• Consumers Urge Accountability from Hospitals in Maternity Care

    In Monterey and more than 100 U.S. cities, thousands rally for safer childbirth

    Local women rallied at Window on the Bay to promote accountability in birth method choices.

    Local women rallied at Window on the Bay to promote accountability in birth method choices.

    On Saturday, Sept. 6, mothers and supporters gathered at Windows on the Bay in Monterey for the third annual Rally to Improve Birth, which includes approximately 115 locations around the country this week. As greater national attention is brought to alarming rates of Cesarean section and what Amnesty International has called a maternal health care “crisis” in the U.S., consumers are asking their local hospitals to join the push for accountability.

    The event website page iswww.facebook.com/ImprovingBirthMontereyCounty, a listing of all rally locations is available at www.rallytoimprovebirth.com, and a virtual rally includes photos and participants from all over the world (http://bit.ly/birthrally). (Also see press kit at www.improvingbirth.org/press.) 

    The Monterey Rally to Improve Birth has garnered sponsorship support from over a dozen local businesses including Dr Peter Chandler of Natividad Medical Center, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Supervisor Jane Parker, The Birth Network of Monterey County, International Cesarean Awareness Network, Birth Boot Camp, Casa Natal Birth Center, Roots and Wings Parent Coaching, Timeless Birth, Monterey Doula, Marigold Midwifery, Midwife Caroline, BPi, Paris Healing Arts, YWCA, Baby B’s Ganopies, Maureen Manning, and Seaside Yoga Sanctuary, 

    Consumer advocates and national health organizations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Joint Commission continue to point to physician practices—not medical need—as a driver in the overuse of Cesarean delivery.  Meanwhile, women who have already had Cesareans report major access problems to vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC), including three of the four Monterey County hospitals with mandatory surgery policies that do not “allow” vaginal birth.  Nine out of ten American women give birth only by repeat Cesarean after the first surgery, despite national health policy calling VBAC safer for women in most cases.

    “We realize that many hospital administrators are truly not aware of what goes on in their facilities.  We are asking them now to take a serious look at what’s happening on their watch—especially important measures like Cesarean and vaginal birth after Cesarean,” said Dawn Thompson, founder and president of Improving Birth.  “Every one of these numbers represents real women and babies.”

    Improving Birth representatives are asking local hospitals to examine their own rates of procedures, labor ward protocols, and physician practices to identify how they match up to national guidelines for safely preventing Cesareans. Local mothers are asking  hospital administrators to meet with maternity care consumers to discuss how improvements can be made.

     “We hear over and over again that women are to blame for the rates of procedures like Cesareans and vaginal births after Cesarean, but research just doesn’t support that sweeping claim,” said obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Nick Rubashkin, staff physician at the California Pacific Medical Center and former Fulbright Research Fellow.  “As physicians, we have an ethical responsibility to take a serious look at how we can better our own practices to benefit women and babies.”

    Thank you Wendy Root Askew for the information and photos.

    Improving Birth is a national nonprofit 501(c)3 organization advocating for evidence-based, humane maternity care.  For more information, visit www.ImprovingBirth.org.

    Fact Sheet – ImprovingBirth.org

    posted to Cedar Street Times on September 6, 2014

    Topics: Front PG News

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