Midwifery Today Conference
Bad Wildbad, Germany, 21–25 October 2015
“Pillars of Midwifery: Insight, Information and Intuition”
Tuesday • 20 October 2015
What does Optimal MotherBaby Friendly Care mean to you? Join Debra and other IMBCO members for a day of inspiration, discussion and action. Learn from those who have implemented the 10 Steps of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative around the world, including CNN Hero Midwife Robin Lim whose work in Indonesia, the Philippines and the recent disaster in Nepal show us how these 10 steps provide the keys to safe, gentle birth in any setting. Globally it is a time of great change. We are moving from the Millennium Development Goals to the new Sustainable Development Goals. More research and initiatives support a woman’s right to choose her place and circumstance of birth. From human rights to quality care with love, join us for an overview of key events, documents and initiatives and together let’s advance our action plans as we support each other to bring the change and vision back to our communities that every MotherBaby deserves! Join our MotherBaby Network to learn more and invite your colleagues to join us.
Wednesday • 21 October 2015 • Pre-Conference
Immediate or early clamping and cutting of babies’ umbilical cords is the most widespread, medically sanctioned human rights violation on Earth. Together, we can make this a thing of the past. May our babies all be blessed by our patience.
In medieval times, placenta powder and essences were part of holistic care by midwives in cultures around the world. 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. Teach families you care for how to make the most natural remedy from their placenta. Learn how to dry placentas. Come learn about this important modality. The speakers will also give insight into “Microbiome + Placenta.” The best adapted microbiome for a newborn or baby is the microbial substance in his or her placenta. The book Placenta: The Gift of Life by Cornelia Enning makes a perfect resource for this important class.
Acupuncture can be very useful during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. Learn about different conditions that can be helped and hear about the use of acupuncture as pain relief during birth. Acupuncture becomes more deeply effective on specific organs if the needles have been dipped into placenta essence. Peter talks of amazing experiences.
Midwives of all backgrounds, doulas and other birth professionals desire more knowledge for preventing and correcting malposition in pregnancy and labor. Learn to identify the posterior position, avoid the ROA/LOP mix-up, identify flexion vs. extension, and understand asynclitism. Learn the difference between a lull in labor and actual cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD). New strategies and traditional techniques to assist fetal rotation without invasive measures will be covered. You may be surprised that there was so much more to learn about this time-worn concern. Please note: Class size is limited to 35. Register early to reserve a space.
Experience a full day of information about the use of herbs, homeopathics and other natural remedies in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Slides will be shown for plant identification and there will be demos for making herbal tinctures, oils and salves and homeopathic solutions from pellets. Come and learn some new tips and uses for your favorite remedies. This class is for everyone. “Lisa gives more tips and remedies in this single class than most of us get in all of our schooling,” says Jan Tritten.
Ibu Robin, CPM/doula/grandmother, had her first baby at home 39 years ago. With the arrival of her guru-baby, she became a BirthKeeper, like all moms. Ibu Robin’s work as a BirthKeeper has taken her from post-terrorist bombed Bali, to Aceh after the tsunami, to the Philippines in the wake of the super typhoon, and to Yogyakarta, Haiti, and Nepal in the aftermath of earthquakes. In these high-risk, low-resource settings, Ibu and the disaster relief midwives have proven that gentle birth saves lives and helps to heal communities after they are devastated. She is the author of 19 books and recipient of several prestigious awards (see Robin’s full bio for more details). Topics of the Day with Ibu Robin will include: Childbirth, Breastfeeding & Culture, Human Rights in Birth, Vampires in the BirthRoom, Placenta—the Forgotten Chakra, and more. Participating BirthKeepers are encouraged to make this time their own…what would YOU like to share?
Angelina will discuss positioning, remedies, techniques and customs from Mexico. The origin of these techniques and traditions goes back thousands of years. We will learn how to use a rebozo, a very useful tool in all parts of the childbearing cycle in relation to preventing and dealing with complications. Discover simple techniques that promote healthy pregnancy and birth. This course will add greatly to your knowledge. You will actually practice what you are learning under Angelina’s watchful guidance.
All are welcome.
Join Debra Pascali-Bonaro and representatives from the European Doula Network for an update on doulas in the European Union and around the world. All our welcome to join the discussion, share your challenges and successes of being a doula, working with doulas or having a doula in your community. We will discuss recent recommendations for the inclusion of doulas as a missing or underused aspect of quality, respectful maternity care. No charge; please join us.
Thursday • 22 October 2015 • Pre-Conference
Every birth is the result of a magical process that was initiated by conception and then was followed by various stages of development in the womb, where the unborn child receives the introductory lessons about trust, empathy, love, sadness, anxiety and all basic human emotions. This gentle physician will guide us as practitioners how to teach about this magical process. Fernando will teach us about how to help a mother reconnect with her wisdom as a pregnant woman, go within her inner silence to connect with herself and her baby, and rediscover her divine power to give birth. All these insights need to happen before her baby starts getting ready to emerge from the womb of creation as he or she is bathed in the cocktail of love hormones.
