth experience. But I didn't know how that would sort of play itself out and it really wasn't until a few years later after I had my second child that it started to become more clear. And then you know being lucky that I was in a position in my life and career where I had some time. I had the resources. I had relationships. I had connections," she explains.

What connects mothers around the world 

As a filmmaker and the founder of Every Mother Counts, Turlington Burns has had the opportunity to talk to mothers around the world, and she says no matter where a mother lives there are some things we all have in common.

"We all want our kids to thrive. We all want our kids to have opportunities to access education, to have food and shelter and those are basic human rights and needs met. That every woman that I've ever met, everyone has that feeling and without even a shared language," she tells Tenety.

"We can sit side by side and connect on those just simple facts, which is a beautiful thing. And it's an inspiring thing. I think it really helps us stay on course with the work because that's what we ultimately want right is for a mom to be able to do what she can to thrive not only for herself but for her family and her community."

To hear more from Christy Turlington Burns about her experience as a mother and as an advocate for mothers, check out the The Motherly Podcast, Sponsored by Prudential.

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Kristen Bell and Jackie Tohn on how they’re ‘sneak teaching’ kids with their new show "Do, Re & Mi"

The best friends created a musical animated show that's just as educational as it is entertaining

Amazon Studios

This episode is sponsored by Tonies. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Kristen Bell and Jackie Tohn have been best friends since they met as young singers and actors more than 15 years ago, and now they're collaborating on a new Amazon Original animated kids series called Do, Re & Mi. The show, which follows best birds Do, Re and Mi as they navigate the world around them while also belting out catchy tunes, is just as educational as it is entertaining.

On the latest episode of The Motherly Podcast, Bell and Tohn talk to Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety about how they're "sneak teaching" kids with their new show and why music is such an important focal point.

"It was basically our mission from the very beginning to 'sneak music education' into kids' lives, hands, brains, all of it," Tohn admits.

"There's so much science and data to support that [music] helps kids, their brains grow with math, with social skills. It literally can change your neuroplasticity. You can put music of their favorite genre or timeframe on, in an Alzheimer's ward, and they will come back online for a couple minutes. I mean, it's crazy," Bell, who has two daughters of her own, adds. "You know, music can bind a lot of families together. It can bind friendships together. And it's just a show that you can feel really good about. We want to get it in front of as many kids as possible, because I don't like the fact that some kids won't have exposure to music. Their brains deserve to grow just as much as everyone else's."

The first season of Do, Re & Mi premiered on September 17th and its creators recorded 52 different songs for the show that range from reggae and pop to country, blues and jazz.

"That's what's so exciting about this show," Tohn gushes. "Not only are the lessons we're teaching for everyone, but every episode has a musical genre, a musical lesson and an emotional lesson. And so there really is so much to learn."

Elsewhere in the episode, Bell tells Tenety about how she made literal toolboxes that carry different regulation tools to help her kids calm down (one is "find a song you love and sing out loud") and why having a village is crucial to surviving motherhood, especially in a pandemic, while Tohn details her special friendship not only with Bell, but with her daughters, too.

To hear more about the show, Bell's experiences in motherhood, and her enduring friendship with Tohn, listen to The Motherly Podcast for the full interview.

Entertainment

23 kid-approved lunch ideas you'll want to steal

Looking for some tried-and-true lunch time suggestions? We've got you covered, mama.

mrs/Getty Images

Whether your little one will eat anything you put in front of them or prefers to stick to their favorite foods, coming up with healthy lunch ideas for your kids every day can be stressful. We're here to help. That's why we're rounding up some fun, healthy meals for you to try. Many of these feature leftovers or options you can make without cooking anything new.

We hope you'll find some great ways to help make lunchtime fun in your house. Whether it's a new idea for a wrap or simply a snack that your child has yet to try, read on for 20+ great lunch ideas for kids.


A version of this story was published in July 2021. It has been updated.

Food

12 baby registry essentials for family adventures

Eager to get out and go? Start here

Ashley Robertson / @ashleyrobertson

Parenthood: It's the greatest adventure of all. From those first few outings around the block to family trips at international destinations, there are new experiences to discover around every corner. As you begin the journey, an adventurous spirit can take you far—and the best baby travel gear can help you go even farther.

With car seats, strollers and travel systems designed to help you confidently get out and go on family adventures, Maxi-Cosi gives you the support you need to make the memories you want.

As a mom of two, Ashley Robertson says she appreciates how Maxi-Cosi products can grow with her growing family. "For baby gear, safety and ease are always at the top of our list, but I also love how aesthetically pleasing the Maxi Cosi products are," she says. "The Pria Car Seat was our first purchase and it's been so nice to have a car seat that 'grows' with your child. It's also easy to clean—major bonus!"

If you have big dreams for family adventures, start by exploring these 12 baby registry essentials.

Tayla™️ XP Travel System

Flexibility is key for successful family adventures. This reversible, adjustable, all-terrain travel system delivers great versatility. With the included Coral XP Infant Car Seat that fits securely in the nesting system, you can use this stroller from birth.


