Are you having a hard time finding women who support your desires for your birth? Do you think nobody understands how you feel? Have you had an undesired cesarean, necessary or not? Are you trying to decide if VBAC is right for you and your baby? Does a repeat cesarean feel like a safer option for you? Did you have a cesarean after trying for a VBAC? Wherever you are in the process, trying to conceive your first baby or ready to deliver your fifth child by cesarean, ICAN is here to support you!
When women gather together it is a powerful experience.
ICAN’s mission is three-fold and encompasses all women who desire to give birth. Those of us who lead and the ladies who come for support are working together to create a space to encircle and empower women through the birthing journey. When women gather together it is a powerful experience and everyone benefits from the open communication that ensues. Each woman’s experience is unique yet it brings a familiar connection that is relatable to us all. As Marcie Macari (author of She Births: A Modern Woman’s Guidebook for an Ancient Rite of Passage) has said, “Birth is a rite of passage of women. Their journey should be honored, their rights should be fiercely protected, and their stories should be shared.” When stories are shared, people find healing. That is the heart of ICAN: healthy, whole and confident women.
Sometimes the journey to birth and beyond can feel lonely. Many women don’t have supportive family members or friends who understand their desire to birth in a particular way or avoid unnecessary interventions that can be commonplace these days. ICAN helps to bring women together to facilitate a safe place for anyone needing understanding and support. We all desire the community of a non-judgmental place to discuss questions, fears, and experiences. You’ll find, as Stephen Gaskin once said, that “the wisdom and compassion a woman can intuitively experience in childbirth can make her a source of healing and understanding for other women.” You are not alone.
ICAN supports your right to choose how you will give birth.
Through Facebook groups, monthly meetings and blog posts, there are many avenues to connect you with the latest evidence, and encouraging stories to help you heal. Please know that we are not exclusive. While VBAC is a popular topic these days with more women choosing that route than in previous years, the fact remains that there are risks with any delivery method, and most women who have had one cesarean delivery will choose a repeat cesarean for subsequent births. ICAN supports your right to choose how you will give birth. Each of us processes our cesarean experiences differently. Some women find comfort in the process of planning for their cesarean, while others do not. We at ICAN respect both of these valid perspectives. Our desire is to support you in the way that is best for you. Our hope is that you will have the correct information to make the best choices for you. We want you to know that we truly care and are here to help you along the way.
Written by: Melissa Mathewson, former Chapter Leader of ICAN of Jackson, MS