Jodie Turner-Smith was in labor for four days during her home birth in April

Jodie Turner-Smith and Joshua Jackson at the Vogue & Tiffany Fashion Film Party at Annabel's

Jodie Turner Smith welcomed her baby girl back in April. We still don’t know the name of Mystery Turner-Smith-Jackson, correct? I didn’t even remember that Jodie and Joshua Jackson had a girl. Anyway, the baby is about four months old now, and we haven’t heard much of anything about the birth, etc. Some new moms like to share their stories immediately, some wait! In Jodie’s case, she wrote an essay for the September issue of British Vogue about her FOUR DAY home-birth and honestly, I think my uterus just packed up and caught a flight to Costa Rica. You can read some of British Vogue piece here. Some highlights:

Why they decided on a home birth: “We had already decided on a home birth because of concerns about negative birth outcomes for black women in America. According to the [CDC], 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.”

Home birthing in a time of Covid: “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.”

Joshua was by her side the whole time: “Both of us had watched our own mothers struggle to raise children without such support. Both of us were determined to create something different for ourselves. He kept saying to me, ‘There’s no part of this that I’m going to miss.’ And there wasn’t.”

Four days of labor: That extended to the couple’s home birth, which saw Turner-Smith labouring for nearly four days in their Los Angeles home. “Early in the morning on my third day of labour, 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.”

Welcoming a child into the world in 2020: “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.”

[From British Vogue and Page Six]

Jodie gave birth in LA, and it’s my understanding that California hospitals were still allowing a pregnant woman’s partner or spouse to be with her in the delivery room? But she’s probably talking about doulas or midwives too, and yes, I bet those extra support people would be banned from delivery rooms in the pandemic. Anyway, home birthing makes me so nervous, and a four-day labor… my God, I can’t even imagine. Poor Jodie. Poor Joshua. Josh sounds like such a loving, engaged partner too – it sucks that it’s so notable, but it IS. So many men are garbage at all of this, but Joshua was ride-or-die for Jodie as soon as they met.

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Instagram.

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57 Responses to “Jodie Turner-Smith was in labor for four days during her home birth in April”

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  1. Stacy Dresden says:

    A nice read for the day. I want to see that baby!

  2. Nev says:


  3. Ellie says:

    My SIL and my best friend have both given birth to their first child during this pandemic. Both were terrified, it took them both three days and they each wound up having C-sections in the end. My SIL wound up getting COVID shortly after giving birth (like so shortly we aren’t sure if it’s from the hospital or what, contact tracing in such a rural place was never going to happen), and was separated from her baby for so long her milk dried up and she can’t breastfeed anymore. Everyone should, now and anytime, have a baby if they are ready and if they want to, but their experiences have strengthened my resolve to definitely not have a baby during this time period. It seems so scary. They’re super brave, and so is Jodie!

    • Also Ali says:

      Oh that is so sad for your SIL if she was hoping to breastfeed and to be separated from her new born. That makes my heart hurt for all the moms and new babies that went/are going through this.

  4. TrixC says:

    She seems like a cool lady, and she’s really beautiful, I think that yellow dress is one of my favourite looks I’ve ever seen on a pregnant woman, ever. I don’t believe she was in active labour for four days though. She was probably in the latent phase, where you have contractions but not at regular intervals, it’s actually quite normal for that to go on for a few days.

    • Kk2 says:

      That’s what I thought too- and I hope so. 4 days of active labor would be quite dangerous. Assuming 3 days or so were early labor…. that’s just mentally exhausting. Beautiful picture. Very happy that everything worked out well for them!

    • Wilma says:

      Yeah, what midwife would not send you to hospital after a while? We have a lot of homebirths in The Netherlands and midwives are required by law to send you to the hospital if it’s taking longer.

    • A Fan says:

      I agree with Jodie’s yellow dress, so gorgeous.

      [*Also, Angelina Jolie’s green dress.*]

  5. Appalachian says:

    Hope they all stay happy and healthy! 4 days of laboring probably felt like 2 weeks. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.

  6. Jess says:

    That picture he took of her is stunning! It really captures such a specific moment in time.

  7. Green Desert says:

    Beautiful picture, couple, and story. They don’t owe anyone, but I would love to see that baby!

    • Kath says:

      Josh posted the baby in a IG story and she was adorable! The pic is probably in the internet somewhere considering people love to take screenshots

  8. leuce7 says:

    I gave birth in Los Angeles a little over two months ago, and they did allow one support person in but that’s it, and they had to stay in the hospital (no leaving to go home or pick something up, for example). Also, at the time, if you tested positive for covid they did isolate you, including from the baby although in my hospital you breastfeed with a mask and shield I believe–anyway, that policy has recently changed, I think they might be keeping the baby now (though mom is still isolated from everyone else. We were also okayed to leave after just a day but my labor was super fast.

  9. Ashley says:

    Stunningly beautiful woman, wonderful to read about how dedicated they are to each other. A bit of a gift in these challenging times.

  10. Sara says:

    She is gorgeous!!!!

