This flyer is for the local (New London) rally taking place on Labor Day next week as part of a national event, the National Rally for Change, seeking to raise awareness about the need for evidence-based maternity care and birth practices in our hospitals.  Brandy Lewis is a local doula who is spearheading Connecticut’s contribution to this event, and I couldn’t be more excited about getting her message out and encouraging all of you to take part in this effort.

Here is an excerpt from the press release for the rally:

Much of the scientific evidence takes an average of 20 to 30 years to become standard practice in our maternity care system; this is an unacceptable time table especially when talking about the wellbeing of mothers and babies.  Until we get it right, we are needlessly subjecting mothers and babies to major abdominal surgery, the long term side effects that go along with that and the unnecessary risk of death for both.

This national event is sponsored by Improving Birth, an organization seeking hospital implementation of incentive programs for doctors and nurses to get up-to-date information and education about the most current care practices for women in labor.

The press release further notes that “[t]he U.S. outspends every country in the world for maternity care, and yet we rank #49 for maternal mortality rates.”

What is evidence-based maternity care and why is it so important?  Improving Birth says:

Part of the problem is public perception of birth.  People honestly believe the old addage, “As long as the baby gets here healthy….”  However, that is not the whole story. There are real benefits to a vaginal birth for the baby and the mother.  And we believe that induction and c-sections can be life-saving interventions when necessary.

The more women who have unnecessary routine procedures, the more these procedures appear “normal”, instead of reserved only for solving specific problems.  Women come to believe there is no real difference.  So now women elect to have a major surgery, with real consequences, instead of being confident in their ability to naturally start labor and give birth to their baby.

Women head for birth, uninformed and unprepared for the experience, afraid of the process and avoiding it.  They do not get the benefit of practices, based in reliable research, that are proven to work for preventing and/or relieving the pain experienced in labor.

The rally will take place outside Lawrence & Memorial Hospital at 365 Montauk Avenue, New London, CT on Labor Day, September 3, 2012, from 10 am to 12 pm.  For more information, please contact Brandy Lewis at 321-961-1247 or info@serenitymama.com.  If you’re in another state, you can check out the Improving Birth website for information on the rally happening in a city near you.

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