Chapter Leader Spotlight: Robin Wilson, ICAN of Northern Virginia
How did you find out about ICAN?
My doula literally dragged me to my first meeting! I kept coming because it was the first place I saw hope since having my cesarean.
What part of being an ICAN Chapter Leader are you most excited about and why?
I’m excited to find new ideas for meetings. People need support in various ways, and I’m excited to incorporate art, speakers and panel discussions into our meetings.
What do you wish people knew about ICAN?
That ICAN is really for everyone. Whether you’ve had a cesarean or not, it’s important to know the current state of maternal health in the US & it’s important to hear it directly from the people who experience it. Whether you plan to have a VBAC or RCS, the risks and benefits of both are important to know in order to have an understanding and empathy for those birthing people. There’s so much judgement flying around about birthing people and their choices, yet if we take the time to listen to them, we can gain an understanding of them and ourselves.
Where does your chapter serve?
Northern Virginia – we serve Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Prince William County and Loudoun County, and DC.
If you could change one thing about the birth climate in your area, what would it be?
The pressure. There’s a great deal of pressure to have the “best” OB, to have your baby before 40 weeks, to be induced, to schedule the cesarean. I would love to see it all slow down.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I credit my ICAN chapter for being the first people to tell me I needed professional help. Of course I didn’t believe them, but they lovingly listened to me each month. After being diagnosed with PTSD from my midwife, I finally reached out to a birth trauma therapist who had spoken at a meeting and who helped me down to path to healing and thus having an empowered second birth. ICAN meetings provide a unique safe place to bare intimate feelings and emotions, and connect people with the resources toward whole self healing.
Where can we find out more about your chapter?
You can find our Facebook page here. Our next meeting is on Saturday, December 14 at 10 a.m. at the Richard Byrd Library in Springfield, VA.