Midwifery Today Conference
Bad Wildbad, Germany
20–24 October 2021
“Birthing in Love: Everyone’s Right”
Midwifery Today Conference
Bad Wildbad, Germany • 20–24 October 2021
“Birthing in Love: Everyone’s Right”
Wednesday • 20 October, 2021 • Pre-Conference
Choose one full-day class: A1 – A4 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Magic of Movement in Birth — Johanna Honkanen
Movement in labor increases sense of control, decreases need for pain medication, helps baby in her rotation and reduces the length of labor. Learn more about optimal fetal positioning, rotation, pelvis, and many movement patterns that can help the baby rotate in the pelvis.
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Establishing Client Relationship — Carol Gautschi
Relationships between midwife and client help create trusting birth experiences, with different outcomes in care by standard OBs and attentive midwives. Women’s bodies function differently when trust exists; bonds between mother and child are affected by bonds the midwife and mom share.
11:30 – 1:00 Lunch on your own
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Hemorrhage Control without Pharmaceuticals — Carol Gautschi
Learn about herbs and how to access and administer them. Learn about how to help pregnant women reduce hemorrhage by keeping healthy. Other alternative methods that will be discussed in this information-packed session are pressure points and homeopathic care.
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Complications of Labor and Birth — Gail Hart
You have set the stage for good births in prenatal care. The teacher will present information on identifying your own risk criteria; learning to look, listen, and act to prevent problems; developing ways to inform and educate your clients about complications; and handling specific complications as they arise. Stalled labor, shoulder dystocia, malpresentations, VBAC, and the slow-starting baby are among the subjects that will be covered. Bring your questions and experiences for an exciting class.
3:25 pm – 4:30 pm
Postpartum Care — Johanna Honkanen
Learn about how to give the best postpartum care possible. This is a big responsibility of the midwife for mother and child, and continues after the baby is born. Discover some tips for preventing problems before they arise as well as hints to help mothers be the best they can be. Keep nurturing the mom so she can nurture her baby.
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Trusting yourself to Trust Birth — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos
What forces shape our approach to birth? Do we bring confidence and positive expectations or fear and apprehension? Learn about how we can develop the trust necessary to allow the patient unfolding of the birth process, while remaining alert and prepared for any problems or complications
A2 Waterbirth Practice, Practicalities, and New Discoveries — Dianne Garland
Dianne will explore the many benefits and ways of using water for labor and birth and discuss its unique properties, psychological as well as physical. Waterbirth is an option for a woman to give birth in an undisturbed, private, and dignified manner. It also empowers women and helps to create transitional ease for both mother and baby. It reduces medical interventions while maintaining safety for mother and baby. Breech births, OP births, and twin births benefit from water labor/waterbirth in skilled midwives’ hands. Dianne will share birth stories, video sequences, and photos from her extensive international work. She will address challenges and concerns about water labor/waterbirth. She will report on clinical findings, current research, and models from various places around the world, as well as share her hands-on experience. This workshop will present information on attending all types of births in water and about how to recognize and manage complications.
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Trauma and Transformation through Pregnancy and Birth — Elizabeth Davis
One out of three women is a survivor of trauma, whether from abuse, neglect, or violence. Certain aspects of the childbearing experience can potentially reopen old emotional wounds, activate unhelpful coping mechanisms, and cause further trauma—not only in our clients, but in ourselves. Fortunately, there is also the potential for deep healing. Elizabeth will explain the physiology of why this is so, and provide tools that bypass standard counseling approaches with more rapidly effective techniques shown to have a profound and lasting impact. Birth is meant to be transformational: with a deeper understanding of how to make this possible, we can generate the best outcomes for our clients and ourselves.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch on your own
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Collaborative Care with Survivor Clients — Sally Kelly
Having trauma survivors as clients can be challenging. This talk will discuss how best to promote clients’ healing and autonomy, with the understanding that a team effort of multiple professionals may be necessary for complete care. Ways to build an effective network that respects participants’ expertise and client confidentiality will be explored at length, with an emphasis on the client as the prime coordinator of her care.
3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Supporting Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Childbirth — Sally Kelly
Pregnancy and birth can bring up many conflicting emotions in women who have been sexually abused. Learn about how to help these women by offering individual attention and love.
Part 1 — Shoulder Dystocia
Our teachers discuss the mechanical and physical causes of shoulder dystocia; the associated risk factors; symptoms and signs to predict it; and tools to remedy it. They will analyze tools and methods used to overcome panic reactions and demonstrate effective treatments. Learn about new methods, new mnemonics, and the latest research!
