Created: Tue, 03 Sep 2013 10:25:00 EST
Updated: Tue, 03 Sep 2013 10:47:01 EST
A group of mothers in Macon joined with women across the country Monday in a campaign to advocate for rights for pregnant women.
In Macon, the group came together in Washington Park to promote what they said were safer practices for expectant mothers.
Audrey Perry is the mother of two: four-year-old Shannon and 10-month-old Marrisa,
After what she said was a difficult labor with Shannon, Perry says her doctor opted to perform a C-section during the birth of Marrisa. She calls the experience "traumatic."
"It was physically and emotionally a difficult experience for me," she said. "I was not expecting to have a cesarean. I never thought I would."
The experience led Perry to join with other mothers to call attention to what they say is a crisis in American maternal healthcare.
"These mothers are off from work today but they are working to inform people in Macon and Bibb County about the rights in that mothers should have," Perry said.
The mothers' common message was that women who have had cesarean sections shouldn't rule out vaginal birth for the birth of later children.
"As it is, nine out of 10 women in the U.S. receive routine care as opposed to evidence-based care," said Lindsay Mangham. "And routine care actually increase the risk to mothers and babies."
The mothers said awareness is especially important in middle Georgia.
"When I got pregnant, the local area where I live did not allow me to try to have a VBAC," Perry said.
So, she went to a hospital in Atlanta to have a vaginal birth three years after having given birth via c-section.
"I had a successful VBAC water birth in a hospital," she said. "This is my VBAC baby."
The Macon women advocating for improvements in maternal health care were joined by more than 12,000 people across the country. There also were rallies in Canada, Australia and Japan.