ICAN is excited to announce Brandie Kiefer as our newest Chapter Leader!
“I want women to know that ICAN is about advocacy and supporting women’s birthing decisions. It’s not about only supporting some of their decisions or about trying to talk them into making a certain decision.” ~ Brandie Kiefer, ICAN of Spokane
Please introduce yourself to ICAN:
I am a wife and a mom of a blended family of 7 children. I don’t know that there’s anything I love more than being a mom and as the oldest reach adulthood, I find myself really torn between enjoying the amazing people they are growing into and being sad the baby smiles and holding momma’s hand is no more. I have been a birth doula in the Spokane area for 6 years, a lactation educator for 5 years, a postpartum doula for 4 years and a childbirth educator for 2 years. I love supporting women and have built my life doing just that. I was raised in large part by my two grandmas and aspire to be one of the wise women in my community as I so appreciated having that in my own life. I have a long way to go to reach their level of wisdom but I share what I have.
What led you to join ICAN?
I used to attend meetings a long time ago when they were being held here. I have had a lot of moms reach out recently looking for cesarean support and VBAC and cesarean information. I knew that this would be an excellent resource to bring back to our community. I am really excited to be leading the cesarean support groups.
How do you share ICAN as an organization with others?
I believe that women should be provided with accurate information and then make their own choices based on this information, personal belief, and cultural beliefs. I believe that once a woman makes her decision, she should be supported in that decision. I do not believe that women have enough access to accurate information and this lack of informed consent sometimes causes them to make decisions they wouldn’t otherwise make. I find that there is still a fairly high percentage of women who believe that once a cesarean, always a cesarean or that they don’t know how to find VBAC supportive providers. I believe that education is the first step to giving women back control of their births. I believe that the majority of women can safely have a VBAC with the right support and care team. I also believe that choosing a cesarean is a valid decision for some moms. I think this brings me back to the two points in the beginning of my answer: I believe regarding all birth choices and outcomes, women should be provided with accurate information, make their own choices and have those choices respected.
Where will you be serving families through ICAN?
We are located in Spokane, Washington but serve most of Eastern Washington and North Idaho. I feel like there is a general lack of knowledge about all of the options in our area. We need more community outreach. Also, I think there isn’t enough support for after the babies are born. This is the thing I hear most commonly from moms.
Please share your upcoming Chapter meeting:
2/1/2018, 6:30 p.m., 9003 E Euclid, Millwood, WA 99212. Topic: Birth Stories