Natrona Activists Rally to Improve Birthing Procedures

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Birth activists speak out to improve maternity care across the country. And this year, a Natrona County group is joining in too.

Gail Uptain, Casper Midwife says, "I hope the hospital takes note that this is possible and they can make some choices that come on board with us and give women good birth situations."

Over a third of babies born in Natrona County last year were delivered via cesarean.

After already having a c-section, some women decide to have a vaginal delivery -- VBAC for short -- but Wyoming Medical Center administrators say they can't support it because VBACs require keeping a lot of medical personnel on standby.

And WMC's OB department chair, who frequently delivers at the hospital, says, "the risks of this type of delivery may be increased for the patient and the baby."

Uptain: "I am able to do VBACs for some women, but there needs to be support and backup in the hospital. We need the hospitals to come on board and give these women a choice... A safe choice."

One Casper woman chose to deliver at home because doctors at Wyoming Medical Center said she needed surgery to have a healthy delivery.

Hayley Tennant, delivered baby at home. "I did not want to sign their waiver where I had to sign my rights away to give birth and my water broke at home and i just had him at home and that was just perfect. Me and my mom who have never delivered a baby before, were able to do what the hospital says they can't do."

Becky Dever, Improving Birth rally coordinator says, "we really don't want this to be like a protest of the WMC. We would really like it if the WMC would work with us and say 'oh these people care about this!' and just, you know, say what can we do to help make this experience better for moms and babies."

Dr. Sheridan adds the hospital has had discussions about offering vbacs, but says they "do not have the resources recommended by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and our liability insurance carrier to promote this service to our patients."