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Dozens rally in Iowa City to improve birth

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    IOWA CITY, Iowa — Birth advocates gathered in Iowa City this Labor Day to push for an increased understanding of birth options and practices.

    “We really want women to have choices in their labor options,” said local event organizer Rachel Plews. “We just want them to be able to make informed decisions.”

    Similar rallies took place in over 100 cities across the country.

    High cesarean section rates were among the advocates top concerns.

    “Iowa has a C-section rate of 30 percent, 20th out of all the states,” Plews said. “We want to bring that down.”

    Mothers, fathers, children and health care providers were among those gathered in Iowa City’s Mercer Park for the event. The ultimate goal of the coast-to-coast rallies was to call attention to the health care crisis around U.S. maternity care, Plews said.

    “Women have so many choices in child birth, and they often get pushed into something they really didn’t want or know the consequences of, so it’s really important for them to get out there with their families and find out what their choices are,” said Lynne Himmelreich, a UI clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and midwifery specialist.

    This was the third consecutive year of Labor Day coast-to-coast improving birth rallies.