Announcing Tina Stanley A New Chapter Leader, Sonoma County

ICAN is excited to announce Tina Stanley as our newest chapter leader! She has completed training and will be leading ICAN of Sonoma County!

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What’s your chapter’s name?
ICAN of Sonoma County

How did you find out about ICAN? What drew you to our organization?
After participating in a birth storytelling event and telling my Cesarean and VBAC stories, I was inspired to research how I might make a difference in the current situation in our community re: high rate of Cesareans and poorly supported access to VBAC’s. I found ICAN online and found out that there was no local chapter.

What part of being an ICAN Chapter Leader are you most excited about and why?
I’m excited to take action for the empowerment of women in childbirth, something that is so important to mother, baby and societal well-being.

What do you wish other people knew about ICAN?
That the ICAN mission isn’t a just narrow focus on Cesarean birth issues, but really contributes to maternal-child health in so many ways; from helping mothers gain confidence and trust in themselves to improving the quality of mother-infant bonding to decreasing the risks of postpartum mood disorders.

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about cesarean/VBAC awareness?
One of my strongest beliefs is that the way we bring babies into the world says a lot about our society and that we have a lot to lose if birth becomes more and more routinely experienced as a passive surgical experience for women.

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How would someone describe you?
A good listener, empathetic, kind, calm.

Please share a little about yourself.
I am a psychotherapist in private practice, specializing in using body-centered hypnosis to prepare for labor and birth, supporting new moms through postpartum depression, anxiety or birth traumas and couples counseling with new parents. I really enjoy my work and the comfort and convenience of my home office. I’m in the process of writing a memoir and co-writing a book for new parents regarding dealing with conflict with their partners. I love to take walks with my husband and our chocolate lab on the nearby Northern California beaches. My two grown daughters live nearby and I enjoy connecting with them often. Swimming, yoga and meditation are the mainstays of my self care.

If you would like to share personal birth “statistics,” feel free to list that information here.
I am blessed with two grown daughters who are sources of great joy in my life. My eldest was born 32 years ago via Cesarean section, after a planned homebirth turned into a lengthy labor with a posterior presentation and eventual transfer to the hospital. The Cesarean was a very difficult experience, psychologically and physically, with post-surgical complications and strong feelings of grief, failure and disappointment. Although, all that was mixed in with the delight in my daughter’s health and well-being and developing a relationship with her. Twelve years (!) later, my 2nd daughter’s birth took place at home (VBAC obviously!) after a 6 1/2 hour labor. Both births were powerful learning experiences for me, teaching me to hold lightly to expectations, to trust myself, prepare and do my best, and let go of things I couldn’t control.

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QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CHAPTER
Where is your chapter (region)? What areas does your chapter serve?
Sonoma County, CA

If you could change one thing about the birth climate in your area, what would it be?
Fewer unnecessary Cesareans.

What is the best thing about the birth climate in your area?
Wonderful community of doulas, midwives, childbirth educator.

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