Part 2 — Malpresentations
This is an in-depth look at malpresentations and mal-rotations; their likelihood and causes; palpation methods to identify them; and the techniques for assessing and dealing with them. The teachers will present many tips for helping these errant babes to move into better position for vaginal birth. Bring your techniques to add to this body of midwifery knowledge!
5:15 pm – 6:30 pm Open to all registrants
Christian Midwives Meeting — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos
All are welcome.
Thursday • 21 October, 2021 • Pre-Conference
Choose one full-day class B1 – B4 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
9:00 am –10:30 am
Preventing Complications with Prenatal Care — Elizabeth Davis
Identify and examine the clinical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects of prenatal care. We will learn about how to evaluate and nurture pregnant and birthing women holistically, using tools to support out clients in articulating their health status and their own best means of healing and strengthening themselves. Many of these tools can be used in any setting, even with birthing women we have just met. True holistic partnership with our clients is also the key to avoiding burnout and finding sustainability in our work. Sharing stories of our most challenging clients and caregiving situations, we will discover unique ways to facilitate good outcomes.
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Massage to Restart Labor — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos
This is a fantastic tool to treat labor dystocias, to get labor restarted and more. This treatment activates the parasympathetic nervous system and facilitates expansion. You can release tensions in the pelvis and pelvic floor and open up the birth canal. You can improve oxytocin, sexual energy and the well-being of the baby, supporting him in his effort of coming into the world. You may avoid many cesarean sections. Every midwife should have this tool!
11:30 am – 1:00 pm Lunch on your own
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Comfort Measures — Elena Piantino
Women who are coping well with labor have some things in common: relaxation, rhythm, and ritual (the 3 Rs). Elena will describe the 3 Rs and the many ways women experience them. Comfort measures for labor such as the gate control theory of pain, hot and cold compresses, music, massage/touch, acupressure, aromatherapy, and the birthing ball will be discussed. Positions that facilitate rotation and descent in first stage and help to rotate and ease back labors will be demonstrated. Techniques for second stage, such as the support squat, dangle, toilet, “tug of war,” the rope, and lap squatting will be shown with time for hands-on practice. A birth practioner’s best contribution can be taking care of the emotional part of the physiology of birth, by facilitating effective communication with new members of the birthing team, keeping parents in the moment, bringing perspective to situations encountered, and promoting visualisation and breathing.
3:15 pm – 5:00 pm
Neonatal Resuscitation with the Placental Circulation Intact — Gail Hart
Analyzing the various techniques used around the world brings the surprising conclusion that neonatal resuscitation methods are a cultural, not a scientific, norm. The experiences of what works in one hospital unit is often different from a unit in the same city and practitioners who work in both home and hospital know they often do things differently depending on the setting. Gail will present the concept of safe and effective physiological resuscitation methods which don’t require high technology for implementation.
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Acupressure and Cupping for Birth Practitioners — Tine Greve
Acupuncture can be very useful during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Only a certified acupuncturist can perform this treatment. Learn about different conditions that can be helped and when to refer to acupuncturists for treatment. Acupressure and cupping are other treatment aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) closely related to acupuncture. In this class you can learn about their use during birth. Demonstration and basics of cupping and acupressure will be covered in this powerful and informative class. Bring a small towel and your favorite massage oil. This is a hands-on class; you will get an opportunity to practice.
1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Gua Sha for Pregnancy, Birth, and Relaxation — Johanna Honkanen
Gua sha is a healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Sometimes called coining, spooning, or scraping, gua sha is defined as instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called “sha” representing extravasation of blood in the subcutis. Modern research shows gua sha produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single gua sha treatment. This accounts for its effect on pain, stiffness, fever, cough, nausea and vomiting, etc., and why gua sha is effective for pregnant and laboring women. The technique is useful for doulas, midwives, spouses, and other support persons. It can be used to soothe, relax, and add oxytocin, as well as to address stalled labor, back labor pains, headaches, vomiting/nausea, and many other discomforts. This class will include hands-on training.
B3 The Future of Midwives, Doulas and Obstetricians — Michel Odent
For how long can the capacity to give birth survive a neutralization of the laws of natural selection? There are many ways to phrase the same question. This class will be about phrasing questions in unprecedented situations. We’ll consider countless related examples.
