MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Local moms spent their Labor Day working to raise awareness about birthing choices. They're demanding safer birthing practices that put the baby and mother first.
The rally held in Washington Park in Macon was one of 170 rallies that took place across the country, Japan, Australia, and Canada. The rallies around the country were to call attention to the crisis in American maternal healthcare, according to ImprovingBirth.org, the organizer of the events.
Locally in Middle Georgia, dozens of moms came out and voiced their concerns.
Britni Means is from Conyers, Georgia and brought her eight day old baby girl, Rowen, to the rally. She said she went through two induced and painful births before having her and she wanted a different experience.
"I just knew that it was time to do something different, it was time to trust my body, let my body do what it was going to do," Means said.
Means says she had a water birth.
"Completely natural, no pitocin, no induction, no anything, when she was ready to come out."
"We're trying to spread the word that we need to improve birth in Middle Georgia. We need to change things, we need to let moms labor on their own, we need to let them labor longer, as long as they need, as long as baby and mom are okay," Samantha Gilbaine with the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) said.
Gilbaine and other moms at the rally are encouraging all mothers to get educated. She says you should question your doctor before being induced. She also adds if you already had a C-section, you don't need to go through major surgery again. Gilbaine says every time you have a C-section, your health risks increase. Instead, you should ask your doctor about a vaginal birth after C-Section (VBAC).
"There's lots of births that don't need interventions that get them anyways," Gilbaine said. "It's not about natural birth, it's not about having drugs, it's about giving moms the chance to birth the way that they want to birth."
She urges all moms to talk to their doctors because in the end, it all comes down to how they want to bring their new baby into the world.
"Get educated, make educated choices, and don't just take whatever the doctors tell you, find information and make your choices from that," she said.
It's a decision Means says families shouldn't take lightly.
"People spend more time picking out the color of their baby's nursery than they do deciding what kind of birth they want. That's insane! This birth not only affects you but affects your child," Means said.
According to ImprovingBirth.org, Georgia's C-section rate is 34% which is significantly higher than the 15% suggested by the World Health Organization as a highest recommended rate.
To be clear, these moms are not against C-sections, but they believe surgery should only be done when necessary. Instead, they encourage mothers to look into natural birth even if you already had a C-section.