ORLANDO, Fla. - Dozens of people lined Orange Avenue in Orlando on Monday as part of the National Rally for Change, with a goal to improve maternity care in the United States by encouraging "evidence based practice."
According to Improving Birth.org, the U.S. lags behind 49 other industrialized nations in maternal survival rates.
"That we are losing as many women, sometimes more women than in third-world countries ... so for a developed nation, we are doing very poorly when it comes to maternal health," midwife Jennie Joseph said.
Joseph says there is definitely a correlation between unnecessary interventions, like elective inductions and surgeries, and these poor outcomes.
"Women need to stand up, to ask the questions, understand the answers, do the research and get some support," she said.
Local moms Jaclyn Williams and Angela Ziegler both call their first births "unnecesareans." Williams had a failed induction resulting in a C-section, while Ziegler says she was forced into a C-section after her labor stalled.
"I said, 'No.' They said, 'You signed a consent form.' So they wheeled me back and I cried my eyes out and they said too bad," Ziegler said.
Ziegler is the chapter leader for the Orlando International Cesarean Awareness Network. She says while a lot of doctors discourage vaginal birth after Cesarean, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports VBACS.
Representatives from Winnie Palmer Hospital told Local 6 that they fully support the rally and are taking steps to improve birth outcomes. They've recently banned elective inductions before 39 weeks and also report their primary C-section rate is down to 23 percent.
Similar rallies took place in 45 states on Labor Day.
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