Enjoy this full day of sessions that will present the most current breech research, demonstrate basic breech skills, increase your knowledge of breech complications and offer you plenty of time to get all of your questions answered. Our teachers together are experienced in breech birth and bring years (even decades!) of experience to share with you.
Learn about the many research studies on breech birth and what an examination of them tells us.
Angelina is known as one who can turn most breech babies. Learn about this gentle art from her.
Using many approaches, we will explore why breech occurs and how it can be managed.
Waterbirth may enhance breech birth in many ways. It improves fetal oxygenation by increasing uterine blood supply during immersion. Frank breeches need no special maneuvers because water eliminates gravity. Mobility of the mother in water allows better interaction of the baby through the pelvis. Any maneuvers that may be required are easier in water.
Explore the art and science of breech delivery. Learn what factors may lead to breech presentation and when external version is contraindicated. This panel also covers the mechanism of normal breech birth compared to a stuck breech and presents techniques for handling both. You’ll spend time with each of the teachers as they circulate among small groups of participants.
These classes are designed to improve and enhance your midwifery skills and knowledge. This is a great class for beginning and advanced midwives.
Learn how to evaluate and nurture the emotional, physical and psychological well-being of pregnant and birthing women. Prenatal care is vital to normal birth.
Birth is an Old Brain function. Disturbing birth is harmful and violates the instinctual nature that protects the necessary movement from new to old brain. Immediate and long-term effects to bonding, breastfeeding, biology, behavior and basic well-being are immeasurable and unnecessary, even for special needs situations. The simple principles learned from undisturbed birth can be applied to all birth practices, sites and situations. Renew your instinctual knowing and find answers to reducing unnecessary interventions and creating environments that support spontaneous birth.
Learn about herbs and how to access and administer them. Learn 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.
This session will help the caregiver understand the effect that emotions have in the outcome of labor. We will learn about predictable stress points in labor and offer concrete suggestions for psychological and physiological methods that can be used to improve the birthing woman’s ability to handle labor.
This class is designed to introduce the use of herbal and natural medicine to care for the newborn. Common concerns such as umbilical cord care, natural eye care and cradle cap will be addressed.
Our birth culture of fear and managed birth are placing our mothers in danger throughout the world. Learn how creating community-based village prenatals can help mothers turn “instinct injury” into “instinct intelligence.” Wisdom is passed on through the gathering of women who have birthed in power and professionals who have an opportunity to take off their hats and co-create a village that feeds the body, mind and soul of our birthing mothers, no matter what setting or type of care provider they have chosen. It takes a village and together we are changing the birth culture back to joy and connectedness.
Women who are coping well with labor have some things in common: relaxation, rhythm and ritual (the 3 Rs). Debra 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. This intensive course will make us better midwives or doulas. Registrants at previous conferences have raved about it, calling it fun and informative.
Our teachers discuss the mechanical and physical causes of shoulder dystocia; the associated risk factors; symptoms and signs to predict it; and how to remedy it. They will analyze tools and methods used to overcome panic reactions and demonstrate effective treatments. Come learn new methods, new mnemonics and the latest research!
Our teachers will share the protocols and techniques they use to help the mother move through labor. This discussion will include prolonged rupture of membranes, failure to progress, abnormal labor patterns, non-medical intervention and more. Listen to these experienced midwives discuss constructive and effective ways to handle both normal and difficult situations. Bring your questions and experiences to what promises to be an exciting class.
Share the techniques you’ve perfected in your practice or bring your questions to this roundtable of 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 and inspiring information.
Friday • 23 October 2015 • Conference Day One
The strength of midwifery, the oldest of all healing professions, has three foundational pillars, Insight, Information and Intuition. Based within the context of community and loving care, these pillars give the irreplaceable support a motherbaby needs to grow, birth, bond, breastfeed and develop a long-lasting sense of well-being and belonging.
The Old Brain has intelligence the New Brain can learn to trust.
Evidence needs to inform practice.
Without this pillar we miss a huge part of what we need in birth care. Elizabeth wrote a whole book on this important subject.
Come early to get your choice. Choose one roundtable discussion:
How do we get a long labor to progress? Long labors may be associated with complications ranging from social or emotional issues to physical problems. We will learn different reasons for prolonged labor, as well as methods for helping relieve difficulties. We will discuss rules and protocols and the evidence to support or refute them. Learn prenatal factors that may help allay looooong labors.
