Conference Program

Bad Wildbad, Germany • 17–21 October 2018

“Birthing in Love Changes the World”

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 • Pre-Conference

Choose one full-day class: A1 – A5 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

A1 Midwifery Skills, Part 1Gail Hart, Sally Kelly, and Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos

Note: Two-part class, A1 and B1; you may sign up for one or both days.

9:00 am – 10:15 am
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.

10:15 am – 11:30 am
Preventing Complications with Prenatal CareGail Hart
Identify and examine the clinical, nutritional, psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects of prenatal care. We will learn about how to evaluate and nurture the emotional, physical, and psychological well-being of pregnant and birthing women. As with all prenatal care, the goal is to have a healthy baby and birth.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
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 needed? Let’s look at what the evidence says about risks and how to mitigate them, discuss how to monitor the prolonged pregnancy, and learn how to balance protocols with common sense.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Sense-able MidwiferySally Kelly
Sally will teach about reclaiming the art of palpation and auscultation in a climate of increasing mechanization.

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Neonatal Resuscitation with the Placental Circulation IntactGail 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 that don’t require high technology for implementation.

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Trusting Yourself to Trust BirthEneyda Spradlin-Ramos
What forces shape our approach to birth? Do we bring confidence and positive expectations or fear and apprehension? Learn 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 Rebozo Techniques and PracticeThea van Tuyl and Mirjam de Keijzer

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 bring comfort and relaxation during 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. Thea and Mirjam co-wrote the book The Rebozo Technique Unfolded, with Naolí Vinaver.


A3 Heart and Hands: Sustainable MidwiferyElizabeth Davis

How do we keep our hands skilled and our hearts open in the face of the personal and political stresses our work contains? We will practice simple techniques for setting good boundaries and clearing our energy fields quickly and effectively when difficult situations arise. Learn new ways to help clients address previous traumas—whether sexual, physical, emotional, or obstetrical—before they give birth, with evidence to support the importance of this prenatal clearing. Explore simple time- and energy-saving approaches to caregiving that work holistically in any practice setting. Identify core midwifery skills that we must preserve in order to uphold our autonomy. The political/legislative aspects of sustainability will also be discussed, as we strategize our future.


A4 Breech WorkshopMichel Odent, Carol Gautschi, and Cornelia Enning

9:00 am – 10:30 am
Research on BreechMichel Odent
Michel will cover the research that shows most breech babies do better by the vaginal route. He will also cover which breeches may do better by cesarean.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Physiological BreechCarol Gautschi
Carol will cover usual and unusual variations as well as when and how to help.

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Mechanisms of Breech and ManeuversCarol Gautschi
Come join Carol as she teaches about normal and abnormal mechanisms of breech. She will also share maneuvers and how to get babies out that do not come out readily.

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Breech in WaterCornelia Enning
Join Cornelia in this part of the breech workshop to learn how to work with breeches in water. Breech birth in water is safer, in part because it 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.


A5 Spinning BabiesJennifer Walker, Spinning Babies Approved Trainer

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 is so much more to learn about this time-worn concern.

The class is full.


5:15 pm – 6:30 pm | Open to all registrants
Christian Midwives MeetingEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Carol Gautschi facilitate

All are welcome.

Thursday, 18 October 2018 • Pre-Conference

Choose one full-day class: B1 – B5 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

B1 Midwifery Skills, Part 2Elizabeth Davis, Tine Greve, and Gail Hart

Note: Two-part class, A1 and B1; you may sign up for one or both days.

9:00 am – 10:30 am
Shoulder DystociaGail Hart and Tine Greve
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 about new methods, new mnemonics, and the latest research!

10:30 am – 12:00 pm
The Beauty, Power, and Uniqueness of BirthElizabeth Davis
The true beauty of birth is in its power to transform not just the mother but all who witness it. What is the foundation of this power at the physiologic level, and how can we best support it? Why are some births more difficult than others when we least expect it? Let’s share our insights on births that have surprised, shocked, or disturbed us, as we explore the great mystery of birth, along with aspects of healing for both client and practitioner.

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Second Stage IssuesGail Hart and Tine Greve
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.

3:10 pm – 4:30 pm
MalpresentationsGail Hart and Tine Greve
Learn about the myths and realities of malpresentations. Learn about factors that increase the likelihood of a malpresentation. The teachers will discuss how to identify different types of malpresentations and discuss techniques for assessing and dealing with them. The teachers will present many tips for helping with malpresentations so birth can move forward and be achieved. Bring your techniques to add to this body of midwifery knowledge.

