Meet the Leadership: Jessica Upchurch, ICAN of Atlanta

ICAN is excited to announce Jessica Upchurch as our newest Chapter Leader!

“I love being witness to the healing and growth of others. I love birth: the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a chapter leader, I get to be there as others share their story. I get to support and empower women.” ~ Jessica Upchurch, ICAN of Atlanta

Please introduce yourself to ICAN:

I grew up in Florida, bounced between my divorced parents, and finally landed in Georgia for college. I graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and Sociology, and also met my husband there. We have two awesome little kids, whom I left the corporate world for as a Technical Project Manager. Now I manage very different things in my day-to-day life as a stay-at-home-mom. I love training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and I’ve actually competed in (amateur) BJJ and Muay Thai competitions. I love taking pictures of everything from bugs to birth to my kids’ cheesy grins.

What led you to join ICAN?

After experiencing a traumatic cesarean delivery four years ago, my husband urged me to seek support. I scoured the internet for therapists and mom groups and everything in between. I found the support that I needed in ICAN meetings. The people I met, the things I learned… it empowered me.

How do you share ICAN as an organization with others?

I am a strong believer in “my body, my choice” and the right of every woman to choose birth support that aligns with this concept. Even though giving birth is seen as such a milestone in life, many women feel powerless when it comes to their own delivery experience. When birth professionals and mothers come together as a team, it’s a beautiful thing. ICAN is for everyone. From the first time pregnant woman to the mother of seven kids. I always learn something new from this awesome group.

Where will you be serving families through ICAN?

We serve Atlanta and all of the surrounding suburbs. We try to keep meetings centrally-located. If you’re willing to drive to Atlanta, then we will welcome you with open arms. Our social media group has also been known to field questions from moms in Tennessee, South Carolina, and Alabama who are looking to deliver their children with well-known OB’s in the Atlanta area.

We have a few OB’s in the greater Atlanta area who are truly supportive of Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC), plus a couple of hospital midwifery practices who are giving women strong candidates to choose from. Also, a birthing center opened in Atlanta last year which I hope will provide another avenue to lower the instance of cesareans for women in this area. I love that homebirth is a viable option for many low-risk pregnant women, too.

Please share your upcoming Chapter Meeting:

We meet on the second Saturday at 10 am in Midtown at Peachtree Christian Church and the fourth Wednesday at 7:30 pm in Sandy Springs at La Madeleine cafe.

Congratulations, Jessica!

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