“Labor” Day takes on a new meaning this year with the 2013 Rally to Improve Birth in Lexington on Sept. 2. Local businesses and vendors will gather to share information, prizes and more in Triangle Park from 10 a.m.-noon to raise awareness and show support for safer, evidence-based birth options for women in Kentucky.
Cristen Pascucci, vice president of ImprovingBirth.org, and co-founder of the Human Rights in Childbirth U.S. Legal Advocacy Network, said statistics show that Lexington can benefit from a discussion on birthing options.
“We have three hospitals with C-section rates over 33 percent. That’s one in three births,” she said. “And vaginal birth after Cesarean rates ranging from just 5-17 percent, even though VBAC is a safe option for most women.”
Other issues facing Kentucky mothers are the lack of birthing centers in the state, and the limited access to midwives.
“Statistics and access issues like these mean there’s a lot of room for improvement to make birth in Lexington and in Kentucky safer, healthier, and happier,” Pascucci said.
The rally will include exhibit tables by healthcare providers, doulas, lactations consultants, local businesses and more. Food trucks will have refreshments for purchase, and several vendor tables will host special giveaways for attendees.
Pascucci encourages families or anyone planning for a baby in the next few years to attend. While parents gather information, children can enjoy face-painting, a bounce house or a splash in the Triangle Park Fountain.
Lexington’s location is part of a national rally with participation in more than 160 other cities in the U.S., and Japan and Australia as well. Last year almost 10,000 people attended an Improving Birth rally to raise awareness about birth practices.
Another feature of the rally are the Improving Birth signs. Families will stand along a rally line with homemade posters sharing their message about improving birth. A sign-making party will be held at Baby Moon on Saturday, Aug. 17 at noon. Sign guidelines are available on the Sign Party Facebook page.
Mothers are often inundated with a wealth of information regarding pregnancy, and may not realize how many routine practices are outdated. Pascucci hopes the rally will give parents the foundation and confidence to be advocates for the birth practices they ultimately choose.
“They will get support, amazing information, and new ideas for better, safer birth options,” she said.