Midstate Moms Rally To Improve Birth Practices | News
Correction: This story originally contained incorrect information. Coliseum Hospital offers mothers the option of vaginal births after cesareans, according to spokeswoman Robin Parker. It's up to individual doctors to decide how to perform the delivery.
One group of moms in Macon is talking about a different kind of labor this Labor Day.
More than 20 parents gathered at Washington Park to rally for improved birth practices.
"The birth practices in our country could be better than they are right now," event organizer Christy Freeman said.
It was all part of a bigger event, the second-annual Rally to Improve Birth, slated for Labor Day in cities across the nation, as well as Japan, Australia and Canada.
Its aim? To promote care that puts mothers and babies first.
The mothers told me they're advocating for evidence-based maternity care. That means tailored care that has been scientifically proven to be beneficial for the mother and child, as opposed to care that is driven by other factors.
"The U.S. maternity system as it is," event organizer Lindsey Mangham said, "Is perpetuated by profits, convenience and liability concerns."
The U.S. has the highest maternity care costs in the world, but only ranks 45th in maternal safety, according to data from the United Nations.
Also, according to the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 American babies are born by C-section. That's more than double the 15% rate that the World Health Organization recommends.
After her first induced birth, Carrie Smith wanted to deliver naturally the second time.
"Pregnancy has become an alienated thing. It's like we're not trusting our bodies to do what we've been doing for years and years," said Carrie Smith, a mother who attended the rally.
Many local moms say they did not have the option to have a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean (VBAC), even if that's what they preferred.
Samantha Gilbane, a mother of two, chose to deliver her daughter, Penelope, in Atlanta, after delivering her first son by C-section.
Gilbane says she chose to go to Atlanta because she felt she had more birth options there, and that those options need to be available here in Macon.
"With my daughter, we researched, and I planned to do a VBAC," Gilbane says. "And then I come to find out there was no real option in this area."
The mothers also wanted to emphasize they are not rallying against C-sections or medicated births.
They simply want mothers to be informed and know all of their birth options so they can make an educated decision.
For more information, visit ImprovingBirth.org.
Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh.