Christy Turlington and Kelly Corrigan Give Birth to Podcast Celebrating Moms — and Jennifer Garner Is the First Guest

Christy Turlington Burns and Kelly Corrigan live around the corner from one another in New York City

Published Time: 08.05.2024 - 15:31:09 Modified Time: 08.05.2024 - 15:31:09

Christy Turlington Burns and Kelly Corrigan live around the corner from one another in New York City. They bonded for the first time, however, halfway across the globe.

Earlier this year, Turlington Burns' organization Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit that advocates for safe maternal and postpartum health care, hosted a Learning Tour in Tanzania, one of the most dangerous countries in the world to give birth. Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author, podcaster and host of Tell Me More on PBS, joined the trip to see EMC's work in action.

“Kelly just had the most practical questions: What happens when there’s not a mom there to feed them? What happens when the mom can’t get them to school, or what happens when they’re sick?,” Turlington Burns, 55, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. 

Corrigan, 56, shares that she was “deeply drawn” to Christy’s expertise. 

“I was watching Cindy interact with these hospitals, these OBGYNs, these midwives and doulas, these community activists and Maasai women — they know she's coming back,” she shares. “They know it's not a pastime. They know that she's informed. That was catching my attention more than anything else — their familiarity with her." 

Corrigan also points out that in any society, the absence of a mother figure is often when expensive social services must step in. 

“When I think about the support that flows naturally from mother to child, and then I think about how that work gets cobbled together by teachers, coaches, counselors, tutors and social workers in the absence of a mother, I understand in a new way what Christy means when she says Every Mother Counts,” she says. “We are impossible to replace.”

That idea informed their new podcast, Kelly Corrigan Wonders: About Your Mother, which features guests like Cindy Crawford, Amy Schumer, Spike Lee and Bono, who reveal intimate details about the relationships with their moms and the life lessons those women passed on, with a goal of raising $100,000 for EMC.Jennifer Garner kicks things off on the debut episode May 8.

One theme that resonated with Turlington Burns: “ ‘Practical’ was the word that Cindy and Jen used to describe their moms. You don’t think of practical as warm and fuzzy, but I would describe myself as a practical person. So if I was described that way by my kids, that would say that they know me. When someone is practical, it’s someone you know can trust.” 

The model, who recently opened the Ralph Lauren fall runway show, is mom to daughter Grace, 20, and son Finn, 18, with her husband, actor and filmmaker Ed Burns. 

She experienced a rare postpartum hemorrhage following Gr -

ace’s birth in 2003, which led her to launch EMC in 2010. 

“Even though it was scary and painful, I was in the care of very capable people,” she tells PEOPLE. “Everyone should have that level of care.”

Since then, Turlington Burns has traveled the globe to drive awareness, and EMC has invested more than $42 million to help make pregnancy and childbirth safer and more equitable. 

“I am always knocked out when people take all the attention the world’s giving them and reflect it on something else,” Corrigan — who is mom to daughters Claire, 21, and Georgia, 22, — says of Turlington Burns’ activism. “She’s one of the world’s experts in maternal health.” 

And Turlington-Burns is proud that the change she envisioned is beginning to take place. 

“When I look back to what the world was like in 2010, nobody was talking about maternal mortality,” she says. “The U.S. maternal health crisis, especially the Black maternal health crisis—those words were not being uttered when we started this work. It feels good to play such a large role in getting attention around this issue.” 

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Launching the podcast has also made her reflect on her relationship with her mother, Elizabeth, 84, who was widowed at a young age and grieved the death of her mother shortly after that. 

“I remember my mom saying she felt untethered when her mom passed. . . . Your mother can really be your North Star professionally, emotionally, spiritually.”

Turlington Burns has been that North Star for her daughter. Not only has Grace participated in EMC trips, she’s also followed in her mom’s footsteps, modeling on the runway for Alberta Ferretti and the British Vogue x LuisaViaRoma fashion show. 

“She usually tells me afterwards!” Turlington Burns says. “It’s exciting. . . . I support all the things.” 

As for how Turlington Burns will celebrate Mother’s Day, which also marks a “birthday” for EMC? 

“As a mom, I want to rest—Sundays are sacred,” she says. “As a founder and president of an organization, it’s a workday.”

Every Mother Counts works to help make pregnancy and childbirth safe for everyone, everywhere. To donate, go Listen to the special five-part podcast series, created in partnership withKelly Corrigan Wonders, wherever you get your podcasts.

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