Christy Turlington Burns, head of the Every Mother Counts organization, said she wants mothers to give up phone calls, Facebook and gifts this Sunday to raise awareness of the estimated 360,000 women who die annually from pregnancy or childbirth-related problems, she told NBC's "Today."
She said boycotting Mother's Day will show "just how much a mother is missed when she is gone."
Turlington Burns, who called for the boycott in her short film, "No Mother's Day," said she is not fazed by online criticism of the plan.
"For some women, it's easy to take a day of silence in memory of women who have died," she said.
However, she said she hopes those who choose not to participate in the boycott find other, creative ways to show their support for the cause.