Women rally to improve birthing options

By BRITTANY SEEMUTH

Mothers from Wisconsin banded together in Shorewood, Wis. for “The Rally to Improve Birth,” a worldwide effort to educate families about women’s birthing options.

The rally was made up of dozens of women who were holding signs and having conversations advocating for fewer preventable C-sections, fewer unnecessary inductions, and staying informed of the facts about all birthing options including using a mid-wife.

The most popular topic being discussed was cesarean sections. Throughout the rally, some women held signs which read, “Fewer Preventable C-Sections,” and spoke about their experiences with cesareans which led some women to choose home births with future pregnancies.

Photos by BRITTANY SEEMUTHWomen rallied in Shorewood, Wis. to educate, to imporve, and to advocate healthy birthing options.

Photos by BRITTANY SEEMUTH
Women rallied in Shorewood, Wis. to educate, to imporve, and to advocate healthy birthing options.

According to http://www.improvingbirth.org/, “Wisconsin’s C-section rate of 26 percent is significantly higher than the 15 percent suggested by the World Health Organization as a highest recommended rate.”

A nationwide look at the after-effects of caesarean sections, point to the specific health risks involved.

In December 2012, Harvard Magazine published findings that compared the risks of cesarean delivery with vaginal births, stating that women who deliver by cesarean are more likely to have complications in future pregnancies. “Cesarean delivery increases low-risk women’s chances of certain rare but potentially life-threatening problems, such as hemorrhage, blood clots and bowel obstruction. More frequent risks include bladder damage, infection, and enduring pain … These women are also less likely to breastfeed and may be at greater risk for depression and post-traumatic stress.”

Mary Anne Scherer, a certified Milwaukee-area nurse midwife, told her own birth story at the rally which led to her career path in birthing care.

“I had a very negative birth experience in the hospital,” Scherer said. “I ended up pushing for five hours on my back, ended up with a C-section and postpartum depression. Then I started researching why. I was a healthy woman, why couldn’t I push my own baby out? I went to Marquette University to become a certified nurse midwife and I really enjoyed partnering with women, hoping that they get a better birth experience than I did.”

Kait Moon, local rally coordinator, emphasized the importance of evidence-based birthing care. Evidence-based birthing care is defined as the most current medical evidence that reduces injuries, complications and deaths, as reported by www.improvingbirth.org.

“There is a maternal health care crisis in the country,” Moon said. “Women are dying at a higher rate than they have in over 25 years … Hospitals and doctors are instituting protocols that are not evidence-based … We want mothers to inform themselves, get the education and information available to them to make informed decisions about their healthcare providers and help them to make good decisions so they are healthy when giving birth.”

For more information on how to get involved with Improving Birth, contact Milwaukee-area coordinator, Kait Moon, at improvingbirthmke@gmail.com.

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