Jodie Turner-Smith opted for a home birth because she feared she’d die in hospital.
The ‘Queen & Slim’ actress and her husband Joshua Jackson welcomed a baby girl into the world in April, and long before medical facilities began changing their processes due to the coronavirus pandemic, they knew they wouldn’t be attending a hospital because of the statistics on "negative birth outcomes" for black women in the US.
Jodie said: "We had 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 then for white women, pointing, it seems to me, to systemic racism.
"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 I had what every single woman deserves to have; full agency in determining my birth support."
The last few months have also seen a wave of Black Lives Matters protest in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police and while Jodie worries about having to discuss the subject with her daughter one day, she’s hopeful change is on the horizon.
She wrote in the new issue of Britain’s Vogue magazine: "While my husband has been learning how to change diapers and I’ve been learning to breastfeed a newborn, the world has been reckoning with tragedy.
"As a mother, I Feel everything more deeply and I honestly cannot bring myself to watch the video of George Floyd’s death, to hear him crying out the word ‘Mama as a police officer knelt on his neck until the life left his body. How do I prepare my daughter for the pain of seeing black bodies senselessly cut down? How do I help her reconcile Sandra and Breonna and Elijah and Eric and Philando and and and…
"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 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."