Add to Babylist

$849.99

Iora Bedside Bassinet

Great for use at home or for adventures that involve a night away, the collapsible Iora Bedside Bassinet gives your baby a comfortable, safe place to snooze. With five different height positions and three slide positions, this bassinet can fit right by your bedside. The travel bag also makes it easy to take on the go.


Add to Babylist

$249.99

Kori 2-in-1 Rocker

Made with high-quality, soft materials, the foldable Kori Rocker offers 2-in-1 action by being a rocker or stationary seat. It's easy to move around the home, so you can keep your baby comfortable wherever you go. With a slim folded profile, it's also easy to take along on adventures so your baby always has a seat of their own.


Add to Babylist

$119.99

Minla 6-in-1 High Chair

A high chair may not come to mind when you're planning ahead for family adventures. But, as the safest spot for your growing baby to eat meals, it's worth bringing along for the ride. With compact folding ability and multiple modes of use that will grow with your little one, it makes for easy cargo.


Add to Babylist

$219.99

Coral XP Infant Car Seat

With the inner carrier weighing in at just 5 lbs., this incredibly lightweight infant car seat means every outing isn't also an arm workout for you. Another feature you won't find with other infant car seats? In addition to the standard carry bar, the Coral XP can be carried with a flexible handle or cross-body strap.


Add to Babylist

$399.99

Pria™️ All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

From birth through 10 years, this is the one and only car seat you need. It works in rear-facing, forward-facing and, finally, booster mode. Comfortable and secure for every mile of the journey ahead, you can feel good about hitting the road for family fun.


Add to Babylist

$289.99

Pria™️ Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

Want to skip the wrestling match with car seat buckles? The brilliant Out-of-the-Way harness system and magnetic chest clip make getting your child in and out of their buckles as cinch. This fully convertible car seat is suitable for babies from 4 lbs. through big kids up to 100 lbs. With washer-and-dryer safe cushions and dishwasher safe cup holders, you don't need to stress the mess either.


Add to Babylist

$329.99

Tayla Modular Lightweight Stroller

With four reclining positions, your little ones can stay content—whether they want to lay back for a little shut-eye or sit up and take in the view. Also reversible, the seat can be turned outward or inward if you want to keep an eye on your adventure buddy. Need to pop it in the trunk or take it on the plane? The stroller easily and compactly folds shut.


Add to Babylist
$499.99

Tayla Travel System

This car seat and stroller combo is the baby travel system that will help make your travel dreams possible from Day 1. The Mico XP infant seat is quick and easy to install into the stroller or car. Skipping the car seat? The reversible stroller seat is a comfortable way to take in the scenery.


Add to Babylist
$699.99

Modern Diaper Bag

When you need to change a diaper during an outing, the last thing you'll want to do is scramble to find one. The Modern Diaper Bag will help you stay organized for brief outings or week-long family vacations. In addition to the pockets and easy-carry strap, we love the wipeable diaper changing pad, insulated diaper bag and hanging toiletry bag.


Add to Babylist

$129.99

Mico XP Max Infant Car Seat

Designed for maximum safety and comfort from the very first day, this infant car seat securely locks into the car seat base or compatible strollers. With a comfy infant pillow and luxe materials, it also feels as good for your baby as it looks to you. Not to mention the cushions are all machine washable and dryable, which is a major win for you.


Add to Babylist
$299.99

Adorra™️ 5-in-1 Modular Travel System

From carriage mode for newborn through world-view seated mode for bigger kids, this 5-in-1 children's travel system truly will help make travel possible. We appreciate the adjustable handlebar, extended canopy with UV protection and locking abilities when it's folded. Your child will appreciate the plush cushions, reclining seat and smooth ride.


Add to Babylist
$599.99

Ready for some family adventures? Start by exploring Maxi-Cosi.

This article was sponsored by Maxi-Cosi. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


Boost 1

This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

Woodland Snug comforter

Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

$249

Braided Pom Pom Throw

Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

$145

Lumbar pillow

sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

$65

Crystal infused sleep mask

sunday citizen sleep mask

Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

$40

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

Prince Harry and Meghan make first public appearance since Lilibet's birth

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in New York City to visit One World Observatory.

Roy Rochlin/Getty

Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are no longer active members of the royal family, we don't get to see them make public appearances regularly. It's great to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex looking fabulous as ever during their first joint public outing since the birth of their daughter, Lilibet Diana, back in June.

Earlier this week, the couple stated they were heading to New York for the Global Citizen Live from Central Park event to "continue their urgent work with world leaders in the pursuit of global vaccine equity to end the COVID-19 pandemic for everyone, everywhere," according to a statement from Global Citizen.


They arrived in New York City Thursday to visit One World Observatory at the World Trade Center with Mayor Bill de Blasio, his family, and Governor Kathy Hochel.

