Under the new leadership of Sharon Trom and Alisa Okamoto, ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) of San Diego will kick off a new wave of advocacy, support and activism with a meeting on April 21, 2009. Trom, a mother of two, took a few moments to share her reasons for wanting to breathe new life into the ICAN community of San Diego, California.
I asked Sharon Trom why she wanted to co-lead the San Diego ICAN Chapter.
Trom: After fifty hours of induced labor with my first daughter, I wound up with a c-section that I had tried actively to avoid. While they were suturing me up, I asked if I would be a VBAC candidate because I had already decided in my mind that my next baby would be born vaginally.
As soon as I got pregnant the second time, I scoured my community and the world online for support and information to make my VBAC goal a reality. I looked into my local ICAN chapter for support, but the group was sort of disbanding and there weren’t many events going on. Later in my pregnancy, it was announced that this group was looking for a new leader, and I knew I could do it. I had been spending all of my free time reading books and articles about VBAC and doing everything mentally and physically possible to prepare myself.
I believe that the most important preparation for VBAC is mental, really believing in yourself and your body. I knew that as an ICAN leader I could provide this type of support and encouragement to other women. Just before I officially became the new leader, I realized my dream and had a beautiful HBAC. Having experienced both cesarean and vaginal births, I feel that I can provide support to women in all sorts of birth scenarios.
My incredible co-leader, Alisa, is also a VBAC warrior. We have spent hours reading birth stories, viewing birth films, and just talking about birth and everything involved. I knew she would be a great partner to work with on this exciting adventure.
Trom expressed concern that the information that doctors are telling the women in their care exaggerates the risk of uterine rupture, which is less than one percent, and downplays the risks of elective repeat cesareans to both mother and baby.
Said Trom, “I believe that the most important thing child-bearing women need is information. Women need information on how to best prepare and equip themselves for healthy births and how to avoid unnecessary cesareans.
“They need to feel empowered and to trust their bodies, and to feel courageous enough to ask questions and refuse unnecessary interventions when they feel they are unwarranted. Women who have experienced c-sections need support through their recovery. For those women intent on having VBACs, they need support, cheerleading and information as well.”
Trom pointed out that according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, VBAC is safer in most cases than a scheduled repeat cesarean and up to 80% of woman with prior cesareans can go on to birth their subsequent babies vaginally.
ICAN of San Diego’s May meeting will feature Ricki Lake’s and Abby Epstein’s new book, Your Best Birth, with a viewing of their live Q&A podcast.
ICAN of San Diego Meeting featuring Q & A with Vickii Gervais, CPM, IBCLC
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
7:30 to 8:30 pm
Wild Harmony Wellness
5837 El Cajon Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92115
Email icanofsandiego (at) gmail (dot) com for more information.
ICAN offers many ways to get involved. Jump in!
Attend the ICAN Conference in Atlanta, GA – April 24-26, 2009
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