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Self-Care for MidwivesElizabeth Davis


B2 Comfort Techniques for Midwives and DoulasDebra Pascali-Bonaro
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 can make us better midwives or doulas. Registrants at previous conferences have raved about it, calling it fun and informative.


B3 Placenta Science and PracticeCornelia 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.


B4 Childbirth in the Scientific Context of 2018: One Thousand and One Possible TopicsMichel Odent
At a turning point in the history of life on Planet Earth, midwives are in a position to raise avant-garde questions. Should we expect an evolution of Homo in relation to the way babies are born? What is the future of underused physiological functions? Can we understand the basic needs of laboring women in the light of modern physiology? Is there a future for midwifery? Can humanity survive the neutralization of the laws of natural selection by reproductive medicine? Are human beings able to phrase vital questions before it is too late? Michel has been—directly or indirectly—involved in childbirth for more than 60 years. He has practiced on the European and African continents and has experience with hospital births and homebirths. Bring your burning questions to this vital session.


B5 Releasing the PelvisElaine Stillerman
This hands-on class will use myofascial release, muscle energy technique, trigger point release, strain/counterstrain, Swedish massage, and other appropriate modalities to free the pelvis of musculoskeletal restrictions that may prevent fetal engagement, slow labor, and cause discomfort. These modalities will be explained, demonstrated, and practiced in class. Particular attention will address the lower lumbar muscles (erectae spinae and quadratus lumborum) and their relationship to the cervical spine, the iliopsoas, piriformis, and other hip rotators, and other pelvic structures. Midwives and doulas may be amazed at the ease with which these hand-saving techniques work and how easily they can be adapted to a variety of birth positions. Proper body mechanics for midwives and doulas is emphasized. Please bring a pillow, lubrication, one flat sheet, and one towel.


5:30 pm – 9:30 pm | All are welcome
International Doula Meeting
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 are 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. Self-pay dinner option available through Kurhaus.

Friday, 19 October 2018 • Conference Day One

9:00 am – 10:20 am | Opening general session
Birthing with Love Changes the WorldJan Tritten, Michel Odent, and Vijaya Krishnan
Come learn from midwives and a physician how love can be manifested wherever you care for motherbaby and each other. Love is the essence of life. Love is possible in all birthing situations; it can be taught, it must be modeled, and it can change the world!


10:30 am – 11:30 am | General session
What Do We Do at a Birth?Gail Hart, Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, and Michel Odent
If the attendant is afraid at any point in the birth s/he may do actions that are not only unnecessary but dangerous; such as hurrying the birth, not waiting for rotation, pulling on the head of the baby, cutting the cord to resuscitate, and so on. Let’s calm down and think about what we are doing. We are placed at the pivotal point of facilitating optimal birth that will set this baby and mother onto the path of the healthiest life possible. Let us embrace this sacred trust with humility and faith in the process but also with the knowledge of when action is necessary.


Choose one class: C1 – C4 | 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

C1 Orgasmic BirthDebra Pascali-Bonaro and Elizabeth Davis
Time and again, when Debra and Elizabeth have presented this material around the world, women have come forward to say they never told anyone about their orgasmic birth experience, fearing they would be marginalized or ridiculed. Time to bring Orgasmic Birth out of the closet! Explore the physiology of orgasmic birth, what works for and against it, and ways to open up this possibility with prenatal preparation and during the birth itself. Learn new ways to help your clients transform pain to pleasure.


C2 Resolving 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. Come learn about Gail’s ideas.


C3 Demedicalizing a Physiological ProcessMichel Odent
The common element for disturbing birth through the millennium, which was accelerated in the past century, is human interference. Let’s explore how to mammalize birth while keeping the spiritual dimension. Birth for humans is a mammalian event—one where the primitive brain must take center stage.


C4 Massage for BirthEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Elaine Stillerman
Our teachers will explain why massage is essential for pregnant and birthing women and show practical application. They will discuss the importance of healing touch as a preventive tool and safe remedy for the pregnant, laboring, and postpartum woman. This is a hands-on class where you will have opportunity to practice massage.


Choose one class: D1 – D4 | 2:45 pm – 4:15 pm

D1 Eat, Promote, and DoulaDebra Pascali-Bonaro
How to take your business and your message online. This class is also for midwives. Take care of yourself and market your birth business! Come develop a plan to promote your business with interactive strategies to engage and grow your audience. We all have an important message to share. Learn or expand how you use the various tools from social media, blogs, websites, e-newsletters, and other online business tools to unlock your potential and share your passion! A nurturing surprise awaits you as you doula and midwife yourself through the ever-changing and expanding online world!


