A series of rallies are taking place across the Commonwealth today as part of an international movement to improve the childbirth process for women and children. The 2013 Rally to Improve Birth will take place at10 a.m. local time in Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville and Bowling Green. The rallies' purpose is to call for safer, evidence-based birth practices.
The average American birth is billed at $30,000 (that's roughly twice the cost of birth in the hospital where Duchess Catherine delivered Prince George...) and the average Caesarean delivery is billed at $50,000. Says Dawn Thompson, president of ImprovingBirth.org, the mothers’ advocacy group organizing the rallies, “We’re in a true crisis, with the highest costs in the world and some of the worst health outcomes related to childbirth. “Nine out of 10 American women receive care that increases the risks of harm to them and their babies. We must do better.” (Kentucky’s C-section rate of 35.4% ranks it seventh highest in the nation for Cesarean rates,and more than double the 15% suggested by the World Health Organization as a highest recommended rate.)
Ms. Thompson notes that: "This movement isn't about natural birth vs. medicated birth. It's not about hospital birth vs. home birth or birth center birth. It's about women being capable of making safer, more informed decisions about their care and that of babies when they are given full and accurate information about their care options, including the potential harms, benefits, and alternatives."
To learn more about the Rallies to Improve Birth, check out the Improving Birth Facebook page.
To read about HerKentucky writer Sarah Stewart Holland's experiences with home birth, please visit her blog, bluegrass redhead.