The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (ICAN) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).
Statement of Beliefs
We, the International Cesarean Awareness Network, believe that:
- The inappropriate over use of cesarean surgery is jeopardizing the lives of mothers and babies.
- When a cesarean is necessary, it can be a lifesaving technique for both mother and baby, and worth the risks involved.
- Birth is a normal physiological process. Research shows that with emotional support, education, and an honest opportunity, the vast majority of women can have a healthy vaginal birth.
- A healthy birth incorporates emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
- Research shows that VBAC is reasonable and safe for both mother and baby. A repeat cesarean should never be considered routine– it is major abdominal surgery with many risks.
- It is unethical and unenforceable for hospitals to institute VBAC bans. Women have the right to refuse any procedure, including a cesarean.
- Women have the right to true informed consent and refusal, which entails full knowledge of the risks and benefits of all tests, drugs, and procedures.
- It is incumbent upon every care provider and institution to facilitate the informed consent process.
- Women must be allowed to express all their birth related feelings in a safe and supportive environment. The emotions of a pregnant and birthing woman have profound effects on the birth outcome and recovery.
- It is unethical for a physician to recommend and/or perform non-medically indicated cesareans (elective). Women are not being fully informed of the risks of this option in childbirth, and therefore make decisions based on cultural myth and fear surrounding childbirth.
- The trend of “elective cesareans” is being significantly overstated through distortion of research and data.
- We as women must now assume more responsibility for our own births.
- It is critical that women’s choice of care provider and location of birth is respected.
How often do you meet?
We meet on the FIRST THURSDAY of each month. From 6:30-7:30PM
What goes on in a typical group meeting?
Our meetings are designed to provide support, education, and advocacy. Some meetings have a specific topic related to ICAN’s mission statement that we will speak on, some are more open format in a round table discussion, sometimes we have a speaker panel for a Q&A format, etc. We generally have certain points to cover, and attendees will add their insight, experiences, and questions. Sometimes we have educational materials to handout or read. We usually have some smaller or one on one conversations towards the end of the meetings.
Do you participate in other group outings or events?
ICAN of Huntsville has recently participated in Alabama Birth Coalition’s Miles for Midwives. We hope to have more opportunities to get the word out about ICAN in order to help women, and improve our birth climate here.
Is there anything that sets your group apart from other area programs?
We seem to stand alone in our efforts to specifically support women in their recovery from a cesarean section or other birth trauma, to help women navigate through their journey to subsequent pregnancies and childbirths after a cesarean, and to educate women on how to avoid a cesarean section.
List any fundraisers or upcoming/annual events:
We have a special guest speaker (during a special meeting time of Thursday, December 12th, 2013 6:30-7:30PM) Dr. Joshua Johannson, MD speaking on “Cesarean Avoidance and Successful VBAC – a Doctor’s Perspective”
ICAN is a non-profit organization, so we depend on paid subscriptions and donations to continue our work of improving birth. A year subscription is $30, and ICAN’s Supporting subscribers will receive:
- 10% discount at ICAN’s bookstore
- Discount to ICAN’s conference
- Free access to webinars
Meeting Address/Location: Mayfair Church of Christ, Room A-104, 1095 Carl T. Jones Dr., Huntsville, Alabama 35802
Phone: (256) 453-6802
Facebook Page(s):ICAN of Huntsville Facebook Group and ICAN of Huntsville Facebook Page
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