So, when I first heard of Improvingbirth.org, I had no idea who they were or what they stood for. I received a few emails about this rally they were doing. I went to look at their Facebook page and saw they had about 900 ‘likes’. I thought, “How in the world are they putting on a national rally with that few people?”
Then, a personal friend of mine told me she was hosting one in her area. Huh. OK, let me check this out more. I went to their website, watched their video and thought, “I can get behind this.”
It was…was refreshing. It pumped me up and reaffirmed why I do what I do. No political correctness and no apologizing for taking a stand. Ya, I can get behind that.
Now, rally locations are turning up everywhere…all on Labor Day, September 3rd, 2012. I see people and pages posting about it all over Facebook. It’s clearly contagious. Why?
First, it’s not a protest. It’s a way for women who want to see change in our maternal healthcare change. It’s a rally in support of evidence based care.
“Improving Birth was founded with the vision of encouraging hospital administrators to review their birth-specific policies and procedures. We ask that they implement incentive programs for doctors and nurses to get up-to-date information and education about the most current care practices. The U.S. outspends every country in the world for maternity care, and yet we rank #49 for maternal mortality rates. In fact, Amnesty International reports that ‘women in the US face a greater risk of maternal death than nearly all European countries, as well as Canada and several countries in Asia and the Middle East’.”
I am going to tell you why this is so important. When options are taken away from women, they have to find ways to birth how they feel is best. They have to find a way to be heard. By taking away choices, such as breech birth attended by a skilled provider or a VBAC or water birth in the hospital, women have fewer options. Sometimes this means birthing with a care provider who causes a traumatizing birth, or birthing with an unskilled midwife (we don’t all have access to great midwifery care) or even birthing unassisted at home when the mother otherwise wouldn’t. I’ve had an unassisted birth, so it’s not that I don’t support home birth or UC, but not when it’s because a woman doesn’t feel like she has any other choices! Hospitals are pushing women away and the women they are caring for, they are doing a subpar job (most of the time). THIS has to change and only the consumer, US, can change it!
I love that Improving Birth is doing just this. Telling women to take a stand, bring them together to have a united, louder voice and going straight to the source and trying to work WITH hospitals to make this all happen (more here).
So find a rally in your area and attend on Labor Day, September 3rd, 2012! If you wonder what you can do to make a change, this is a great start. I’ll be attending one local to me!
*Thank you to Ruthie and Birth Blessings Photography for the image.