The International Cesarean Awareness Network is powered by the selfless efforts of our numerous volunteers. We cannot thank our dedicated volunteers enough for their cooperation and service in assisting ICAN with accomplishing its mission.
In an effort to acknowledge some of our amazing volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to offer support, education, and advocacy for the mothers in their area, the International Cesarean Awareness Network is pleased to announce Kimberly Hellmuth as the February 2015 Volunteer of the Month.
Kimberly Hellmuth, this month’s honoree, is a chapter leader with ICAN of North Florida. Kimberly is the graphic artist behind ICAN’s ‘Peace on Earth Begins with Birth’ logo and campaign, and is working on infographics in collaboration with ICAN, ICTC, BirthSwell, Elephant Circle and MANA.
Get to know our February 2015 Volunteer of the Month:
How long have you been an ICAN member?
I’ve been a member since July of 2010.
How did you first find ICAN?
After the unexpected cesarean birth of my first son, my Bradley instructor pointed me to ICAN. The closest chapter at the time was the (now defunct) ICAN of Gainesville. I joined their yahoo group, but that was all. A year and a half later, an acquaintance mentioned that she was starting ICAN of North Florida, and I offered to help. Eventually, she stepped down as Chapter Leader to focus on her career and family, and I took her place.
What motivates you as a volunteer?
I’m motivated by every mom who has been told that her body doesn’t work, that she doesn’t have a choice, or that ʺa healthy baby is all that matters.” Knowing that the support of our chapter can help just a few of those women to have better births is life-changing and affirming. Also, I received a ton of support in planning my HBAC, and I know how important it is to give that back.
Do you have a profession or any other passions outside of ICAN?
I’m a stay at home and homeschooling mom to two boys – ages 6 and 2. I’m a voracious reader and spend as much time in the water as I can. My family and I love to boat, bike, and play at the beach. My boys are active and busy and I spend a lot of time chasing them around!
What was your proudest moment as an ICAN volunteer? What about your hardest?
My proudest moment as an ICAN volunteer was when a friend, who I met through ICAN, told me that my support was integral to her VBAC. While there were so many other factors, like her strength, determination, and her amazing doula, hearing that I made such a profound difference in someone’s life was a wonderful feeling.
My hardest moments have been dealing with the frustration as new regulations or insurance requirements have made it harder for women to birth in our area. Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle we have little chance of winning, but I try to remind myself of the individuals we are reaching and supporting.
Thank you Kimberly for all that you do to support birthing women!