Meet Rebecca Longino, the Newest ICAN Leader for Austin, TX!

ICAN is excited to announce Rebecca Longino as our newest chapter leader! She has completed training and will be leading ICAN of Austin!

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Tell us about the birth climate in your area.

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“There are instances when a cesarean is good and necessary, but our current culture is too inclined to offer the cesarean before looking at other options. My hope is that through education and advocacy, more women will learn to make informed decisions and not feel pressured by their medical provider.” ~ Rebecca Longino, ICAN of Austin

We serve Austin and the surrounding areas. There are so many great resources here! There is an abundance of birthing professionals who are excited about supporting and educating the community. I would love for more providers here to become more VBAC aware. I think too many assume the old “once a cesarean, always a cesarean” rule, without realizing there are more risks with a repeat cesarean than there are with a VBAC.
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What drew you to our organization? Why did get involved with ICAN? 
I learned about ICAN shortly after my first cesarean, when I was looking for support to help me process my experience. Immediately after my daughter was born, I felt isolated because I was the only woman from my prenatal birthing group to have a cesarean. One of the midwives from the birthing center let me know about ICAN and so I joined the Facebook group and started attending meetings. I was so thankful for the safe space to process my story and learn from others and when it came time for our family to plan for our next baby, I felt empowered by the resources and support available from the chapter. I am most excited about the opportunity to support other women who have had a similar journey to mine. I hope to be able to foster that same safe space I felt when I started attending meetings so that women can feel comfortable sharing their stories and feel empowered when it comes to future decisions.
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What do you wish other people knew about ICAN?
I wish other people knew how broad the mission of ICAN is. I love that ICAN focuses on healing and support for women who have had cesareans, that there is a strong advocacy for VBACs, but that there is also an empowerment element which encourages women to make the best decisions for themselves and their babies. There are instances when a cesarean is good and necessary, but our current culture is too inclined to offer the cesarean before looking at other options. I think our society is uninformed about the risks and complications that come with cesareans, and there’s also a tendency to schedule surgeries because they are convenient for the doctor or for the patient. My hope is that through education and advocacy, more women will learn to make informed decisions and not feel pressured by their medical provider.
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Please share a little about yourself!
My friends describe me as a good listener with a compassionate heart. I love participating in community life and building relationships with neighbors and others with whom I have a common connection. My daughter was a homebirth cesarean in April 2015 and my son was a CBAC in February 2017. After receiving my Master of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, I served as a pastor of a small, rural church for 3 years. Once I became a mother, I stepped back from that role and became a hospice chaplain which allows me to have more time for my family. My husband and I and our two children live in Central Austin, and we love being in the center of such a vibrant and fun city! I enjoy hiking and running and anything outdoors, but I also love a good Netflix binge session.
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Next meeting?
Our next meeting is February 25th at 10:30 am at Windsor Branch Library.
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Welcome, Rebecca! We can’t wait to see the impact you have in your community!