The Labor Day holiday will provide an opportunely named day for rallies across the country by a group that, among other things, advocates against unnecessary cesarean sections.
Improving Birth, a California-based organization that promotes evidence-based maternity care, held its first National Rally for Change on Labor Day last year in cities across the country.
This year, Baton Rouge will be among close to 100 cities across the U.S. where a rally will be held.
Evidenced-based medicine means the use of “best practices” in maternal care, said Hannah Birchman, a local contact for the rally.
“We all want good quality care,” Birchman said.
The rally here will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, on Monday, at the corner of Picardy and Bluebonnet.
The highly visible spot, right across from the Mall of Louisiana on Labor Day, seemed an ideal choice for a public gathering, said Birchman.
The event is an awareness campaign, not a protest, according to Improving Birth.
The organization seeks awareness of such issues as avoiding unnecessary inductions of labor and C-sections and helping women who have had a previous C-section have a vaginal delivery for their next baby, if possible, Birchman said.
Such practices are recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, she said.
“Improving Birth was founded with the vision of encouraging hospital administrators to review their birth-specific policies and procedures,” a news release from the organization said.
“We ask that they implement incentive programs for doctors and nurses to get up-to-date information and education about the most current care practices,” the news release said.
“The U.S. outspends every country in the world for maternity care, and yet we rank No. 49 for maternal mortality rates,” the organization reports.
At the rally on Labor Day, information on maternal health will be passed out, and women will “share their positive and negative birth experiences,” Birchman said.
Birchman said it was a positive development for Louisiana last year when many hospitals in the state voluntarily ended the practice of electively inducing a woman’s labor before the 39th week of pregnancy, unless there’s a medical need.
The program, the “39-Week Initiative,” was developed by the state Department of Health and Hospitals.
But for several years in a row, including last year, Birchman noted, Louisiana has received an “F” on the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card.
“Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death in the United States,” according to March of Dimes literature.
“We don’t yet understand all the factors that contribute to premature birth. The nation must continue to make progress on research ...,” it said.
More information about the National Rally for Change on Labor Day can be found at http://www.improvingbirth.org.