Sophie Turner says if she wore a mask during childbirth, 'you can wear a mask at Walmart'

Elise Solé
·5 min read

Sophie Turner has a no-excuses policy for face masks: She even wore one during childbirth.

The Game of Thrones star revealed as much in a Wednesday Instagram Story. “If I can wear a mask while I give birth, you can wear a mask at Walmart,” she said.

Turner, 24, welcomed daughter Willa in July with husband Joe Jonas, 31, after spending much of her pregnancy in quarantine and promoting health guidelines on social media. In August, she posted a photo of her and Jonas on a mock Vogue issue with the cover line “Wear a mask. That’s the tea.” And in March, after Lost alum Evangeline Lilly was slammed for comparing national lockdown to “Marshall Law” [sic] and COVID-19 to “a respiratory flu,” Turner seemingly responded via Instagram Live.

“Stay inside, don’t be f***ing stupid, even if you count your freedom over — I don’t know, what is it — your health,” she said. “I don’t give a F about your freedom. You could be infecting other people, other vulnerable people around you, by doing this. So stay inside, guys. It’s not cool and it’s not big and it’s not clever. And that’s the tea.”

Sophie Turner revealed that she wore a face mask during childbirth. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)
Sophie Turner revealed that she wore a face mask during childbirth. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current stance is that face masks protect both the wearer from spreading COVID-19 via respiratory drops and the public from inhalation. The health agency notes that pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with nonpregnant women. Pregnant people with COVID-19 may also be at increased risk for preterm birth.

However, it makes no specifications for face masks during childbirth. A spokesperson for the CDC did not immediately respond to Yahoo Life’s requests for comment.

Sophie Turner revealed on Instagram that she wore a face mask during childbirth. (Screenshot: Instagram/SophieT)
Sophie Turner revealed on Instagram that she wore a face mask during childbirth. (Screenshot: Instagram/SophieT)

It’s not unusual for women to wear face masks during labor and delivery. During the summer, in response to a rash of viral videos showing people protesting mask wearing in public, mothers tweeted mask-clad postpartum photos. “If I can wear a mask through 38 hours of labor, a c-section, and recovery ... you can do it for an hour while running to the grocery store and/or other errands,” wrote one.

In July, new mom Valeri Hedges told CNN that wearing a face mask during childbirth wasn’t a problem. “When I was delivering my child, I didn’t even notice it because it didn’t even faze me whatsoever,” she said. ‘It doesn’t affect your breathing, and it’s something that’s so little to ask for when you can make such a difference in helping contain this pandemic.” And new mom Julia Kite-Laidlaw told Good Morning America she wore a mask to deliver twins via emergency C-section during her four-day hospital stay and in the neonatal ICU, where her babies stayed for two weeks.

Plenty of moms shared their labor stories on Twitter.

Even though some people are still resistant to wearing masks, the CDC says, “Wearing a mask does not raise the carbon dioxide ... level in the air you breathe.”

While the CDC recognizes “that wearing masks may not be possible in every situation or for some people,” many health care professionals advocate that it is safe.

“We wear masks all day long in the hospital. The masks are designed to be breathed through and there is no evidence that low oxygen levels occur,” the American Lung Association says on its website. “There is some evidence, however, that prolonged use of N-95 masks in patients with preexisting lung disease could cause some build-up of carbon dioxide levels in the body. People with preexisting lung problems should discuss mask-wearing concerns with their health care providers. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that mask-wearing or physical distancing weakens the immune system.”

Dr. Donna Maria Neale, an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine, stresses the safety of wearing a mask during childbirth.

Pregnant women have a physiological edge due to increased blood volume that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen more efficiently to their tissues, Neale says. “That change makes the ‘marathon’ of childbirth easier,” she tells Yahoo Life.

“Wearing a mask during labor and delivery is no walk in the park, but if you do a risk-benefit analysis, it’s worth it,” she adds.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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