LABOR DAY: Maternal Safety Rally Held

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Families joined together in more than 170 cities around the world Monday for better labor conditions.

At the State Capitol in Des Moines, the topic wasn’t the type of labor you would expect. Instead families attending hoped to increase awareness of the options to women when they give birth.

Co-founder of Iowa Birth Organization Megan Day Surh says the noises she`s making aren`t unusual but instead are natural, and part of the International Rally to Improve Birth.

Suhr says, “The noises you hear are true birth noises the situation that you see unfold is what many women would like to experience."

An experience Laurie Ericson believes she would have had if she'd given birth to her two children at home. Ericson says, “I`ll never get to experience that immediate bond where you put the baby right on your chest.”

She says complications made her caesarian sections necessary. But Surh believes too many women have unnecessary and complicated procedures because they haven`t done their research.

Coordinator Dr. Amanda Hardy Hillman says, “We are not advocating for any certain birth. We are advocating for women and their families to decide what is best for them and that pregnancy and that birth.”

The world health organization recommends a C-section rate of 15 percent. Iowa`s rate is twice that at 30 percent.

Lacy Lundgren works at Mercy's West Lakes location, where the C-section rate is 27-percent.  She says she doesn't see an excessive number of C-sections. Lundgren says, “There`s a high enough risk with electively having a C-section over a vaginal birth both for moms and for babies that we don`t think that`s a good idea.”

As a midwife, Lundgren never recommends a C-section unless it`s absolutely necessary.

Ericson says, “You know I always worry that am I as close and bonded to the children as I could be.”

It wasn`t an ideal pregnancy but as a mother, she still considers herself lucky. Ericson says, “I love them and they love me and that`s all that really matters.”

While the US ranks highest in the world for medical costs, it ranks 45th in maternal safety.