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VB Gives Back

#VBGivesBack: Christy Turlington Burns

September 1, 2015

"Together, we can make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother!"

Why did you start Every Mother Counts?

I endured and survived a childbirth-related complication after delivering my daughter Grace in 2003. I was fortunate to be in the care of a skilled team that included a doula, midwife, nurses and ultimately an obstetrician who worked together to manage the situation. Unfortunately, millions of other mothers, both 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 pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths occur each and every year and 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 lead me to make a documentary film,NO WOMAN, NO CRY.

Every Mother Counts was born as a result of the film. I wanted to create a resource so others could learn more and contribute in some way to finding solutions. Today, Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. We educate the public by raising awareness and funds that we invest in programs that link mothers to life saving care, currently in Haiti, Uganda, India, Tanzania, the United States and Nepal. Learn more about our work here

What are the primary goals for the organization?

We’re building a community of educated and empowered consumers who are willing to take action to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers and their families. We have three main goals for the next five years. Grow our community to 2 million committed individuals who’ve joined EMC to improve the health and well being of mothers. Inspire those 2 million individuals to take at least one action per year to raise awareness and or funds to improve access to essential maternal healthcare. Impact 2 million lives through our portfolio of grants, which support programs that address three maternal health barriers (lack of transportation, education and supplies).

What are some shocking facts you can tell us about maternal health in America?

The one that usually sticks with people the most is that the U.S. is one of eight industrialized countries with an increasing maternal mortality rate, alongside Afghanistan, Belize, El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau, Greece, Seychelles and South Sedan. Another is that we’re still losing three women in the U.S. every day to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. Most of these deaths are preventable. We know how to save these lives but not enough people are aware of the scope of the problem and prepared when the unexpected happens. This fall, Every Mother Counts will be releasing a short documentary series, “Giving Birth in America,” which examines some of the reasons the U.S. is so far behind other countries in maternal health outcomes. Click here to view the trailer and learn more

How often do you travel to visit your grantees in the 8 countries EMC is focused?

I try to get to the field as often as possible. Some countries are easier to get to more frequently. I was in Haiti three times last year and plan to go back twice more this year. I was also in Tanzania earlier this year. I try to balance my travel around my family’s needs and my husband’s work commitments. We believe it’s important for one of us to always be home during the school year. Now that our organization has grown a bit, there are others who can travel too so we alternate throughout the year.

Do you have a particular story that has stayed with you throughout the years?

Janet was one of the moms profiled in No Woman, No Cry whose story always stands out in my mind. When we met her in Tanzania back in 2009 she was on her third pregnancy and well past her due date yet she’d walked to the Ol Danyo Sambo health dispensary, five miles from her home on top of a dusty foothill. She’d eaten nothing all day. The midwives examined her and waited for labor to progress. When the baby didn’t come, they sent her back home in order to make space for another laboring woman. I put myself in Janet’s shoes and understood why many mothers like her don’t seek medical help. She’d taken a risk walking to the clinic, leaving her small children behind. I remembered the discomfort of my own pregnancies when I spent my last few weeks resting and nesting. Janet had no money for transportation and barely enough to feed her children. We drove her home and when we left her that evening I prayed for her and a safe delivery. A day later, Janet returned on foot to the clinic in active labor, but still not making any progress.The midwives told Janet to go to the closest hospital, an hour away.Without transportation (there were no ambulances to take her there), Janet’s outlook seemed dire.We helped secure a ride for her in the back of a van and after a long bumpy ride she arrived at the hospital and delivered safely.We followed Janet and her son, Furaha the next day to witness their safe homecoming. Family and neighbors greeted them with undulations of joy and celebration.It was hard not to imagine what life would be like for her family if things had turned out differently.

Your marathon contributions are huge… how many miles do you think you have personally run to contribute to the cause?

I haven’t tracked all the miles, but I have trained for four marathons and a few half marathons. Training is usually 20 weeks of running prior to that. I think its safe to say upwards of 3,000 miles.

Where’s your next Marathon?

This past April, I set a new personal record at the London Marathon, completing it in 3hrs 46 mins, which qualified me for the 2016 Boston Marathon. At the moment I have only committed to two half marathons later this fall. Naturally, Boston is on my radar as it’s a tough race to qualify for. So you will have to wait and see…

What has been your proudest moment or greatest milestone?

In a very short time there have been too many to mention. Each new grantee we support or film we complete to share what is possible through our community’s support is tremendously rewarding. When I see the size of our community grow each day, through the extended reach of our partners, I just can’t believe that this all started because of a personal experience. The experience of going through labor and birth and becoming a mother is tremendously unifying.

