ICAN is excited to announce Jen Valencia as our newest Chapter Leader!
“I am most excited to help families know and understand they have options; that their birth choices belong to them. I am excited to be able to offer them a place for recovery, support, education, and most of all a voice.” ~ Jen Valencia, ICAN of Colorado Springs
Please introduce yourself to ICAN:
I have a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Behavior from Northern Arizona University, with a focus on childbirth as a life stage and the family unit. I am passionate about family wellness, and strive to build confidence, and provide education, and relational support as a doula, childbirth educator, and owner of Metropolitan Birth Support, a doula agency serving Colorado Springs and Denver. I teach Birth Boot Camp, and I am an Instructor Trainer. I love working with other professionals, knowing that each one I train will go on to benefit a great number of families. I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and mountaineering. I love to travel and seek adventure in places that challenge me. I have a beautifully chaotic household with 4 chirping birds, 3 rambunctious children, 2 playful dogs, 1 lively rabbit, and an eccentrically introverted husband!
What led you to join ICAN?
When my first birth ended in a cesarean I heard the word VBAC, but I had no idea how challenging that would be to obtain. I had thought it was just like any other birth. Five years later, when navigating birth politics and being turned down by so many places for my VBAC baby, I learned of the struggle. I did not have an ICAN chapter near me and longed for support, information, camaraderie, anything. Having an ICAN would have made a huge difference to that experience. I still had my VBAC, but the path to it felt isolating. When I moved to Colorado Springs, I discovered once again, the nearest ICAN was over an hour away. I believe every family should have accessible education, support, and advocacy, which is what brings me to open a local ICAN Chapter.
How do you share ICAN as an organization with others?
I believe that birth is a life stage that has a great impact on families. The patriarchal rule and politics surrounding VBAC, and the cesarean epidemic in our country is devastating and needs to be halted. I believe labels such as “VBAC” perpetuate the harm of cesareans within society, making the bridge to safe and accessible maternity care even longer. I believe that in general, birth is a normal process, and if consumers sought maternity care that reflected and supported that, our national cesarean rate would decline.
Where will you be serving families through ICAN?
Please share your upcoming Chapter meeting:
Our first meeting will be April 9th, 10 AM, at Third Space Coffee. Our meetings will alternate between the second Wednesday of each month for a daytime meeting, and the second Monday of each month for an evening meeting.