We're excited to welcome Christy to our platform, where she shares her personal journey with motherhood, maternal health for all, and the best advice her mom ever gave her.
What’s one thing you would tell your younger self?
Can you tell us why you founded Every Mother Counts and why maternal health is close to your heart?
I became a global maternal health advocate the day I became a mother. I experienced a potentially life-threatening complication following the birth of my daughter, and then learned that hundred of thousands of women were dying every year simply because they didn’t have access to the care that I had. I didn’t know exactly what I would do with that information, but I knew I couldn’t forget it. Ultimately, asking myself the question, ‘What can I do?’ led me to study public health, make a documentary film called, ‘No Woman, No Cry,’ which together created Every Mother Counts. Our mission is to make pregnancy safe, respectful, and equitable for every mother, everywhere.
Can you speak to your relationship with Allyson Felix and your shared passions of motherhood and maternal health?
I’ve followed Allyson’s incredible career for years, but paid even closer attention once she became a mother and shared her story. As a former Time 100, I was asked to write Allyson’s essay when she became one. After that, I reached out to connect and invited her to participate in a series of cover stories about hope for Harper’s Bazaar during the pandemic. I learned we had more in common than a birth complication. We both started our careers as very young women and had to learn how to advocate for ourselves. We’ve stayed in touch and continue to join forces to advocate for improved maternity care for all.
How has being a mom shaped your sense of self and purpose?
Becoming a mother puts many things into perspective. You obviously have to be more selfless when you’re responsible for another being. The birth itself can teach you so much about yourself, as well as others. And if you choose to follow your instincts from there, your sense of purpose can expand exponentially.
It’s clear that you’re extremely close with your mom, your sisters, and your niece. What’s one thing that each woman has taught you?
My mom instilled in me a sense of wanderlust. My sisters, Kelly and Erin, taught me how to stay young at heart and how to make lasting friendships. Cameron, my niece, teaches me how to be a free spirit.
What’s one piece of advice from your mom that you live by?
Explore a new part of the world every chance you get.
Why are your female relationships so important to you?
We’re all sisters who are in this fight together.
What does the Power of She mean to you?
Women and girls are powerful when empowered. That’s the Power of She. The potential to thrive.
What does wellbeing mean to you?
To me, wellbeing is a feeling of good health, strength, and connection.