National maternity health rally in Columbia to focus on healthy births

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 | 5:22 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A nationwide effort to bring awareness to women's health and maternity care is slated to land in Columbia on Labor Day.

On Sept. 3, supporters will gather at 10 a.m. near the intersection of Broadway and Old 63 at the southwest corner of Stephens Lake Park for the National Rally for Change. The event will promote the education of healthy birthing options and raise awareness of the possible dangers of cesarean sections and inductions.

Improving Birth, a national campaign working to lower the rates of inductions and cesarean sections, is conducting similar rallies in cities throughout the U.S.

"This is an informative event," said Carrie Hummel-Logee, co-coordinator of the Columbia rally. "We're not protesting. This is a rally to stand in support of women. We want to increase awareness and invite more people into the conversation."

During the rally, supporters are planning to hold signs, talk with the community about birth procedure issues and provide information about where people can go to learn more.

Improving Birth describes its mission as working to bring attention to the lack of "evidence-based maternity care," a concept that refers to surgical and invasive birthing procedures the campaign says are being conducted without sufficient research.

Although the organization argues that the lack of research on invasive birthing procedures is leading to complications and deaths among women and babies, Hummel-Logee said the rally will focus on opening a discussion on all maternity care options.

"This is about positivity," she said. "We really believe that with education women will make the choice that's best for them and their families — the healthy choice."

For more information, go to the rally's Facebook page and website.

Supervising editor is Ann Elise Taylor.

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April Rodeghero August 17, 2012 | 5:24 p.m.

So awesome to see a focus on Improving Birth for all women. I love that Columbias atance is to educate rather than alienate. All moms deserve evidence based care.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 18, 2012 | 5:52 a.m.

What is the "evidence" that non-medical birth is an "improvement" over medical birth? It's all about choice, and choosing to have your baby in a non-medical setting is totally the mother's choice. I suspect a lot of medical birth is done without really considering alternatives, and there's even a level of convenience in induction or C-section. But in terms of better outcomes (healthy mother and healthy baby), I suspect there is a lot less evidenc in this movement, and a lot more ideology.

Childbirth has been very dangerous in the past, and it's easy, in our "ultra-nylon life of ease", to forget the contribution that medicine has made to lessen those dangers. Complications can be minimized with appropriate prenatal care and maternal preparation, but it's sure nice to have a fully staffed and equipped hospital only a few minutes away in case things go wrong. In the poorest developing countries, as many as one woman in 16 dies in childbirth.


(Report Comment)
April Rodeghero August 19, 2012 | 10:14 a.m.

Respectfully, I dont think it is quite so black and white. There is some middle ground between medicalized hospital birth and unassisted birth. Most moms want that in between. Moms want to be in a hospital but have hospital staff recognize that birth is usually not a medical event.
You say above that it is all about choice. I think that's the point of the rally. The rally seeks to bring care that has been proven safer to all mothers. This should be a part of hospital birth. Many mothers choose a hospital for some of the reasons you mentioned above. This does not mean that they are choosing a medical birth. They are choosing to have the medical support there, Should they need it. Not every mother needs it. Women should have the choice to birth in a hospital without unecessary interventions and have it be a beautiful and safe experience with only backup IF needed.
Also I dont think decades of knowledge from native people and midwives should be thrown out the window for medical knowledge. We should be combining the best of the two to make greater balance for mothers and their families.


(Report Comment)
Katy Koncen August 19, 2012 | 11:06 a.m.

I am having trouble seeing in the article where "medical" birth is discouraged. The article appears to be suggesting that attention needs to be drawn to specific practices within the medical setting that are not supported by evidence. There is nothing "ultra-nylon life of ease" about giving birth no matter how many modern technologies are applied, so that phrase doesn't seem to fit well anywhere. Since the spokesperson for this event is clearly quoted as saying it is intended to be informative, positive, and conversational, it seems biased to suggest that it is judging women who choose to give birth in one setting or another. In fact, it doesn't seem to even touch on the choice of place or style of giving birth, beyond suggesting that some modern practices should be further investigated.

(Report Comment)

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