A New Birth Resource on Whidbey Island

March 2, 2016

 

We are so excited to bring this new resource to families and birth professionals on and around Whidbey Island! We are a group of birth professionals, advocates, and parents who are passionate about birth, and want families to be able to connect with care providers with ease. We have been working hard behind the scenes to get IBA up and running and are so excited to officially launch today! Please meet our founding board members and read a little bit about why we do what we do:

 

 

 

 

Ginger Cullen

 

Growing up I could never decide what I wanted to do. A lawyer, teacher and archaeologist were just a few of the things I considered. It wasn't until I became pregnant with my first child and started learning about all things pregnancy and childbirth that I found my true passion. When you are passionate about something it is hard to keep it to yourself. My heart was saddened  as I learned about friends' less than gratifying birth experiences. I knew that you could have the birth that you wanted, it just seemed women were not being guided or educated on their options.

 

The reason I'm doing this is simple. Our community needs this. Birth workers of Island County need a way to reach families and families need a resource that they can depend on to have accurate and up to date information.

 

Together with a group of awesome birth professionals and friends I plan to change the way Whidbey Island experiences birth. Every women will have access to the resources and knowledge to make well informed choices for her birth. Changing birth in America for the better starts with us. I am so excited to meet so many new people and help them with their journey

 

 

 

Erica Coulter

 

First things first, I'm a mom of four wild boys, a birth doula, a military spouse, a marathoner, and an aspiring (read amateur) rock climber. In a nutshell, I can usually be found running in circles and chasing a toddler with a coffee in hand.

So, why am I adding one more thing to my plate? The answer is simple: I love it. I love working in a birth community that promotes healthy and safe birth, both physically and emotionally.

Birth work comes down to one fundamental truth for me: It's not about the way a woman gives birth; it's about the way she's treated while birthing.

As a birth doula, I've attending beautifully empowering home water births, hospital births, and scheduled cesarean births. It is my belief that when mothers are listened to, supported, respected, and trusted as the experts of their own bodies, birth is a positive, life altering event.

My goal is simple. I want to change birth culture. I want to change it from a culture of fear to a culture of power. I want to see women walk away from birth feeling supported, feeling stronger than ever, and having faith in their innate ability to be a mother.

 

 

 

Kim Graves

 

I was raised by a family of volunteers. Passionate people. Doers. Both my mom and dad served on so many community boards I doubt I could successfully count them if I tried. In fact, my family was awarded the Volunteer Family of the Year by the state of Hawaii one year. And I remember thinking how little I’d actually done. But that was teenage me, and apparently as an adult all those years of being the volunteer’s child finally caught up with me.

I found my passion for birth after my first baby was born. I had taken a birth class that was so amazing and eye opening. I joined online moms groups full of inspiring women who challenged what I thought was normal or what I thought I wanted to be as a mother. I have grown so much in my almost 10 years of motherhood, and my passion mixed with the doer in me and grew into the desire to give back to my community in one way I knew I could.

 

When I moved back to Whidbey this time (we’ve been stationed here several times before), I quickly tried to find my niche, and found some amazing women. As I stepped into my first leadership role, planning a Rally to Improve Birth last September, these three women stepped up to the challenge of planning a rally in under 2 weeks. They have inspired me to want to do more because I know they are just as passionate (and maybe just as crazy) as I am.


So when we began talking about birth resources on the island and the idea of building a birth network, I knew there would be no one better to jump into this venture with.


I am passionate about birth. With it, not only is a new baby born, but a new mother & father, and their confidence is so important as they embark on the parenthood journey. I believe that every woman and family should have support and options to make the best decisions they can for themselves and their family. My hope is that Island Birth Association will become a “one stop shop” to help empower and connect families so they get the birth experiences they desire and deserve.

 

 

Abigail Gross

 

 

My drive to collaborate with the creation of the Island Birth Association is pretty simple; we live in an era with access to so much that information is within our fingertips but it’s also the same source for half-truths, misinformation and often times bullies that hide behind the screens. Along with the cultural myth of the “Good Mother” which sets unrealistic expectations on how mothers should or should not be, it’s easy to feel judged or isolated.

 

Creating a one stop shop for moms to get the information they need was a logical choice. Creating a community with genuine respect and non-judgment for all mothers. Having information on hand or a place to refer moms to will help to combat those feelings of isolation, judgement, or being overwhelmed. I firmly believed that when mothers are valued and supported, we are more successful in all areas of our lives, benefiting our children, families and communities.

 

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