Thousands of people gathered across the country yesterday in an effort to improve the other labor day. You know, the one that still gets you out of work, but is nine months in the making.
Called the "Rally to Improve Birth," this was the third annual demonstration by the people behind ImprovingBirth.org. What started as a small group of moms in San Diego turned into a coalition of people in over 100 cities across the US, plus Mexico, Canada and Australia. They advocate for evidence-based maternity care, defined on their website as "practices that have been shown by the highest quality, most current medical evidence to be most beneficial to mothers and babies (reducing incidences of injuries, complications, and death), with care tailored to the individual."
"This movement isn't about natural birth vs. medicated birth," the website states. "It’s not about hospital birth vs. homebirth or birth center birth. It’s about women being capable of making safer, more informed decisions about their care and that of their babies."
Supporters argue that hospitals routinely perform unnecessary c-sections, and do not sufficiently support VBACs. They argue that in many cases, there's not enough evidence for the use treatments like Pitocin or bed rest. Ultimately, the rally is a call for more transparency, more options and better care for moms-to-be.
Issues also vary state by state. In Alabama, certified midwives are not allowed to attend home births. So if you choose to deliver outside of a hospital, you're on your own. Part of the Rally to Improve Birth in Huntsville, Alabama, focused on legalizing midwives in the home. Adequate access to obstetrical services was front-and-center too.
Were you comfortable with your hospital's birthing procedures?