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Midwifery Today Conference

Eugene, Oregon • March 31 – April 3, 2019

“Reclaiming the Joy of Midwifery and Birth”

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Sunday • March 31, 2019 • Pre-Conference

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Registration


3:00 pm – 4:30 pm | General session
* Miraculous BeginningsFernando Molina
Miraculous Beginnings is a celebration of pregnancy and birth where moms and dads 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 dad actively participate in the miracle of creation.


4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Dinner at Centro de Fe, courtesy of Midwifery Today.


6:30 pm – 8:00 pm | General session
* Prolonged Pregnancy: Waiting, Watching, WorryingGail Hart
What to do when the due date comes and goes? What are the real risks of prolonged pregnancy? How do we correctly identify the postdate baby and assess for signs of postmaturity syndrome? How do we know when it is time to intervene, and how do we intervene when it’s needed? Let’s look at what the evidence says about risks and how to mitigate them, discuss how to monitor the prolonged pregnancy, and pursue how to balance protocols with common sense.


8:00 pm – 9:00 pm | General session
* Fact and Fiction in Midwifery and ObstetricsGail Hart
Many busy birth practitioners find it difficult to keep up with new research—and even more difficult to separate fact from fiction. Let’s look at the newest data, information, and research and update our knowledge about some common issues. What’s the “real deal” about postdates, fetal testing, active management of labor (third stage), probiotics, vitamin supplementation, anti-hemorrhage medications, and more.

* = CEUs already granted by ACNM, and also accepted by NARM, as well as other organizations.

Monday • April 1, 2019 • Conference Day 1

9:00 am – 9:30 am | Opening general session
Reclaiming the Joy of Midwifery and BirthEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Jan Tritten
We open with a reminder of the awesome calling we as midwives, doulas and nurses have within our world. Our calling is responsible for the foundational health and well-being of society. Let us bring to birth the delight we know is possible. Let us discover the joy that we as midwives should be experiencing in our profession. We will ponder these ideas together for three days. Together we can learn how to reclaim it.


9:30 am – 10:30 am | General session
* Birth and the Human FutureMarion Toepke McLean
Pregnancy and birth affect the future of mother and baby and therefore society. Evidence from the microbiome studies, including studies on behavioral implications of the hormones at birth and on the “opening” of the amygdala with the human gaze, suggest that birthing practices influence mother, baby and their culture long term. Come and learn the latest research on this important topic.


10:30 am – 11:30 am | General session
Microbiome: What You Need to KnowCarol Gautschi
This presentation explores the human microbiome and how it affects the human being inside the womb and throughout the life span. We will discuss the fetus and intrauterine life, labor, birth, and the first hours and days after birth. Because maternal and newborn practices following birth set the stage for the rest of the child’s life, the importance of not disturbing this delicate balance is emphasized. Practices to encourage microbial seeding in the newborn will be explored.


11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Lunch


1:00 pm – 2:30 pm | Choose one class: A1 – A4

* A1 Shoulder DystociaGail Hart
Do you know that the clues of the impending development of shoulder dystocia can help us actually prevent its occurrence? Gail will discuss the mechanical and physical causes of shoulder dystocia; the associated risk factors; the symptoms and signs to predict it; how to prevent it; and how to remedy it. She will analyze tools and methods used to overcome panic reactions and demonstrate effective treatments.


A2 Supporting Trauma and Abuse Survivors through Pregnancy, Birth, and PostpartumMaryl Smith
As many as one out of three women are survivors of trauma (abuse, neglect, violence). Certain aspects of the childbearing experience can potentially reopen emotional wounds, activate unhelpful coping mechanisms and cause further trauma. Learn how to identify these special women and care for them in a way that is healing instead of re-traumatizing. Plan ways to adapt your relational style to her individual personality in a way that meets her unique needs. We can do so much to generate positive outcomes, ensure greater satisfaction with the birth experience, and facilitate bonding with the newborn in trauma survivors. This experienced and dynamic teacher will help you learn how.


A3 Sustainable BirthRobbie Davis-Floyd
Based on a forthcoming volume by that title and on some of the models from Birth Models That Work, this talk focuses on the characteristics of sustainability, presenting sustainable birth models from around the world as examples of what it takes to develop models that are safe, effective, woman-centered, and sustainable over the long run.


A4 Posterior ArrestElizabeth Davis
Not all babies in posterior positions experience an arrest during labor. Discover why some babies pass through the pelvis just fine, and why others get stuck at the inlet. Learn about 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.


