Columbians Rally to Improve Birth Practices

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COLUMBIA - Moms, medical staff, and other supporters took a literal approach to Labor Day Monday. Improving Birth-Columbia, MO hosted the Rally to Improve Birth to call attention to what they call "the health care crisis" surrounding U.S. maternity care.

Supporters rallied in Stephens Lake Park and on the sidewalk at the corner of Broadway and Old Highway 63 from 10:00 a.m. until noon.

Supporters and their children held signs at the intersection and passed out fliers in the park. There was a section of blankets in the shade for children and families.

The Columbia rally was one of many held Monday in more than 150 cities in all 50 states to improve birthing practices around the country. 

The group complains the current rate of cesarean sections, approximately one in three births nationally according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is too high. They believe some maternal care practices could increase the risk of harm to women and their babies. 

Katy Miller helped organize the rally and is a mother of three children. She said the main goal the group is pushing toward is for women to "know their options" when it comes to birthing practices. 

The rally was the second annual of its kind. 

Boone Hospital Media Relations Manger, Jacob Luecke said in an email that caregivers in Boone Hospital Center's Women's Health Associates, Inc. have a "goal of guiding more women toward a safe vaginal delivery." He also said they rely on a combination of "research and mother's wishes" to inform any decisions concerning the health of mother and child.