Ursula wants to share with midwives from other countries what midwifery care means in Germany. Prenatal care is the key for good birth. For 25 years Ursula has been working with pregnant women to understand what they can do before and during birth to have their babies in a good way. She feels it is essential for women to engage their full being through movement, vocalizing and breath. She promotes having women practice physical movements, for example using a birthing ball or a cloth (rebozo). This practice, together with good care and support through the whole pregnancy, the soon-to-be mother should find the knowledge in herself: “I can give birth.”
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. We will focus on how maternal positions and associated birth environments affect childbirth outcomes.
“What’s that you want me to do?” Baby’s head is tipped as if listening for advice. “I’m a bit stuck.” Understand the role of the pelvic floor in asynclitism and learn about a technique to make room for the head to come down. Wear comfortable stretch or yoga pants to try the technique with a friend. Bring a massage table if you are local and have one, please.
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.
A midwife with vast knowledge of traditional Mexican massage teams up with a massage therapist from the US. They will explain some of the many techniques used by midwives in Mexico and the rest of the world. You will have time to practice these techniques. Mexican traditional massage is used for everything from fertility treatments to prenatal, birth and postpartum indications.
What is intuition, and can we learn to rely on it? How much a part of the midwife’s art is based on it? And what role does it play in the birthing process—for midwife and mother alike? This class explores the physiological underpinnings of intuition, links intuitive ebbs and flows to the monthly cycle and certain brainwave states, and includes practical suggestions for cultivating our intuitive abilities.
Gail will share the protocols and techniques she uses to help a mother to move through the first stage of labor. This discussion will include prolonged ruptures of membranes, failure to progress, abnormal labor patterns, non-medical intervention and more.
Gail Tully offers a spatial explanation of pelvic levels, five specific types of shoulder dystocia and physiologic techniques to match. Resolve stuck shoulders quickly. Cornelia Enning shares her unique experience with standing waterbirth and explains how to resolve shoulder dystocia in the tub. She teaches how to change the mother’s position to get space in the pelvic outlet. Many women know intuitively how to move in water for solving the stuck shoulder.
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. You will learn many tips for helping these babies to move into better position for vaginal birth. Bring your techniques to add to this body of midwifery knowledge.
Magical 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 celebrate the gift of conceiving, schooling in the womb and delivering a child, together with their midwife or other health provider, we all become part of this magical process. From this perspective, pregnancy and birth are what they are meant to be: joyful and sacred, with mom, baby and dad actively participating in the miracle of creation.
Emergent scientific disciplines have taught us the following about birth. 1) Newborn babies need maternal love: This need has been ignored for thousands of years (as seen with routine separation of mother and babies, delayed initiation of breastfeeding, etc.). 2) Newborn babies are supposed to be colonized by friendly microbes that immediately educate their immune system; until recently all microbes were considered enemies. 3) The stress induced by uterine contractions has a positive role to play in the development of human beings; until recently the word “stress” had an exclusively negative connotation.
Sign up with Ursula at the desk for a lovely surprise evening. Ursula plans a little walk with candles through the forest and a dinner together.
Saturday • 24 October 2015 • Conference Day Two
Neuroscience has shown that the structural organization of the unborn baby’s brain depends on effective firing and wiring of neurons. Parallel to this, in the womb babies receive their first lessons of basic human emotions. Therefore it is important that parents create an atmosphere of love, happiness and relaxation during pregnancy, because the constant production of stress hormones can affect the brain architecture of their babies. Practitioners can guide parents to bring baby the best possible start while still in the uterus.
Water is a great facilitator of birth. Many complications can be handled effectively in water. Postpartum hemorrhage, breeches and twins will be discussed. First aid for depressed babies will be covered. Learn why water is often the best medium for birth with certain complications.
Tear prevention is multifaceted and involves everything from maternal diet and lifestyle to how we work with the birthing mamma 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.
Analyzing the various techniques used around the world brings the “surprising” conclusion that neonatal resuscitation methods are a cultural, not a scientific, norm. Several resuscitation programs have attempted to standardize teaching, only recently admitting that their instruction has not been based on evidence, that “better” may be doing less rather than more, and that some methods have done almost as much harm as good. These teachers will discuss differences they see in both the literature and real life settings around the world. They will present the concept of safe and effective physiological resuscitation methods which don’t require high technology equipment for implementation.
Even if you work in a conventional medical setting, there are ways to practice autonomously, even if you do not work in continuity of care, and even if your time with clients is strictly limited. Learn how the holistic model of care can support this, from initial exam to birth attendance, with a few simple tricks for encouraging self-reliance in your clients. Discover the importance of self care in midwifery: how to set boundaries, be fresh for each client, and do your work in a way that is sustainable.
As midwifery incorporates more and more of an impersonal, medicalized mentality, let’s return to the old ways without discounting the new, and preserve the distinction between the art of midwifery and the field of medicine.