  11. Kristen says:

    If she was actually in active labor for four days, it’s neglectful that one of her support people didn’t tell her she needed to get to a hospital, even if that’s not what she had planned or hoped for. There’s nothing wrong with having a home birth, but having a good support system means people who will do what’s best for you, and not just tell you what you want to hear.

    • anon says:

      This exactly. If she was in active labour for four days there could be dire health consequences for the baby! More the 2 days and they induce or go C-section for a reason. The baby can have oxygen deprivation and lots of other things. The labour could be delayed because the umbilical cord it wrapped around the neck or the baby is turned. Without hospital equipment to tell if this is the case it makes birth dangerous to the baby and the mom. The mother can bleed out too. My life was saved by a c-section. I’m sure if ask around, you also know other people that were too. C-section have been performed safely for a long time. Hospital birth generally have better results in developed countries. I wouldn’t want to be pregnant right now through. Prayers for all those who are and have to make a tough decision.

      • The chord was wrapped around my baby six times. I remember hospital staff getting very serious, a bit panicked, and being rushed into surgery, with tearful faces all around me. Then later, doctors telling me they’d never seen that before. My baby was 4.11 pounds and she stayed a week in the nicu (she was full term, but I’m a small person, and the doctor said she just ran out of room).

        I don’t know how common that experience is, but I know we were lucky. And I’m grateful.

      • Katherine says:

        I’ve read so much about various complications during childbirth that I cannot imagine having a home birth and cannot fathom why people choose it (I don’t mind that they do, it’s their absolute right to make that decision, just gives me a shudder to think about a home birth). I also am stunned at people not realizing how many women end up needing a C-section (one in five, just googled to recheck) and it cannot be a choice either for the mother’s or the baby’s sake, it’s a medical necessity.

      • @Kathrine Yes. I get wanting more control over your experience, more intimacy, and fear of the system. But childbirth is dangerous. Modern medicine has dulled us to this fact. A lot can go wrong, very quickly.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      We don’t know that she was in active labor for 4 days, just that she was in labor. And I trust Jodie & Josh to have picked support people who would be competent to advise them about safely navigating the birth process. The dangers to Black women & their babies when giving birth in a hospital are also very real risks, unfortunately. It’s probably even worse when hospital resources are strained by COVID.

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      JMO but she’s exaggerating this 4 day labor bit. If it was a true 4 day labor? She or the baby would have serious health effects.

    • A home birth sounds lovely, but you never know how things will progress. To me, the risk wasn’t worth it. And then I did end up having an emergency c-section, and if I’d given birth at home, my baby and I might not be here. Being at the hospital, where medical professionals were able to act quickly, saved us.

    • WhyAmIBeingCensored says:

      evidently, she was NOT in active labour for four days. We have the evidence of her and the child being alive to point us in that direction.

  12. Slowsnow says:

    Is it even possible to be in labour for 4 days? Isn’t it dangerous for the child? My longest was 18 h

    • Green Desert says:

      Yes…someone said above that she was likely latent for a few days. Contractions started but were far apart, etc.

      • Slowdown says:

        Well, but then should you say that you were in labour? Contractions to make the baby go down are not active labour contractions. It freaked me out to read this as my labours were always super long but never this long…

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      If her water broke in the beginning, yeah it was very dangerous. IMO she wasn’t in “true labor” because if she was? Huge medical side effects to her or the child would have happened. This from someone who had a true 2 day back-labor and born at a midwife facility.

  13. YAS says:

    My mom was an OBGYN in 1990s Ukraine, where I was born and grew up. When I was little, she used to take me to work with her in the hospital and she would just sort of leave me alone. I used to wander the hospital and a few times ended up walking down the hallway with the delivery rooms and just heard women screaming while delivering their babbies, so I decided quite early that I didn’t want to physically experience childbirth. Over the years, I’ve been like “Maybe we should reexamine that?” And then I hear stories like “four days of labor” and was in the delivery room with my friend when she gave birth and I’m like “Nope. Five year old you had the correct instincts [for me and my body].” I’m in awe of women who experience childbirth. And it’s great that her partner was supportive of her throughout.

    • Annabel says:

      I had an elective C-section because I read too many of these stories too. I’m not shading anyone else’s birth choices, but I have zero regrets.

      • Flamingo says:

        Me too. I met a doula, but when she said that my options in an emergency would be to wait for an ambulance or my husband would have to do an emergency c section on the kitchen floor (which he hasn’t done in 25 years since med school), I swiftly decided against it. I went completely the other direction, had a c section, and boom a baby in 20 minutes.

  14. Priscila says:

    Every picture I see of her and she is always stunning.

  15. Katherine says:

    Midwives aren’t necessarily support people like doulas. Depending on your medical practice And state licensing they could be a licensed part of the practice solely responsible for the birth, not a support person. I went to an ob/gyn practice that had a mix of mds and midwives. For My first daughter’s birth I had a midwife for most of the process and an md at the very end for a small complication. My second daughter was midwife beginning to end and no complications. Both hospital births. My medical practice intentionally does this with the low risk births to keep the mds available for complications and c sections. However all the midwives I worked with at my practice were cnms with formal advanced training and licensing. I’ve heard there are people who call themselves midwives because they’ve Passed down the trade but Don’t have formal licensing. I would group them more in with Doulas and support people.

