Jodie Turner-Smith has gone through some huge life changes while under lockdown.
In April, the “Queen & Slim” star gave birth to her first child with husband Joshua Jackson, and in the new Activism Now issue of British Vogue, she opens up about the experience.
“I laugh when I think back on my early pregnancy naivety, when ‘plans’ were still a thing,” she says. “I thought it would be feasible to move house, have a child and go back to work a month later. I felt the pressure that we often place on new mothers: to get back to ‘normal’, to have what is considered a perfect post-pregnancy body – one that bears no trace of the fact that a tiny human was once held inside it and, only weeks before, passed through it.”
Talking about Jackson’s support, Turner-Smith says, “It made me realize how lucky and privileged I am to have a partner willing to follow me around the world, supporting me while I did my job. 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.'”
As for actually giving birth, the 33-year-old says, “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. 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.”
Turner-Smith also talks about the year 2020 overall and the historic nature of everything that has happened.
“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,” she says. “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.”
Read the full feature in the September issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands now.