On Monday, September 3, in 100 cities across the country, Improving Birth is organizing a “National Rally for Change on Labor Day.” In Philadelphia, the rally will take place in front of Independence Hall from 10:00 am – noon. The hope is that the movement will bring awareness to the lack of evidence-based maternity care in the United States and will serve as a launch to Empowered Birth Awareness Week.
What is evidence-based maternity care, you ask? I asked myself the same question when I heard the term earlier this week. (Read the info at the link – it’s interesting).
I know that for me personally, I wanted as low intervention a birth as possible. I tried to remain open and flexible knowing that very few birth plans go as planned, but I felt empowered with knowledge. I wanted to try and avoid a cesarean section if I could; I wanted to try for a natural labor without medication. Having never given birth before (and knowing that every birth is different), I didn’t know if I would be able to handle the labor pains without an epidural. I couldn’t predict unexpected complications that might have lead to a cesarean. Armed with everything I had read and was taught in my Mindful Birthing class, I was able to have the birth I wanted.
Not everyone is as lucky, and not everyone has the information to make informed decisions.
According to the Improving Birth website, their mission is to:
- Reduce the unnecessary induction and unnecessary c-section rate in the United States by bringing education and awareness to birthing families, birth workers and hospital administrators.
- Promote evidence-based maternity care and support the normalcy of birth.
Their purpose is “educating and empowering mothers so they are able to make informed choices about their births,” and their goal is to “reduce the unnecessary induction and unnecessary c-section rate in the US by bringing awareness to birthing families and the people who love them.” They do believe that induction and c-sections can be life-saving interventions when necessary.
From what I understand, the long-term effects of unnecessary inductions and cesareans are just starting to be realized. However, it takes an average of 20 years for proven research (evidence-based maternity care) to become practice. I’m all for education, and I think empowering women (and families) with information about reproductive health and childbirth is invaluable.
It’s not about judgement. It’s about education. Join me on Monday at the Philadelphia National Rally for Change, or find a rally location near to you.