D2 Applying Love and Joy to Your PracticeEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Vijaya Krishnan
We will explore what gives us joy in our midwifery practice and look at joy in birth from the mother’s point of view. We will discuss how we can reclaim, sustain, and nurture love and joy for mothers and midwives.


D3 Birth, Breastfeeding, and Bonding: It Matters How We Are BornTine Greve
This class will focus both on the normal physiological parameters for a good breastfeeding start as well as the disturbance of the physiological processes. Physiological birth is an involuntary process orchestrated by neurochemicals and hormones that unfurl in a woman’s body. These processes prime the motherbaby dyad for breastfeeding and bonding after birth. What happens to motherbaby when these fine-tuned mechanisms are disturbed by interventions such as induction, augmentation, or epidural?


D4 Caring for Women with Trust, Intimacy, and Love in LossSally 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.


4:30 pm – 5:30 pm | General session
Newborn Babies Need Love, Microbes, and StressMichel Odent
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.). Newborn babies are supposed to be colonized by friendly microbes that immediately educate their immune system; until recently, all microbes were considered enemies. 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.


Around 7:30 pm
Music in the Kurhaus by the orchestra “Stadtkapelle Wildbad”

Saturday, 20 October 2018 • Conference Day Two

9:00 am – 10:15 am | General session
Midwifery and Childbirth in ChinaMeng Xue (Jenny)
There is great change happening in China in both practice and philosophy. Jenny has been on the forefront of making this change. Jenny runs a school to teach midwives the Midwives Model of Care and also is in leadership in the 80,000 members of the midwifery association there. She has worked tirelessly to make China a good place to have a baby. She will present some of the many changes happening in this country that holds nearly one fifth of the world’s population. How people are born there and everywhere is of utmost importance!


Choose one class: E1 – E4 | 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

E1 Hemorrhage: Prevention and ManagementGail Hart
Many episodes of excessive blood loss are either preventable or foreseeable and easily controlled. It is important to facilitate the delivery of the placenta with patience. Learn about techniques and approaches that render the need for pharmaceuticals rare. You will learn how to assess and deal with bleeding in a way that will increase your confidence.


E2 Birth Positions in Prenatal CareUrsula Jahn-Zoehrens
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, should help the soon-to-be mother find the knowledge in herself: “I can give birth.”


E3 Nurturing and Hosting the Birth EnvironmentCarol Gautschi
In the multitude of recommendations, thoughts, and opinions, there are basics in birth that are constants. The natural surroundings of birth are infused with delicacies that can be fragile and, if disengaged, can send the journey into unwanted outcomes. Let’s gather around the mystery and fascination of the birth-tide—this powerful surge of feeling or trend of events—and discover what and how to enhance the journey. This session will be interactive.


E4 Loving through LaborDebra Pascali-Bonaro
Releasing oxytocin with pleasure is a key component of a safe, satisfying, and pleasurable birth. Join Debra as we love ourselves and increase our production of oxytocin; exchange tips and tricks to bring more love to ourselves, our clients, babies, and partner; and bring everyone into a loving oxytocin high to create ease and pleasure in birth and life! This class includes Science, Smiles, and Secrets you won’t want to miss!


Choose one class: F1 – F4 | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

F1 Lessons from Spinning BabiesJennifer Walker, Spinning Babies Approved Trainer
Spinning Babies offers a unique way to answer the question, “When do we take action in a long or painful labor while still supporting a physiological model?” Supporting birth without interference is what we strive for. Learn to open the three levels of the pelvis to make space where the baby is waiting for rotation and descent, restore balance, and help motherbaby.


F2 Breastfeeding Is BestfeedingTine Greve
Breastfeeding is an essential part of mothering. Explore evidence-based realities. When problems arise, mother and baby need a lot of encouragement. Learn the fundamentals along with the political initiatives that have helped to re-instill “breast is best.” In Norway, more than 98% of term babies are being breastfed when leaving the maternity ward. Learn how this was achieved, step-by-step.


F3 Using Evidence to Improve Your PracticeGail Hart
What is new in midwifery? Where is the search for evidence taking us? We will look at the new research on nutrition, supplements, oxygen, protocol revision, and new understanding of natural processes and alternative methods of preventing common problems such as GBS, preterm birth, and preeclampsia. We will hopefully use this evidence to greatly improve our practices.


