Blue Kefir bottle

Being a mother is like nothing else. People tell you this and you nod your head and go, okay, okay. But when your baby arrives, there really is no love like a love for a child.

On Nov. 27, 2011, my husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Abigail, into the world, and now I know what everyone is talking about.

There really is no love like a love for a child.

That’s why Lifeway Foods’ recent campaign really hits home

The Morton Grove, Ill., company partnered with model Christy Turlington Burns to kick off “Every Mother Counts” sweepstakes.

“Every Mother Counts” is an advocacy and mobilization campaign founded by Turlington Burns to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally.

Every 90 seconds, a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, making reproductive health problems a leading cause of mortality worldwide for women ages 15-44. Experts estimate that as many as 90% of these deaths could be prevented through improved access to emergency services, quality prenatal and postpartum care and adequate family planning. 

"Since becoming a mother myself, I've been a passionate supporter of Christy's work and the work ‘Every Mother Counts’ is doing around the world to improve prenatal and postpartum care for millions of moms who otherwise wouldn't have access to the basic medical care they need during pregnancy and childbirth," says JulieSmolyansky, Lifeway Foods’ chief executive officer. "It's an honor to support Christy and EMC in their mission to improve maternal health and reduce the rate of maternal mortality."

According to, Mozambique, Malawi and Central African Republic rakes in the highest amount of maternal death rates, with 1,100 for every 100,000, as reported by UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) in 2002. Greece and Grenada display the lowest maternal death rates at one for every 100,000. Statistics for the United States show eight for every 100,000.

To participate in the “Every Mother Counts” campaign, simply purchase specially-marked bottles of Lifeway's low-fat kefir and look for the unique entry code on the bottle cap — most varieties feature the sweepstakes cap sticker. Then, enter the code on the special sweepstakes application at Lifeway Kefir’s Facebook page, All codes must be submitted by March 11. The winner will be announced March 14.

The grand prize includes an all-expense paid trip for two to Chicago on April 16 to meet Turlington Burns, global maternal health advocate and founder of EMC. The winner will also receive VIP viewing of Turlington Burns' new documentary "No Woman, No Cry." The film shares stories of at-risk pregnant women and their caregivers as they face critical junctures in their pregnancies in four parts of the world. Additional prizes include a two-night stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago hotel, gift bag with prizes and $500 cash for expenses.

Following the event, Lifeway will host a question-and-answer panel with Turlington Burns and Smolyansky, who recently visited Bangladesh and ran the New York City Marathon for Team EMC to raise awareness for the cause. The panel will be moderated by Jane M. Hussein Saks, executive director at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College in Chicago. 

In addition to the sweepstakes, Lifeway is donating five cents of the purchase price of each specially-marked bottle of low-fat blueberry kefir to “Every Mother Counts.”

"I am thrilled to have Lifeway Foods on board, and so grateful for their support in helping us spread the word about the need for improved maternal health care in some of the most difficult regions around the globe, as well as right here at home in the U.S.," says Turlington Burns. "The Lifeway initiative is an easy, yet powerful way for anyone to make an impact. It seems like such a small thing to purchase a bottle of blueberry kefir, but that small thing can make a big difference in the lives of so many women."

So fellow mommies, let’s rally together and help mothers all over the world live to watch their children grow up.

For more information about “Every Mother Counts,” visit