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 Pamela Vireday as the November 2015 Volunteer of the Month.
Pamela Vireday, this month’s honoree, helped to form ICAN of Portland, and has been a member of ICAN for almost 20 years. Most recently, she coordinated the outreach efforts to support CBAC mothers through the creation of a CBAC support site, a brochure titled “When VBAC Doesn’t Happen,” and a three part series on Science and Sensibility titled “Supporting Women When VBAC Doesn’t Happen.”
Get to know our November 2015 Volunteer of the Month:
How long have you been an ICAN member?
I have been an ICAN member for about 20 years.
How did you first find ICAN?
I first found ICAN online. There was no chapter in my town, so the online group was a huge help. They listened when no one else did. Eventually, I was part of a start-up team for a chapter in my town, and that chapter is still going strong today.
What motivates you as a volunteer?
My children are growing up now, and as I’ve gotten busier, I’ve taken a step back from my local chapter so that others can grow into that leadership role. But I still care very much about birth. My birth advocacy now centers instead around my own research and writing at www.wellroundedmama.blogspot.com and my older website at www.plus-size-pregnancy.org. I am passionate about lowering the cesarean rate in women of size, improving care for higher-BMI women, promoting VBAC, supporting women emotionally after cesarean, raising awareness and improving support for CBAC mothers, and helping women recover after birth trauma. There’s still a lot of work to be done!
What was your proudest moment as an ICAN volunteer? What about your hardest?
My hardest moments as an ICAN volunteer have been when there are difficult outcomes. When I had my CBAC and had to come back to the ICAN list and announce that….that was hard. Worst of all was when people I knew and loved from ICAN had a difficult outcome, like a stillbirth, a rupture, an accreta, or other issue. Those people are always, *always* in my heart, and so are their babies.
My proudest moments have been seeing the organization come back to life after some lean years. I’ve been to every conference since 2001 and those always make me proud. I’m proud of the work we have done to support CBAC mothers, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done for VBAMC (VBAC after multiple cesareans). I’m proud of the advocacy work others within ICAN have done, and I’m proud of ICAN for contributing a voice to birth politics discussions. We’ve done some amazing work, and we’ve kept VBAC alive as an option during a difficult time.
Thank you Pamela for all that you do to support birthing women!