Roy Rochlin/Getty

Earlier this year, Prince Harry and Meghan served as Campaign Chairs for Global Citizen's VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, where Prince Harry gave a speech about vaccine equity—something the couple feels very passionately about. The two are dedicated to using their platform to work toward achieving accessible vaccines for everyone.

"Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss and struggle — together. Now we need to recover and heal — together," they both said in a statement for the concert, per PEOPLE. "We can't leave anybody behind. We will all benefit, we will all be safer, when everyone, everywhere has equal access to the vaccine."

Roy Rochlin/Getty

The couple were dressed in matching black for the September 11 memorial they were attending. When asked by a reporter how she felt about being in New York, Meghan said it was "wonderful to be back."

Both Prince Harry and Meghan were recently named two of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2021. We can't wait to see what work they have left in store for the rest of the year!

Celebrity News

75 powerful baby names that mean strength

Having a baby during a pandemic calls for a name that says, "I can do hard things."

Getty

Parenthood is a test of emotional and physical strength like none other—and every baby born during the pandemic is a testament to the incredible strength and powerful resilience of motherhood. Baby names that mean "strong," "mighty" or "powerful" feel uniquely appropriate in 2020.

You may be hoping that your child inherits the personal strength of you or a loved one, or that they boast the inner strength to overcome any obstacle life may throw their way. While the word "strong" itself might not be the ideal name, there are plenty of baby names that mean strong that fit the hopes and dreams you have for your newborn.

Whether you're looking for something outside of the box, or something more common, this list of baby names that mean "strong" is packed with inspiration.


10 popular baby girl names that mean strong

These baby girl names meaning "strong," "strength" and "power" rank in the top 1,000 names for girls.

  1. Andrea
  2. Audrey
  3. Briana
  4. Bridget
  5. Briella
  6. Gabriella
  7. Matilda
  8. Valentina
  9. Valerie
  10. Valeria

10 popular baby boy names that mean strong

Baby boy names with the meaning "strong," "powerful" or "strength" are always popular—these currently rank in the top 1,000 names for boys.

  1. Andrew
  2. Brian
  3. Denzel
  4. Ethan
  5. Ezekiel
  6. Gabriel
  7. Garrett
  8. Harvey
  9. Kenzo
  10. Valentino

25 unique baby girl names that mean strong

Less common but still powerful and beautiful, these girl names that mean "strength," "mighty" or "power" include vintage-sounding names ripe for a comeback, like Maude and Trudy, as well as modern-sounding names with strong meanings, like Bree, Aila and Bali.

  1. Adira
  2. Aila
  3. Asta
  4. Audra
  5. Bali
  6. Bedelia
  7. Bidu
  8. Bree
  9. Britta
  10. Drusilla
  11. Fortney
  12. Gertrude
  13. Imara
  14. Imiza
  15. Irie
  16. Isa
  17. Maude
  18. Melisande
  19. Millicent
  20. Philomena
  21. Rainey
  22. Riella
  23. Rita
  24. Trudy
  25. Zenobia

25 unique boy names that mean strong

Looking for an alternative to the perennially-popular boys' names with the meaning "strength"? Some of these boy names that mean strong are old-school favorites that have become less common in recent years (like Gerard and Howard), while some have a more modern feel, like Brycin, Chasin and Fort.

  1. Abelardo
  2. Anders
  3. Arsenio
  4. Azaiah
  5. Bernard
  6. Brycin
  7. Chasin
  8. Conall
  9. Egon
  10. Ermentrude
  11. Fort
  12. Gavi
  13. Gerard
  14. Howard
  15. Kwan
  16. Mandla
  17. Maynard
  18. Osiris
  19. Oz
  20. Uzi
  21. Uziah
  22. Valens
  23. Warrick
  24. Zane
  25. Zeke

10 gender-neutral baby names that mean strong

Whether given to a boy or a girl, these gender-neutral names that mean "strength" evoke power and resilience.

  1. Baldwin
  2. Barrett
  3. Dree
  4. Drew
  5. Evander
  6. Everett
  7. Griffin
  8. Kiah
  9. Quillon
  10. Zale
Celebrate the strength of motherhood

Mina Baie mama adult tee

Because comfort just became a priority in your daily style. Composed of 100% cotton, this simple tee is soft, breathable, and essential for the on-the-move mama. Wear your new title for the world to see.

$49

Mama necklace

Mama necklace

What was intended to be a small gift from a mom to a fellow new mama, quickly grew into a signature piece with a following of its own: The "MAMA" necklace in 14K gold.

$360

Motherly “I Am Enough” cuff bracelet - adult

Motherly \u201cI Am Enough\u201d cuff bracelet - adult

Dealing with a tough pregnancy? Remember, "I am enough." Need help reframing and comforting your mind during birth? Remember, "I am enough." Questioning yourself as a mother? Once again, remember, "I am enough." It's hard to remember what we and our bodies are capable of; let this Oath Bracelet empower you to believe that you truly are enough.

$35
Unique Baby Names