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us size bust waist hip
00, XS 31.5 24 34
0, XS 32.5 25 35
2, XS 33.5 26 36
4, S 34.5 27 37
6, S 35.5 28 38
8, M 36.5 29 39
10, M 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 39.5 32 42
14, L 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 47 40 50
20, 2XL 49 42 52
22, 3XL 51 44 54
24, 3XL 53 46 56
US SIZE SHOULDERS BUST WAIST HIP
00, XS 14.25 31.5 24 34
0, XS 14.5 32.5 25 35
2, XS 14.75 33.5 26 36
4, S 15 34.5 27 37
6, S 15.25 35.5 28 38
8, M 15.5 36.5 29 39
10, M 15.875 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 16.25 39.5 32 42
14, L 16.625 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 17 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 17 47 40 50
20, 2XL 17.5 49 42 52
22, 3XL 18 51 44 54
24, 3XL 18.5 53 46 56
 Jacket Size Dickey Size

00

00 - 14

0

00 - 14

2

00 - 14

4

00 - 14

6

00 - 14

8

00 - 14

10

00 - 14

12

00 - 14

14

00 - 14

16

16 - 24

18

16 - 24

20

16 - 24

22

16 - 24

24

16 - 24

us size bust waist hip
00, XS 31.5 24 34
0, XS 32.5 25 35
2, XS 33.5 26 36
4, S 34.5 27 37
6, S 35.5 28 38
8, M 36.5 29 39
10, M 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 39.5 32 42
14, L 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 47 40 50
20, 2XL 49 42 52
22, 3XL 51 44 54
24, 3XL 53 46 56
us size bust waist hip
00, XS 31.5 24 34
0, XS 32.5 25 35
2, XS 33.5 26 36
4, S 34.5 27 37
6, S 35.5 28 38
8, M 36.5 29 39
10, M 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 39.5 32 42
14, L 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 47 40 50
20, 2XL 49 42 52
22, 3XL 51 44 54
24, 3XL 53 46 56
us size bust waist hip
00, XXS 31.5 24 34
0, XS 32.5 25 35
2, XS 33.5 26 36
4, S 34.5 27 37
6, S 35.5 28 38
8, M 36.5 29 39
10, M 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 39.5 32 42
14, L 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 47 40 50
20, 2XL 49 42 52
22, 3XL 51 44 54
24, 3XL 53 46 56
 US SIZE WAIST HIP
23 23 34
24 24 35
25 25 36
26 26 37
27 27 38
28 28 39
29 29 40
30 30.5 41.5
31 32 43
32 33.5 44.5
15 36 46
16 38 48
18 40 50
20 42 52
22 44 52
us size waist hip
00, 24, XS 24 34
0, 25, XS 25 35
2, 26, XS 26 36
4, 27, S 27 37
6, 28, S 28 38
8, 29, M 29 39
10, 30, M 30.5 40.5
12, 31, L 32 42
14, 32, L 33.5 43.5
16, 15, XL 35 45
18, 16, 2XL 40 50
20, 18, 2XL 42 52
22, 20, 3XL 44 54
24, 22, 3XL 46 56
us size waist hip
00, 24, XS 24 34
0, 25, XS 25 35
2, 26, XS 26 36
4, 27, S 27 37
6, 28, S 28 38
8, 29, M 29 39
10, 30, M 30.5 40.5
12, 31, L 32 42
14, 32, L 33.5 43.5
16, 15, XL 35 45
18, 16, 2XL 40 50
20, 18, 2XL 42 52
22, 20, 3XL 44 54
24, 22, 3XL 46 56
 US SIZE EUROPE UK
5 35 3
5.5 35.5 3.5
6 36 4
6.5 36.5 4.5
7 37 5
7.5 37.5 5.5
8 38 6
8.5 38.5 6.5
9 39 7
9.5 39.5 7.5
10 40 8
10.5 40.5 8.5
11 41 9
 US SIZE BUST WAIST HIP TORSO
XS 32-34 24-26 34-36 58.5
S 34-36 26-28 36-38 60
M 36-38.5 28-30.5 38-40.5 61.5
L 38.5-41.5 30.5-33.5 40.5-43.5 63
XL 41.5-43 33.5-35 43.5-45 64.5
2XL 47 40 50 70

Conversion Guide

VB US NUMERIC

VB US/INTL ALPHA

IT

FR

UK/AU

CN

KR

00/24

XXS

34

32

2

150/72A

33

0/25

XS

36

34

4

155/76A

44

2/26

XS

38

36

6

160/80A

44-55

4/27

S

40

38

8

165/84A

55-66

6/28

S

42

40

10

170/88A

66

8/29

M

44

42

12

175/92A

77

10/30

M

46

44

14

175/96A

77

12/31

L

48

46

16

180/100A

88

14/32

L

50

48

18

185/104A

88

16/15

XL

52

50

20

190/108A

99

18/16

2XL

54

52

22

195/112A

-

20/18

2XL

56

54

24

200/116A

-

22/20

3XL

58

56

26

205/120A

-

24/22

3XL

60

58

28

210/124A

-

How to measure the body:

Size Guide Diagram

How to measure the body:

  1. Shoulders: measured from shoulder blade to shoulder blade
  2. Bust: circumference measured at the fullest part of the chest
  3. Waist: circumference measured at the smallest part of the waist
  4. Hip: circumference measured at the fullest part of the hips (or 8” down from the waist)
  5. Sleeve length: measured from the center of the back of the neck to the wrist
  6. Inseam: measured from the top of inside the leg to the ankle
Have questions about sizing? Contact Us.

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