Mothers, families rally in Grand Forks for maternal health careDozens of mothers, health care providers and their families rallied Monday in Grand Forks as part of a national campaign to increase awareness about maternal healthcare.
By: Robb Jeffries, Grand Forks Herald
Dozens of mothers, health care providers and their families rallied Monday in Grand Forks as part of a national campaign to increase awareness about maternal healthcare.
The 2013 Rally to Improve Birth served to bring light to America’s high rate of complications for mothers and babies during birth. According to the United Nations, the U.S. has the highest maternity care costs in the world, but it ranks 45th in maternal safety.
Event co-organizer Tanya Svec said altering the natural birth process, such as performing Cesarean surgeries and inducing labor, can increase risk of harm to mothers and babies.
“There’s an attitude that birth is dangerous, and C-sections are much safer than a regular birth,” she said. “That’s just not true.”
According to website ImprovingBirth.org, one in three mothers have a C-section birth, while the World Health Organization recommends less than 15 percent of low-risk mothers to have the surgery. Women who have already had a C-section birth typically do not have a vaginal birth with subsequent children; less than 10 percent of mothers in the U.S. have a vaginal birth after a Cesarean birth.
“Doctors, they are the experts, and many women are afraid to question them,” Svec said. “But hospitals can have other influences that affect those decisions, too.”
The fear of asking questions can complicate pregnancies, midwife Rebekah Knapp said.
“We do need evidence-based care,” she said. “It’s important for the mother to get the right care for her and to have a good experience. Good birth experiences lead to good mothers.”
Knapp said it’s important to ask the right questions to your doctor, as some doctors have different biases in how they care for their patients.
“Some doctors like to perform Cesarean surgeries, or they are good at them,” she said. “But unless you ask questions, you won’t know if your doctor has an 80 percent Cesarean rate, or less than that.”
Svec said the local rally wasn’t specifically meant to be an indictment of care in Grand Forks, but rather a way “to inform families and moms about the different options women have during their pregnancies.”
On the Web: To learn more about maternal health care options, go to ImprovingBirth.org.
Call Jeffries at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1105; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.