B4 Placenta Science and Practice — Cornelia Enning and Hans Peter Schmidt
Placenta encapsulation? A scientific revelation! What hormones are produced by the placenta at term and which physiologic function do they have? What is the effect of these hormones in the postpartum period? In this session we are going to look at oxytocin, human placental lactogen, estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones in detail. How does steaming and dehydrating placental tissue influence the concentration of these small peptide and steroid hormones? Are toxic elements found in placental tissue and if so, do they accumulate during preparation? What microbial species are found on placental tissue and what effect does steaming have on the number of germs detected? These questions, as well as potential risks and benefits of placentophagy will be discussed and the latest, not-yet-published data from the Jena University placenta lab will be presented. If stored correctly, the placenta can be used after birth to prepare baby creams, cream gravidarum, or labor-inducing preparations. This is a very helpful medicine for postpartum depression.
B5 Rebozo Techniques and Practice — Thea van Tuyl and Mirjam de Keijzer
The origin of these techniques and traditions from Mexico goes back thousands of years. Thea and Mirjam will demonstrate how to use a rebozo, a useful tool in all parts of the childbearing cycle. In this amazing class you will discover simple techniques that bring comfort and relaxation during pregnancy and birth. You will learn about many “new” old techniques you can apply immediately to your practice. Time for hands-on practice will be provided. Thea and Mirjam co-wrote the book, The Rebozo Technique Unfolded, with Naolí Vinaver.
Friday • 22 October, 2021 • Conference Day One
9:00 am – 10:00 am | Opening general session
Birthing in Love: Everyone’s Right — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Jan Tritten, and Gail Hart
Join us as we begin the conference with a toast from the magnificent people of Bad Wildbad. After this touch of love we will open the conference by finding out where everyone is from. Next we will address the right of all women to birth in a loving, caring environment. As we manifest this, we may just wake up to a more peaceful existence.
10:00 am – 11:30 am | General session
The Future of the Scientification of Love to the Microbiome Revolution — Michel Odent
In the closing decades of the twentieth century, the “scientification of love” had offered plausible interpretations of long-term consequences of the way babies are born. Today, sudden advances in fast developing scientific disciplines such as bacteriology are stimulating a still more spectacular turning point in our understanding of Homo.
Concurrent sessions C1 through C4 | 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
C1 The Future of In-labor Non-emergency Cesareans — Michel Odent
We’ll contrast the points of view of babies and the points of view of adults. From the point of view of babies there is an accumulation of reasons to avoid pre-labor cesareans and also last-minute emergency cesareans. What about in-labor non-emergency cesareans?
C2 Magical Beginnings — Joy Horner
Magical Beginnings is a celebration of pregnancy and birth where moms and their partners have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be conscious participants in this miraculous creative process. When parents, together with their midwife or other health care provider, celebrate the gift of conceiving, schooling in the womb and delivering a child, we all become part of this magical process. From this perspective, pregnancy and birth are what they are meant to be a joyful and sacred event where mom, baby, and partner actively participate in the miracle of creation.
C3 Bleeding Difficulties: Remedies and Prevention — Carol Gautschi
Come hear Carol as she shares ways in which she discovered how to prevent blood loss during pregnancy and birth. Classical (Traditional) Midwives learn creative prevention as part of their caregiving journey. She shares how it was such “a blessing in disguise” being a pioneer in homebirth, that intuition and innovation were always on the forefront of her care, that she would discover what would work by observation, trial and error, being careful not to compromise safety. The principles she learned then have been supported by research, and Carol will share them with you!
C4 Waterbirth and Using Water in Labor — Dianne Garland
We will explore the many benefits and ways of using water in birth and discuss its unique properties—psychological as well as physical. Waterbirth is an option for a woman to give birth undisturbed and with dignity and helps to create transitional ease for both mother and baby. Attending births in water is a joy.
Concurrent sessions D1 through D4 | 2:45 pm – 4:15 pm
D1 The Power of Critical Thinking in Midwifery — Gail Hart
Midwifery requires more than rote memorization of what you learned in school. It is a caring profession in need of constant, well thought-out decisions to manifest the best outcomes. Come learn to increase your powers of critical thinking.
D2 Breech in Water — Cornelia Enning
Join Cornelia in this important class to learn how to work with breeches in water. An advantage of doing breech birth in water is that water improves fetal oxygenation by increasing uterine blood supply during immersion. Frank breeches need no special maneuvers because water reduces the effect of gravity. Mobility of the mother in water allows better interaction of the baby through the pelvis, and any maneuvers that may be required are easier in water.
D3 How to Implement Rebozo in Your Birth Class — Thea van Tuyl and Mirjam de Keijzer
Most partners really love to do something together, and the rebozo is a unique and easy tool for them to learn. You can teach rebozo techniques to the partner to help with relaxation. This can be helpful during pregnancy as well as during birth itself. Learning rebozo skills together can enhance the relationship between the parents-to-be. Thea will teach some simple techniques which can enhance your practice, whether you are a childbirth educator, doula, or midwife.
