Knoxville group helps educate women about birth options

Knoxville group helps educate women about birth options

Posted:
Many mothers who have their first child by Cesarean section aren't limited to delivering their future babies that way. A local non-profit organization is trying to help educate women about their birth options. Many mothers who have their first child by Cesarean section aren't limited to delivering their future babies that way. A local non-profit organization is trying to help educate women about their birth options.
Erin Patrick is the proud mother of 4-month-old Willow and 4-and-a-half year-old Fisher. Erin Patrick is the proud mother of 4-month-old Willow and 4-and-a-half year-old Fisher.
Fisher is a sweet little boy who loves to help take care of his baby sister. Fisher is a sweet little boy who loves to help take care of his baby sister.
He has endured five surgeries to repair some of the damage done to his face during what was supposed to be a natural birth. He has endured five surgeries to repair some of the damage done to his face during what was supposed to be a natural birth.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Many mothers who have their first child by Cesarean section aren't limited to delivering their future babies that way. A local non-profit organization is trying to help educate women about their birth options.

It certainly changed things for local mom Erin Patrick. She is the proud mother of 4-month-old Willow and 4-and-a-half year-old Fisher.

Willow came into the world through natural childbirth. It was a positive experience, which was far different from the traumatic delivery of Patrick's son.

"He was injured from some interventions that were used incorrectly and so he started having some problems and we had a Cesarean," Patrick explained.

Fisher is a sweet little boy who loves to help take care of his baby sister. He has endured five surgeries to repair some of the damage done to his face during what was supposed to be a natural birth.

An emergency C-section was the only answer. Patrick says the surgery saved Fisher's life.

When baby Willow was on the way, Patrick sought out the help of the non-profit group, International Cesarean Awareness Network of Knoxville. ICAN offers support in a private group on Facebook and in monthly meetings for moms who've had C-sections.

Patrick still gets emotional when she remembers the first meeting. 

"So I show up at ICAN with lots of emotional baggage and trauma and these ladies just welcomed me with open arms," she said.

Patrick was thrilled when she learned she didn't have to have another C-section.

ICAN leader Kimberly Sebeck says the group promotes vaginal birth after Cesarean, but isn't against the procedure.

"If somebody wants to go for a VBAC we're going to support you, we're going to cheer you on. If somebody wants a repeat Cesarean section, we're still going to support you and cheer you on," said Sebeck.

"For me, the whole process has been part of the healing, going from the first traumatic experience to understanding more of my options and to realizing I do have a voice in my maternity care," said Patrick.

According to ICAN of Knoxville's Facebook page:

"If you are recovering from a Cesarean, planning a VBAC, searching for care providers, or want information on having a normal birth, ICAN of Knoxville welcomes you! Birth Professionals who have not had a cesarean and who are not looking for personal support may go like the public ICAN of Knoxville FB page to offer advice and support. This group is for cesarean mothers only.

The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) strives to improve maternal-child health by:

    • Preventing unnecessary cesareans through education
    • Providing support for cesarean recovery
    • Promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).

We want to provide a support network for women who are healing from past birth experiences and for those who are preparing for births. This is intended to be a safe place to share birth stories, ask questions, receive advice, and find and give support and encouragement, as well as find the resources you need.

In addition to this group, ICAN of Knoxville offers supportive meetings -- check events for more info."

For more information, send an email to ICANKnoxville@yahoo.com, or visit the national website (http://www.ican-online.org/).

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