TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - People gathered at hospitals across the nation Monday to raise awareness for women and what they call their childbirth rights.
One of those rallies took place outside Topeka's Stormont-Vail HealthCare. Advocates say they want hospitals to review their birth-specific policies and procedures. They also want women to know they have options when it comes to their children's births.
Topeka rally coordinator Ashley Stagray says women should feel empowered to ask questions and know they don't have to have c-sections or inductions. She says they deserve information and the right to refuse certain treatments.
"They deserve to know risks and side effects," Stagray said. "They deserve to not be pressured into making decisions that are not safe for them and their babies."
The group "Improving Birth" organized the event, promoting what it calls evidence-based maternity care. According to its web site, the group advocates for uninterrupted vaginal birth, while acknowledging induction and c-sections can be life-saving interventions when necessary. The site defines a natural or “physiologic” birth as "undisturbed, without continuous electronic fetal monitoring, without I.V. fluids, with food or drink at will, freedom to move about and not confined to a bed."
More than 30 percent of babies are delivered by cesarean section in the United States.