  16. Sayrah says:

    This is great to read. These two are love and couple goals!

  17. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Awesome read. I found out, on Monday, I’m a grandmommy-in-waiting. I’ve been on Amazon ever since lmao.

    • Slowdown says:

      Super good news! 🥳

    • Nikki* says:

      Congratulations, and very best wishes on your first grandchild! Just found out an hour ago my daughter will be induced on the 24th with our 4th grandchild! It’s so marvelous to be totally in love with a little person, without having to rush them to swim class, school, or to bed like when you were the parent. They sense that you have no priority except enjoying every single moment with them, and that’s special to children no matter how wonderful their parents are. It’s also been so gratifying to know that I can really help my kids by giving them a break; I had very little help with my kids, so I remember what it means to get a night out, or an afternoon for myself. Anyway, I’m very happy for you!

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Thanks ladies! I can’t believe it. Life has been quite empty for me since losing literally everyone who knew me as a child and teen. I love my kids like crazy, of course. I stayed home with each of them chosing to be poor lol. It was hard not sharing them with my parents. Hard for them too. But hearing this news has surprisingly breathed new life into me. I honestly didn’t expect it, because I’m such a nonchalant negative Nancy lol.

  18. B. Goodman says:

    Here is a photo of the baby that Josh took:

  19. Marigold says:

    Bless her. She is a strong woman. I am so happy that it all went well. The picture of her in the tub is so beautiful. It should go in a frame.

    Personally, I would NEVER have a home birth. I knew someone who did whose baby died from something so minor that they could have easily fixed in the hospital. And my niece would have bled to death had she had her baby at home. I think it is great if everything goes well. But if it doesn’t? It can be terrible.

  20. Nikki* says:

    Sometimes I feel there’s a bit of judgement for women who have C sections, like they weren’t “Earth Mother” enough to do it naturally. Just have to say ANY WAY you get a baby out of your body is amazing, and any woman who gets to that point is a Warrior Queen in my book. And any woman who’s unable to have a baby is a Warrior Queen for dealing with a very very difficult situation in a world of insensitive clods. Any woman who knows she never wants a baby is also a Warrior Queen, because she defies cultural expectations in order to be true to herself. Lastly, anyone who adopts or fosters is a Warrior Queen for finding a way to make several people’s dreams come true at once. Women are AMAZING when they are true to themselves! <3

  21. PineNut says:

    that’s why home birth is not a good idea.

  22. bluemoonhorse says:

    Two births outside of a hospital by midwives and I will tell you 4 days in true labor? That puts both the woman and baby at risk. She was lucky she and her child lived.

  23. Bee says:

    There’s no way she was allowed to actively labor at home for four days. It must’ve been latent. I had three home births and you have to sign a contract with the midwife (assuming they used a licensed one) that you will agree to transport to a hospital if the labor does not progress. You also have to live close enough to a hospital with a L&D ward to get there in 10 minutes or less. I had three very smooth labors and deliveries at home with babies weighting from 7 lbs 11 oz to 8 lbs 6 oz. It can be done very safely. My midwife only accepts low risk patients and brings a lot of neonatal resuscitation equipment.

  24. detritus says:

    She’s stunning and I always like what she says. I like them together too.

    It’s not really fair to the rest of us that after 3 days of labor, no makeup, exhausted, she still looks that gorgeous.

  25. Blairski says:

    Congrats to them! I’m happy Joshua Jackson found his person. I always find it interesting when a couple is together for a long time with no kids, and then they break up and each has a kid pretty soon with someone else.

  26. StrawberryBlonde says:

    How did she look so good during labour?! I was a WRECK.

    All props to her. I didn’t want and never considered a home birth. If something were to happen to my child because I had to wait to get to the hospital…no. I also didn’t want to potentially die from something that could be fixed at the hospital. My friend planned 2 home births but in the end she had to go to the hospital due to medical complications. My only concern was that my baby and I both come through labour and delivery alive and healthy- otherwise I had no “plan”. (Except that I was adamant I wanted an epidural). However I am not Black, so I don’t face that systemic racism in medicine. I am sure they had a really good Midwife etc on hand.

  27. WhyAmIBeingCensored says:

    Jodie Turner Smith is actually the embodiment of the perfect human! That skin, that hair that face those proportions!!!!! OMG

    look at her in that yellow dress, we are all Josh

  28. Sophie says:

    I had my 3rd baby in mid March in Santa Barbara. I don’t recommend birthing during a pandemic! It was kind of a shit show. Rules kept changing without warning, my husband was stuck in the hospital with no clothes or toothbrush or anything when they suddenly enacted a lockdown rule with no warning. They tried to release the baby without me and then me without the baby. They kept accidentally setting off my baby’s lojack and locking down the hospital. If my birth hadn’t been high risk, I would have gone for it at home too. Luckily, none of us got sick, though, and that’s what matters. Our NICU was closed to parents for a short time, which was terrible. Poor families.