Meet ICAN’s newest leader – Mary Unangst of Tampa Bay!

ICAN is excited to announce Mary Unangst as our newest chapter leader! She has completed training and will be leading ICAN of Tampa Bay!
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Tell us about the birth climate in your area.

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“Moms should have more access to their options and get info based on evidence, not fear mongering.” ~ Mary Unangst, ICAN of Tampa Bay

We serve the Tampa Bay area in the Southeast Region. We have so many passionate people here; doulas, midwives, lactation consultants and sacred women’s circles. If I could change one thing about the birth climate, it would be to increase the informed choices moms receive. Moms should have more access to their options and get info based on evidence, not fear mongering.
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How did you find out about ICAN? What drew you to our organization?
When I was pregnant with my second (4 years ago) I found out about the option of a VBAC. I found ICAN late in my pregnancy and went to a meeting hoping to get more information on the safety and tips for pain management. The meeting was a great experience and now I sing the praises to all my clients! I’m excited to be an ICAN Chapter Leader because I am learning SO much! I’m also looking forward to better supporting women. I think it will make me more empathetic and a better listener.  I really like that about the organization and other people should know they can get info from us. I’m looking forward to this a lot. ICAN is a great organization. I have so much to share and so much more to learn!
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What do you wish other people knew about ICAN?
That it exists and that it helps you not just achieve a VBAC, but heal from a traumatic experience or plan for your next cesarean if that’s what you choose. It’s about informed birth choices. The risks for VBACs are generally quite low. We don’t have to do what a healthcare provider says; we have options. Cesareans can be gentle and wonderful, too.
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Please share a little about yourself! 
My first was a cesarean after an attempt at a birth center. My second was a hospital VBAC. My friends would describe me as friendly, patient, and happy. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Maternal and Child Health. I am an IBCLC in private practice in North Tampa. I have two kiddos and am married to a very supportive husband. Prior to my current career, I spent 10 years in the Air Force as a linguist; my heart still lies in linguistics. When I’m not working, spending time with my family or volunteering, you’ll find me cooking!
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Next meeting? 
Friday, March 3rd at 7:00 pm at our local N. Tampa library. Topic: How to Plan for a VBAC
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Welcome, Mary! We can’t wait to see the impact you have in your community!
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