Every birth practitioner should know how to perform their role in any setting, whether a modern surgical suite or a mud hut without running water using only their manual skills and the equipment available. Discover lower tech ways to make birth safer in those regions where the technology simply is not available, or to prepare to be able to provide care during a national disaster. Do you know how to work without medications or IVs? What would you do if you did not have your equipment and supplies at a birth? Would you be lost without your “stuff”? Let’s look at what is truly essential for birth—which routines can be abandoned or modified, and how we can improvise when necessary.
This class contains powerful information from a midwife whose knowledge comes from attending over 5000 births. You will learn about the use of herbs, homeopathics and other natural remedies in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Learn about practical uses of these remedies for hemorrhage and other complications, as well as for general wellness. This class is for not just for novices but for everyone!
Many episodes of excessive blood loss are either preventable or 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 about techniques used where routine oxytocics are not accessible and which render the need for pharmaceuticals rare. You will learn about how to assess third stage and deal with complications to reduce the risk of excess blood loss.
How much attention do you pay to fetal position? Malposition is frequently cited as the primary cause of “failure to progress,” which, in turn, is a major indicator for cesarean section. Learn about how you can stem the tide in your practice by assuring the best position possible ahead of time. Angelina and Gail Tully will share time-honored tips for detecting unfavorable positions and their favorite ways to approach each problem, including: use of a rebozo (traditional Mexican technique); gentle, unmedicated external cephalic version; and various other proven manual and non-manual methods for repositioning babies.
Classical midwifery care is built upon relationship and intuition, skills that require time and patience to cultivate. Carol will help you see the invisible realms of these foundational paths and give you practical insights on how to truly listen to women.
Brainstorm with us and your peers on how we can effect changes in midwifery and childbirth on the global level. Learn about the midwifery and birth movements going on around the world and how you can help. Learn about being a first responder in a disaster. We can make changes for the better with knowledge of global possibilities. We will share ideas that may help you further the midwifery model in your sphere of influence. A discussion of the Global Midwifery Council and the International Alliance of Midwives will be covered.
Jan Tritten, facilitators
The cabaret is for everyone to show their many talents, whether in song, dance or whatever you do that you would like to share. Get together with colleagues from your country to present something special from your country: maybe a national song or dance. Debra Pascali-Bonaro will lead us in “Journey Dance” to start this favorite event! Bring your ideas to Eneyda and Jan and they will make a schedule of events.
Sunday • 25 October 2015 • Conference Day Three
Women’s and babies’ human rights have been overlooked in today’s birth environment. We need to take a long hard look at our practices and protocols and make sure we are putting motherbaby first. We need to speak out for a widespread and radical change in the way we approach birth. Join us to see in what ways we can propose good birth practices that respect human rights. We will explore the many different ways we can be with women, giving them respect, dignity and opportunities for informed decision. First, do no harm.
Learn about how to be prepared for “anything and everything.” Fernando will cover assessment techniques, problem solving and ways in which practitioners can build their self-confidence for dealing with emergency and unusual situations. You will learn about preparing for uncommon complications you may encounter: bleeding, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), hematoma formation, amniotic fluid embolism and more. Learn about how to manage these while keeping the family and yourself calm. Bring questions and cases to study.
Women’s bodies: top front and bottom; we’ll talk about often unspoken subjects of irritations to our most sensitive body parts. Frequently these problems are caused by contact with products that we don’t even know are the cause. This is a fun class for all of us who own these parts and want to keep them functioning well, and, of course, who want to help our clients with these parts, too. Lisa brings over 50 years of midwifery and herbal experience and a great sense of humor to her sessions.
What are the real risks of prolonged pregnancy? How do we 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. We’ll discuss how to monitor prolonged pregnancy, balance protocols with common sense, and determine fetal well-being.
Observing, rushing, checking, talking, questioning, language, coercion, bullying, threats, fear, power over, If-Then statements, use of professional position or knowledge, evading, ethnic prejudice, meanness; these common communication experiences increase fear for the mother and the provider. The spiral of this cycle can be turned into power and a newfound trust in birth. We will study “the joy factor,” the intelligence of undisturbed birth, the wisdom of village prenatal and the movement of new brain to old brain where knowing replaces knowledge.
In this well-loved Midwifery Today format, you’ll sit in on three interesting and inspiring roundtables of your choice. Roundtables will include:
We need to raise the standard of integrity in midwifery and replace competitiveness with loving support for each other and the families we work with.
We can reclaim the art of midwifery. The health of society is riding on loving midwifery care. Join us for this powerful, song-filled closing.
Monday • 26 October 2015
Germany Waterbaby parents will demonstrate Neonatal Watertraining, Sauna for Motherbaby and Babyswimming. Register at the conference at the “Wasserbabies” desk or e-mail Cornelia Enning at email@example.com.