TERRE HAUTE. Ind. (WTHI) -- Across the national policymakers, celebrities, health professionals and families are launching the first-ever national maternal health week.
Meanwhile, Terre Haute's Improve Birth group held a rally for the fourth year, Monday.
It's a time when moms, future moms, health professionals and really anyone can come together to educate and be educated about giving birth.
"The more people who share a little tidbit of information with another and spread the information around to help make our maternity care system a little better," Jessie Uchytil, coordinator for Terre Haute's rally to improve birth said.
According to health officials, 1 in every three Americans is born through a major surgery. That includes surgeries like cesarean sections. They say that's twice as many as medically necessary.
March for moms is aimed at bringing more attention to the need for better maternity care.
The United States is the only developed country in the world with a rising rate of mothers who die giving birth. Health officials say more than half of those deaths are preventable.
The maternity care system is in a critical state and that's something more people are unaware of.
"I honestly wish that I had known about my risks before, because I felt like I was being pushed into it," Christina Vaught, a mother of two said. "I felt like I didn't have a choice and, because I didn't know any better I just went along with it."
Vaught's first birth did not go how she had planned or wanted it to go at all. She said that she didn't know getting an induction with her first child would ultimately lead to her having a C-section with her first and second child.
"I felt absolutely powerless like no matter what I just felt like it didn't matter what I wanted with my birth. It didn't matter what I wanted with my own body," Vaught said. "I felt like I didn't have a choice in what I was able to do."
After her first child, she decided to talk to and get more educated about the birthing process.
"I actually found out that I do have rights and with her, it was completely different," she said. "I knew going in what I was and what I wasn't allowed to do."
Her advice to others is to research your rights, hospitals and doctors. She says that you should make sure you know their policies and C-section rates.
"There are some hospitals that won't tell you their c-section rates. There are some hospitals that won't tell you their policies and when you get in there and their like 'well, it's our policy to do this,' but it's actually not," Vaught said. "You're a customer when you go to your hospital. You get what you want you don't just have to have something pushed upon you and just accept it. You don't have to."
But, in the end, she says it's all worth it.
"When you finally hold them, it changes everything," she said.
Indiana has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country.
In February, Indiana passed a bill to create a maternal mortality review committee. Each hospital will have to do an extensive report if they lose a mother during childbirth.
That report will help find out why the rate is so high.
For more information on the Terre Hautes Improving Birth group, you can go to their Facebook page.
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