3:00 pm – 4:00 pm | General session
* Understanding PreeclampsiaGail Hart
The puzzle of preeclampsia is finally being solved. Learn the latest theories of how preeclampsia develops, new criteria to detect the condition, and how to discern between the various hypertensive states of pregnancy. Knowing more about these puzzling conditions can help us identify those at risk, reduce the incidence, and improve outcomes.


4:00 pm – 5:30 pm | General session
Second Stage Issues and InsightsElizabeth Davis and Maryl Smith
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 the primal birth dance. Our teachers will share the protocols and techniques they use to help the mother move through the pushing stage of labor.


5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Dinner on your own—with your new friends!


7:00 pm – 8:15 pm | General session
* Embracing the Heart and Science of BirthFernando Molina and Robbie Davis-Floyd
We need to preserve and protect normal birth while maintaining balance with what is lifesaving and available in each birth situation. Our attempt to strive for this balance affects how we care for birthing women, and is guided by the heart and science of birth. Let heart and science walk hand-in-hand.

* = CEUs already granted by ACNM, and also accepted by NARM, as well as other organizations.

Tuesday • April 2, 2019 • Conference Day 2

9:00 am – 10:30 am | General session
* Newborn Babies Need Love, Microbes, and StressFernando Molina
According to emergent scientific disciplines, we know the following: Newborn babies need maternal love; this need has been ignored for thousands of years (routine separation of mother and babies, delayed initiation of breastfeeding, etc.). Until recently all microbes were considered enemies; however, newborn babies are supposed to be colonized by friendly microbes that immediately educate their immune system. Until recently the word “stress” had an exclusively negative connotation, yet, the stress induced by uterine contractions has a positive role to play in the development of human beings.


10:30 am – 12:00 pm | Choose one class: B1 – B4

* B1 How the Moments of Birth Affect the FutureFernando Molina and Marion Toepke McLean
Each birth is unique and the motherbaby relationship sets the pattern for much of life. Respect for the dyad and nurturing the natural process of birth can bring optimal health. Physiological birth is the secret to lifelong health.


* B2 New and Old: Techniques for Controlling and Preventing HemorrhageGail Hart
Excessive blood loss is often preventable or is controllable without medication. It is important to understand the full process of third stage and to facilitate the delivery of the placenta correctly. Can active third stage management still be supported as the wider body of evidence accumulates? Let’s look at the evidence and learn techniques to reduce hemorrhage when routine oxytocics are not accessible. Gail will discuss how to handle third stage problems with non-pharmacological and manual methods that are frequently quicker-acting and more effective than medications. Gail will also discuss uterine compression and the use of the placenta, cord, and membranes for hemorrhage control; a revival of these midwife techniques could save many maternal lives worldwide.


* B3 A Recent History of American Midwifery: What Your Pioneering Predecessors Did to Give You the Chances You Have TodayRobbie Davis-Floyd
Drawing on the results of her 10 years of research on American midwifery, published in Mainstreaming Midwives: The Politics of Change (2006), Robbie will describe the development of nurse-midwifery and direct entry midwifery in the United States, and the creation of two direct entry certifications—the Certified Midwife and the Certified Professional Midwife. She will also examine the complexities, political strife, and efforts at resolution that have characterized the evolution of midwifery in America.


B4 Alternatives to Suturing and Tear PreventionCarol Gautschi
Tear prevention is multifaceted and involves everything from maternal diet and lifestyle to how we work with the birthing mom during the birth of her baby. When a tear does occur, there are alternatives to the normal medical model of suturing. This class will assist you in learning skills to help prevent or minimize perineal damage as well as ways to assist in the healing process using techniques that do not include suturing.


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Lunch


1:30 pm – 2:45 pm | General session
* The Deeper Physiology of Birth: Intuition, Entrainment, Bonding, and HealingElizabeth Davis
In ways we are only now beginning to appreciate, the physiology of birth enhances intuitive abilities in both the mother and her supporters. Heightened oxytocin levels prompt bonding among all members of the birth team, including care providers. This deep level of connection/entrainment supports the emerging family, but it can also pose problems for birth attendants who lack effective techniques for processing difficult births or other personal traumas. Parents and practitioners alike need tools for healing so that the culture of birth and family may reach its highest growth potential.


