Actress Jodie Turner-Smith Gave Birth At Home Because Of ‘Systemic Racism’, Was In Labor For Almost 4 Days
Model and actress Jodie Turner-Smith has opened up about her experience with giving birth to her first child.
She and her husband, When They See Us actor Joshua Jackson, welcomed baby girl Janie Jackson this past April. Now, in an essay for the September issue of British Vogue, the Queen & Slim star has discussed at length her experiences with being pregnant during the height of a global pandemic and making the decision to have her baby at home due to what she considers “systemic racism.” She explains:
“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.”
Jodie Turner-Smith details how much the pandemic affected her delivery and how she understood that some mothers-to-be had no choice but to deliver on their own.
“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. Delivering at home ensured that I had what every single woman deserves to have: full agency in determining my birth support.”
She said through everything, her husband remained supportive as they both wanted their children to have an experience different from theirs.
“[We] had watched our own mothers struggle to raise children without such support. Both of us were determined to create something different for ourselves.”
According to Jodie Turner-Smith, Joshua Jackson promised that he would be there for her through everything, saying there was “no part of this” he wanted to miss. For the couple, this also included the delivery of their brand new baby girl where Jodie remained in labor for nearly four long days. She recalls in her essay,
“Early in the morning on my third day of labor, 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.”
Now, Jodie has the daunting task of deciding how she will tell their daughter the state of the world she was innocently born into on April 21, 2020. She says,
“Sometimes I wonder how I will explain to my daughter what it meant to be born in the year 2020. The historic events, the social unrest, and me – a new mother just trying to do her best. I think I will tell her that it was as if the world had paused for her to be born. And that, hopefully, it never quite returned to the way it was before.”
What are your thoughts on Jodie Turner-Smith’s experience in giving birth? Let us know in the comments!