D4 Doula Training — Elena Piantino
Learn the different kinds of doula trainings available in Europe. Understand how doulas can improve birth experiences for everyone involved by guarding the hormonal component of birth. Doulas can help keep stress down and confidence up—which equals better physiology. Doulas also learn to be profoundly respectful of parents’ history and belief system and work within these to facilitate an informed and altogether better experience of birth.
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm General session
Tricks of the Trade — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Jan Tritten
Share the techniques you’ve perfected in your practice or bring your burning questions to this roundtable of pertinent tips on a wide variety of topics. Previous topics have included preventing hemorrhage, herbs for labor and birth, correcting malpresentations, nutrition hints, and essential oils. This is always a much-appreciated session, for its sense of sisterhood as well as its information. “Worth at least two weeks of academic training,” said one participant.
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Open to all registrants
Local Evening — Ursula Jahn-Zoehrens
Sign up with Ursula at the desk for a lovely, traditional Swabian Dinner. There is a small fee. After dinner there will still be time for the spas!
Saturday • 23 October, 2021 • Conference Day Two
9:00 am – 10:15 am General session
Technology as a Threat to the Normal Birth Process — Elizabeth Davis
Elizabeth will explore the reasons for and the negative consequences of the inappropriate or excessive application of technology—drugs as well as instruments, machinery, and surgery—in childbirth. Rediscover and strengthen your role in protecting pregnant and birthing women, and learn how current research supports the use of less intervention in birth. Consider what you can do in your practice to establish appropriate and prudent use of technology.
Concurrent sessions E1 through E4 | 10:30 am – 12:00 noon
E1 All You Need Is Love — Lara FairyLove Stockbridge
Love is all we need. Everyone. Starting with you, the caregiver. To give Love we must first allow ourselves to feel Love. Come and immerse yourself in the oxytocin bubble created by Lara FairyLove, learn skills, tricks, dances, songs, and stories to help you raise oxytocin in yourself and those around you.
E2 Midwife Recipes — Carol Gautschi
Learn about the use of herbs, homeopathics, and other empirical remedies in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. You will gain knowledge about the practical uses of these treatments for your clients’ ailments and complications, such as using alternatives to halt a hemorrhage and how to keep your mamababy well. This class will be interactive and not just for novices so, if you have tried and true remedies, bring them.
E3 Caring for Women with Trust, Intimacy, and Love in Loss — Sally Kelly
Birth practitioners need skills in caring for women whose babies don’t survive whether by miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death. If we are afraid of this area of our practice then we cannot provide the right environment of care. Join this class to turn your fear of helping in these situations to one of faith.
E4 Normal and Complicated Second Stage — Joy Horner
Explore women’s ability to birth in a sacred way. When women find their own way of birthing, it is up to us, their practitioners, to facilitate the process, not change it. We will familiarize ourselves with the sounds and movements of second stage when women are in environments conducive to birthing in their own way. We will also review second stage research from a midwifery point of view, focusing on how maternal positions and associated birth environments affect childbirth outcomes. Joy will share the protocols and techniques she uses to help the mother move through the pushing stage of labor.
Concurrent sessions F1 through F4 | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
F1 Midwifery Education — Elizabeth Davis
The way we educate midwives has everything to do with the way they will someday practice. A majority of instructors are satisfied with their performance, but many students are not happy with their educational experience. How can we bring the two together? What is needed for the next generation of midwives to survive in the current circumstances of practice? How can we prepare students to practice confidently, wisely, and autonomously?
F2 Mamababy Communication in the Womb — Carol Gautschi
Studies have shown that every unborn child has profound and significant experiences in the womb, establishing patterns of interactions, listening to conversations and music and actually memorizing them. The womb is a stimulating place and functions as a school, where babies form strong relationships with their parents and vice versa. To communicate effectively with the unborn child, can aid the midwife with many things. Come hear stories and learn wisdom from what you may already know.
F3 Tongue-tie Issues — Tine Greve
During the last couple of years there has been an increasing focus on breastfeeding difficulties due to tongue-ties. Many mothers experience challenges in the breastfeeding situation and sometimes an unwanted, and maybe unnecessary, breastfeeding cessation. This class will focus on the different challenges a tongue-tie can present for the breastfeeding dyad. We will look at when and how the symptoms present in various cases and how to examine and evaluate a tongue-tie and what specific counseling they need.
