National Labor Movement: Moms, Dads & Kids Support Natural Childbirth At Rally

Nearly 100 people took part in a Labor Day rally in Creve Coeur to show support for increased natural childbirth methods.

Dozens of St. Louis-area women, along with their children and a few husbands joined forces with demonstrators in 110 cities around the country on Labor Day, urging those involved with child-bearing decisions to move away from artifically-induced, accelerated, or surgical births.

(Look at photos from the event on Facebook)

The St. Louis "Rally For Change" was held along New Ballas Road Monday morning near

Hollie Silberhorn, a  mother of four children all delivered vaginally, was one of the St. Louis event's organizers. "We're just here to bring awareness to the need for evidence-based medical care and informed nursing choices."

Evidence-based medicine emphasizes data over approaches which might have been handed down through medical school, and a doctor's residency program, according to U.S. News & World Report

The local activists are pushing for a reduction in cesarean-section deliveries, which according to the latest information available from the Centers For Disease Control in 2009, accounted for 32.3 percent of all births in the United States.

They also want an increase in the number of V-BAC or vaginal births after cesarean section.

Sarah Noman, a Maryland Heights woman who attended the rally with her husband Hisham and their daughter Sofia, almost two years old, is expecting in October.

Sofia was delivered via c-section when she was in breech, meaning she was going through the birth canal feet first. 

Looking back Noman said she wasn't happy that she had the c-section and they "could have tried to do a few things," but that at 40 weeks, there wasn't time to look for a new care provider. Sofia's sibling will be born via v-bac.

Dr. Octavio Chirino, Chair of the Mercy St. Louis OBGYN Department, said in a phone interview last week that "we need to be much more into allowing the natural process of childbirth," noting that the hospital has tried to push back against the trend of "scheduled births" as families try to plan deliveries around significant life events, or a military service member's deployment, for example. Dr. Chirino said that since 2007, Mercy has had a policy discouraging elective deliveries before 39 weeks. It's a policy he said has been adopted by other area hospitals.

Still, organizers of Monday's event want the discussion to continue after the participants go home from these nationwide rallies are over and the signs are put away. There is still the need for dialogue with local hospitals and care providers.

"The way we birth, the experiences we have and how we felt as a woman about our birth all matters in producing both physically healthy and emotionally healthy moms," Silberhorn wrote to Patch after the event.   


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