3:00 pm – 4:15 pm | General session
* The Power of Ritual: How People Think, What They Believe, and WhyRobbie Davis-Floyd
This presentation will explore the nature and uses of ritual in rites of passage and in daily life, with special emphasis on its roles in engendering belief, enhancing courage, effecting healing, and transforming individual consciousness. In the medical realm, ritual takes on special importance. It defines appropriate procedure, indicates proper training and competence, and serves as an essential buffer against the fear of dealing with out-of-control natural processes. Ritual’s courage-enhancing and habituating effects can be used wisely in medicine.


4:30 pm – 6:00 pm | Open to all registrants
International Midwifery and BirthEneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Marion Toepke McLean, Anita Rojas, and Jan Tritten
We can learn so much about our own practices with knowledge of resources from around the world. Join this session to get a global view of birth and to improve your own skills and practice. We will share techniques, systems, politics, and ideas that will help each of us further the midwifery model in our sphere of influence. We can make changes for the better with knowledge of global possibilities.


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dinner on your own—with your new friends!


8:00 pm – 9:30 pm | General session
Tricks of the TradeEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Jan Tritten and you!
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 sessions have included facilitating effective contractions, dealing with prolonged labor, preventing perineal tears, helping the slow-to-start baby and holistic first aid. 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.

* = CEUs already granted by ACNM, and also accepted by NARM, as well as other organizations.

Wednesday • April 3, 2019 • Conference Day 3

9:00 am – 10:00 am | General session
* Waterbirth and Using Water in LaborCarol Gautschi
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.


10:00 am – 11:30 am | General session
* Research in MidwiferyMelissa Cheyney
Do you have a research question you have always wanted to be able to answer? Do you secretly like statistics or feel like you would be good at ethnographic writing? During this session, Melissa will discuss ways you can get involved in cutting-edge midwifery research. From serving as a content expert on an ongoing project to designing your own original research module, Melissa will cover the basics of getting started. From submitting human subjects review protocols, to funding, publication, and graduate school, find out how you can be part of a growing body of research that is helping to reshape US maternity care.


11:30 am – 12:00 pm | General session
Our Eyes and Non-verbal CommunicationEneyda Spradlin-Ramos
What do the eyes say? Why do newborns and their mamas seek each other’s eyes in that profound gaze of the early hours of life? Research evidence on communicating through eye contact throughout life will be shared.


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Lunch


1:30 pm – 3:30 pm | Choose one class: C1 – C4
C1 Breech BirthCarol Gautschi
Carol begins with turning breech babies. This class will help you develop your skills if turning doesn’t work and the parents and midwife decide to do a vaginal or home breech birth. Breech birth is not for beginners though everyone is welcome in this class: you never know when one will surprise you. We will cover palpitation skills, estimating fetal weight, amniotic fluid, mechanisms of breech labor and communication with baby by touch and words. We will begin with basic skills and hands-off overview as well as waterbirth for breech.


* C2 When the Healer Is Healing, TooMaryl Smith
This class is uniquely designed for midwives, doulas, and other birth practitioners who desire to develop deeper self-awareness of the ways their own life trauma impacts their care for others. It is for those who are looking for effective methods that will assist them in guiding clients through the healing journey while their own heart is healing. Although the focus will be on sexual abuse, this content can be applied to emotional, physical, or spiritual abuse, domestic abuse, neglect, social marginalization, abandonment, and even recent birth trauma as a care provider. In short, anyone can benefit from the content.


C3 Rebozo Techniques and PracticeEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Anita Rojas
The origin of these techniques and traditions from Mexico goes back thousands of years. We will learn 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 promote healthy pregnancy and birth. You will learn many “new” old techniques you can apply immediately to your practice. Time for hands-on practice will be provided.


C4 Hands-on MidwiferyElizabeth Davis
Don’t let technology make you lose your hands-on skills. Midwives “see” with their hands. Hands and senses are our best tools. Elizabeth will explain the true art of hands-on care, including the why, what, and how of working with women in a way that uses our hands, senses, intuition, and the ability to observe.


3:45 pm – 4:45 pm | Closing general session
Reclaiming the Joy of Midwifery and BirthEneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Anita Rojas, and Jan Tritten
Closing words and singing circle. Let’s unite for the benefit of motherbaby, families, and each other. Let’s explore the theme, “Joy in Practice.” What gives us joy in our midwifery practice? What do we see when we look at joy in birth from the mother’s point of view? We will discuss how we can reclaim, sustain, and nurture joy for mothers and midwives.

* = CEUs already granted by ACNM, and also accepted by NARM, as well as other organizations.

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