F4 Empowering Women for BirthMirjam de Keijzer and Thea van Tuyl
How can we help empower women for birth? This can be done with practical prenatal teaching. Fear in birth can be avoided with practical tools like relaxation (including the rebozo), breathing, positions, and knowledge of the body. We will work with the body in several ways and pay attention to the pelvis and pelvic floor.


3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | General session
Tricks of the TradeEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Jan Tritten facilitate
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; using placenta, membranes, and cord for hemorrhage control; 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.


5:00 pm – 6:30 pm | Open to all registrants
International Issues in Midwifery and BirthJan Tritten, Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Meng Xue (Jenny), Debra Pascali-Bonaro, and Vijaya Krishnan
Brainstorm with us and your peers on how we can effect changes in midwifery and childbirth on the global level. Let us know what is going on your country. Learn about the midwifery and birth movements going on around the world and how you can help. We can make changes for the better with knowledge of global possibilities. We will share techniques, systems, and political and educational ideas that will help you further the midwifery model in your sphere of influence.


8:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Open to all registrants
Cabaret and Potlatch
This fun evening will include “Journey Dance: Moving Our Hearts and Spirits” with Debra Pascali-Bonaro and “Inductiomania,” a play by Michel Odent. The cabaret is for everyone to show their many talents whether in song, dance, or whatever you do that you would like to share. Bring your ideas to Tine Greve and Sally Kelly and they will make a program!

A “potlatch” is a traditional giveaway practiced by Northwest Native Americans. Our potlatch plan is to have each conference participant bring a gift to give to another participant. We suggest something for midwifery practice or something from your heart or country.

Sunday, 21 October 2018 • Conference Day Three

9:00 am – 9:45 am | General session
Why Is This Baby Breech?Jennifer Walker, Spinning Babies Approved Trainer
Spinning Babies proposes that babies fit in the space available. Jennifer will discuss why being inverted on a slant board or manually turning the baby is sometimes ineffective. She will introduce the physiology of body balancing for fetal positioning.


9:45 am – 10:15 am | 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.


Choose one class: G1 – G4 | 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

G1 VBAC Skills for the MidwifeGail Hart
What are the actual risks of VBAC, and what are the benefits? We will concentrate on all the things you can do as a health professional to help clients have the safest VBAC possible. Learn about restoring the faith that a VBAC is a natural and safe way to give birth for most women. We will explore ways to help women complete the circle—from cesarean through vaginal birth. VBAC pregnancy, labor, birth, and healing will be discussed. This class will offer you the most recent research and time to share a few beautiful stories of women who have made it.


G2 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.


G3 Supporting Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse in ChildbirthSally Kelly
Pregnancy and birth bring up many conflicting emotions in women who have been sexually abused. Learn how to help these women by using individual attention and love.


G4 Waterbirth Practice, Practicalities, and New DiscoveriesCornelia Enning
Cornelia will explore the many benefits and ways of using water in birth and will discuss its unique properties—psychological as well as physical. Waterbirth allows a woman to give birth undisturbed and in dignity. It has medical advantages for mother and child. Breech, OP, and twin births all benefit from waterbirth. The ease of attending births in water is a joy. Cornelia will address concerns about water labor, waterbirth, and potential risks. She will report on clinical findings, current research, and models from various places around the world, and share her direct experience as a waterbirth midwife.


2:00 pm – 3:00 pm | General session
Autonomous Midwifery: The Key to the FutureElizabeth Davis
The key to joy and love in our work as midwives is professional autonomy. To truly protect our clients from the devastating experience of medicalization in birth, it is essential that midwifery be an autonomous profession. When we work autonomously, we are free to modify practices when new evidence shows this to be appropriate, instead of being stuck in protocols that are not evidence-based simply because they are “standard of care.” Midwifery at its best focuses on motherbaby well-being rather than on standardized norms and timelines. Learn how our autonomy is being threatened country to country, and discover new strategies for reinstating full-scope midwifery care in our individual practices and on an international scale.


3:15 pm – 5:00 pm | General session
Roundtables
In this well-loved Midwifery Today format, you’ll sit in on three interesting and inspiring roundtables of your choice.
Roundtables will include:


5:00 pm – 5:30 pm | Closing general session
Birthing in Love Does Change the WorldJan Tritten, Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Carol Gautschi, and Tine Greve
Learn how you can incorporate love into your practice. Love is the very purpose of our calling to help motherbaby in their journey. Our future is one filled with hope, love, and passion. We will discuss ways each of us can take this beautiful work forward. The closing will be interactive and includes an inspiring presentation in photos and music to recap the conference.


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