Jodie Turner-Smith Opted For a Home Birth Because of "Systemic Racism"
Jodie Turner-Smith is getting candid about being pregnant amid a worldwide pandemic, and the struggles she went through to give birth. The Queen & Slim star, who welcomed her first child with husband Joshua Jackson in April, said in an essay for British Vogue that "every stage of my pregnancy brought its own challenges and lessons."
"We had already decided on a home birth, because of concerns about negative birth outcomes for Black women in America — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of pregnancy-related deaths is more than three times greater for Black women than for white women, pointing, it seems to me, to systemic racism," she said.
According to the CDC, Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women — and this disparity increases with age.
"We never imagined that in the coming weeks, hospitals around the country would begin restricting who could be present in the birthing rooms, forcing mothers to deliver without the support person or people of their choice," Turner-Smith added. "Delivering at home ensured that I had what every single woman deserves to have: full agency in determining my birth support."
The actress said she spent four days in labor, and "early in the morning on my third day of labour, my husband and I shared a quiet moment. I was fatigued and beginning to lose my resolve. Josh ran me a bath, and as I lay in it contracting, I talked to my body and I talked to my daughter."
"In that moment, he snapped a picture of me. An honest moment of family and togetherness — a husband supporting a wife, our baby still inside me, the sacred process of creating a family."
She also praised Jackson for his support throughout, writing, "Both of us had watched our own mothers struggle to raise children without such support. Both of us were determined to create something for ourselves. He kept saying to me, 'There's no part of this that I'm going to miss.'"
In April, the actors' reps confirmed they welcomed a daughter together, telling People, "Both mother and baby are happy and healthy."
Turner-Smith and Jackson reportedly married last December after having been linked since the fall of 2018.