Chattanoogans participate in "rally to improve birth" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanoogans participate in "rally to improve birth"

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Chattanooga moms are calling for change when it comes to childbirth, which prompted this rally to give women a voice and more options.

"Chattanooga is progressive in so many ways, but we are decades behind other cities when it comes to maternity care," said Amanda Afdahl, a doula and volunteer with Improving Birth Chattanooga.

Afdahl and about 20 others with a group called Improving Birth Chattanooga, walked down East Main Street Saturday morning, with signs to support vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

The group cites studies that show 80 percent of women, who are supported deliver naturally without problems, but only 7 percent of women receive the choice to try it.

Afdahl said there are risks that are considered a liability to doctors, but they are similar to the risks surrounding women who experience birth for the first time.

"There are similar risks on the same level but you can't categorize those women in the same way because they don't have a scar," Afdahl said.

She says she and other volunteers realize sometimes cesarean procedure are necessary, and the point is not to make women feel guilty for going through the procedure. Instead, the group's goal is to give women the facts they need to make decisions for themselves.

"This is not about medicated or not medicated or home birth or hospital birth, it's about women being respected and being treated with the best care possible," Afdahl said.

It's a goal new mom's like, Monica Smith agree with.

"I was well informed about what to expect, what I didn't want, what I wanted and I think all women deserve that, and that's really important for you and the baby," Smith said.

But unfortunately she realizes that's not the case, which is why she joined forces with other moms and volunteers to spread awareness, with hope change will soon come.

For more information on the group click here.

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