Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Improving Birth on Labor Day

Empowered, vaginal birth when the doctors
recommended a cesarean for the birth of their daughter
I remember when I was 5 years old, learning about labor day. I knew school started around then and since my mom was pregnant at the time, I thought it meant she'd have the baby then. I was obviously wrong about that second part. But, that play on words can help bring more awareness to the fact that in the US, we have the 2nd WORST newborn death rate in the "modern" world AND Amnesty International condemns US death rates of women in childbirth. To make matters worse, African Americans and Native Americans are disproportionally at risk.

Birth is important - I mean it is how we come earth-side so to speak, yet with this very important  moment in time, families are often left powerless, unable to make decisions, not given all the information they need to make a good decision.

If we are spending:

 $98 billion: The total amount spent in the US each year on hospital bills related to childbirth.  The average health care provider fees for maternal care are twice as high as any other country. (AmnestyUSA.org)

then why with 4 million births in the US each year do we see that

49: The number of countries that have lower maternal mortality ratios than the US.  Women in the US are more likely to die of pregnancy related complications than in 49 other countries, including nearly all European countries, Canada and several countries in Asia and the Middle East.

Do you want to change this? Make a statement on Labor Day. Find, support or organize an event through ImprovingBirth.org. This is part of Empowered Birth Awareness week. Per the website, this is NOT a protest. The Purpose – The National Rally for Change is to encourage and insist that all maternal healthcare providers practice evidence-based care. On average it takes 20 years for proven research to become practice. For the sake of mothers and babies everywhere, we can’t wait 20 years. The long-term effects of unnecessary inductions and cesareans are just starting to be realized. This matters for all people. This is not a protest, but a public outreach event located where the vast majority of the population gives birth.

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