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El Paso mothers hold rally “to improve birth”

A couple dozen new and expecting mothers met in downtown El Paso to raise awareness of the challenges mother face before, during and after childbirth.

“Everybody has a mother,” said Rachel Curtis, an organizer, labor doula and certified lactation counselor. “Everybody was an infant once.”

The El Paso event ran in juxtaposition with the March for Moms in Washington, D.C. It raised funds for the Improving Birth organization, which educates the public about the risks of labor and the maternal mortality rate in the United States.

“It’s just important for everybody here to know that we have rights (and) we have options,” said Ana Rodriguez, who delivered her two children naturally.

Despite advances in technology, the pregnancy mortality rate in the United States has more than doubled in the past three decades, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Curtis said there is also a stigma surrounding post-partum depression.

“Moms kind of feel like they shouldn’t complain about it,” Curtis said. “We’re very busy, we’re very individualistic. We want to think that we can just bounce right back, but the way we do birth here is really different from a lot of other places.”

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