F4 Shoulder Dystocia — Gail Hart
Gail will discuss the mechanical, physical, and emotional causes of shoulder dystocia. She will describe symptoms and signs used to predict it and analyze tools and methods used to overcome panic reactions, demonstrate effective treatments, and look in-depth at maneuvers to predict and correct it. Learn about all aspects of shoulder dystocia, including causes, incidence rates, prevention, and solutions. She will discuss how to quickly deal with this type of dystocia when it occurs and how to enlist the help of the mother to deliver her child in an atmosphere of calmness and strength. This class goes beyond traditional teaching of shoulder dystocia.
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm | General session
Roundtables — Learn from the combined experience of these teachers and the other participants. Always informative, sometimes heart wrenching, it’s a unique opportunity to share. Rotating into three different groups, the registrants meet for three different classes. Choose three of the following topics.
Posterior Babies — Elizabeth Davis
Effects of Interventions — Johanna Honkanen
How to Use Your Expertise to Start a Consulting Practice — Dianne Garland
Tear Prevention — Tine Greve
Memory Making in Loss — Sally Kelly
Doulas as Facilitators and Communicators — Elena Piantino
Rebozo Practice — Thea van Tuyl and Mirjam de Keijzer
International Issues — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Jan Tritten
The First Hour After Birth — Michel Odent
Supporting Survivors throughout the Childbearing Year — Joy Horner
New Research on Preeclampsia — Gail Hart
German Midwifery Politics — Cornelia Enning
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm Open to all registrants
Physiological Birth: The Musical! — Lara FairyLove Stockbridge
The author wrote this on the train from Belgium to Switzerland after the Global Midwifery Council’s decision to make stages of physiological birth more widely known because insurance protocols and fear were creating a medicated “normal” across the globe. Filled with tunes from the end of the 20th century, this jolly little jaunt gives clear direction and inspiration to all those who wish to birth in joy and beauty. The play is participatory and so much fun—come sing, act, dance, and laugh.
Sunday • 24 October, 2021 • Conference Day Three
9:00 am – 10:15 am General session
Scientific Basis for Traditional Techniques — Gail Hart
Many of our traditional “folk cures” are more than superstition: There is science to support them. Come find out why our ancestors believed that certain herbs or particular techniques were effective.
Concurrent sessions G1 through G4 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
G1 Posterior Arrest — Elizabeth Davis
Not all babies in posterior positions experience an arrest during labor. Discover why some babies pass through the pelvis just fine and others get stuck at the inlet. Learn specific hands-on maneuvers for addressing posterior arrest that are non-invasive and available to anyone, as well as internal repositioning maneuvers that every midwife should know. Case histories will be presented and special circumstances explored.
G2 Eye Contact at Birth — Cornelia Enning
In order to enhance eye contact and autonomy, both mother and newborn need to take certain steps at birth. Humanizing birth requires the enhancement of the newborn’s locomotor effort, with baby finally landing back in mother’s arms. In addition, at birth, the mother helps the newborn turn to a face-to-face posture—a unique behavior of our human species. While a visually bonded newborn will easily breastfeed, missing that first eye contact can generate nursing problems—something experienced by blind mothers. We will show videos on substituting this visual step of bonding in postpartum care as well as exploiting the power of water in birth. Cornelia believes that newborns have the best visual ability underwater due to the development of the visual system in amniotic fluid. Come see this theory in action at Aqua Day (Monday, Oct. 26th in Vital Therme).
G3 Care for Your Pelvic Floor — Lara FairyLove Stockbridge
Love your pelvic floor is lovingly supported discussion, exercise, drawing , journey and singing to create a tangible connection to our pelvic floor. Come join us in this truly enjoyable class.
G4 Uncommon Complications — Carol Gautschi
Learn about how to be prepared for “anything and everything”! Birth stories will be used to illustrate assessment techniques, problem solving and ways in which practitioners can build their self-confidence in dealing with various emergency and unusual situations. You will learn about how to be more prepared for uncommon complications that you may encounter: unusual bleeding, thrombocytopenia, meconium, neonatal jaundice, hematoma formation, signs of embolism, and more. Learn about how to manage these while keeping the family and yourself calm. Bring questions and cases to study.
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch on your own
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm General session
Thousands of Babies, Thousands of Ways — Joy Horner, Dianne Garland, Gail Hart and Sally Kelly
These midwives share their calling, their vision and their wisdom from over a century of combined experience. Hear their stories and learn from their practical advice.
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Closing general session
Birthing in Love: Everyone’s Right — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Jan Tritten, and Elena Piantino
After a long, loving weekend together we should all be ready to go back to our respective practices and help women achieve this beautiful goal and right of birthing in love. In this class we will give each other the encouragement to do just that!