OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) — An estimated 12,000 people across the country used this Labor Day to bring awareness to what they call "a crisis in American maternity health care".
Moms, dads, child birth educators, and even children joined thousands across the nation to bring awareness to the importance of parents being their own advocates during the labor and delivery process. Betsy Yow helped organize a rally in Oxford and says she knows firsthand the importance of education on the issue.
"With my first birth, I did not know anything. I just went in and I was informed that I was going to have a big baby and so at 38 weeks, my doctor told me that I should either have a C-section or induction," said Yow.
Yow chose the induction and says a cascade of interventions resulted in a healthy baby but didn't leave her as healthy as she could have been.
"I learned for my next birth to educate myself and I went out and I took child birth classes and researched. Thanks to that information, I had a completely different birth experience. That showed me that it was up to me to educate myself, to learn what my options are and take them to my doctor," said Yow.
Organizers say the mission of the Improving Birth Organization is to bring evidence-based care and humanity to childbirth.
"Evidence-based care means what science has proven to be the safest for moms and babies and humanity just means respect to our bodies and our decisions during birth," said Yow.
Organizers note the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend the Cesarean rate be less than 15 percent.
"Currently in Mississippi, our Cesarean rate is 38.3 percent, so we would love to see that number drop," said Yow.
Organizers say they would like to see the number of inductions decrease as well.