Meet the Leadership: Karla Wiegrefe, ICAN of Fargo-Moorhead

ICAN is excited to announce Karla Wiegrefe as our newest Chapter Leader!

“We can’t talk about the risks and none of the benefits of one thing (VBAC) and the benefits but none of the risks of the other (CS) and yet that is too often when our maternity system does. How much better everyone is served when accurate information on the risks and benefits of both are well known. People can make decisions with true informed consent when they are able to weigh the risks and benefits of their various options and then make the choice which best fits for them.” ~ Karla Wiegrefe, ICAN of Fargo-Moorhead

Please introduce yourself to ICAN:

I have been married to Jeff for 26 years, am a mom to 9 awesome individuals (6 boys and 3 girls ranging in age from 26 down to 6), and am Oma to one grandchild who recently turned 1. My childbearing years span the time during the early to mid-1990s when VBAC was the norm and encouraged through to the 2010s when finding supportive care for VBAC was once again quite challenging. I nursed my babies for over two decades, have homeschooled all along, and am now a professional birth and bereavement doula.

What led you to join ICAN? Which part of being a Chapter Leader are you most excited about?

I first heard about ICAN in the early 1990s when I was planning my first VBAC. I appreciated having a resource for accurate information regarding risks and benefits of both cesareans and VBACs and even more than that, I appreciated the connection to other moms who had similar experiences. We have needed an ICAN group in ND for a very long time, and I’m thrilled to be a part of getting that started. What a great resource ICAN is for information and support!

Where will you be serving families through ICAN?

Fargo, ND is located on the border, just across the river from Moorhead, MN. We serve all the surrounding areas and beyond since there are no other ICAN groups near us. Both hospitals are moving toward more mother-baby friendly care. The Golden Hour (keeping the baby with mom for the first hour) is considered standard, delayed cord clamping is becoming the norm, and some providers are moving toward more family-friendly cesarean options. Currently, both hospitals require VBAC moms to be attended by OBs, who work on a strict on-call rotation. Some of the OBs are quite supportive of VBAC, some are tolerant and others discourage VBAC. I would love to see area women have the option of continuity of care so that they could have their provider for their birth. I would also like to see VBAC moms have the option once again to have CNM and Family Practice Doctors attend their births.

Meeting info?

Our first meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 17th at 7:05 pm at Atomic Coffee in Fargo, ND. See the event info here!

Congratulations, Karla! 

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