Strasburg, Pennsylvania 2020 Program

Midwifery Today Conference

Strasburg, Pennsylvania, USA
April 15–18, 2020

“Sharing Midwifery Skills”

Midwifery Today Conference

Strasburg, Pennsylvania, USA • April 15–18, 2020

“Sharing Midwifery Skills”

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Wednesday • April 15, 2020 • Pre-Conference

Choose one full-day class: A1 – A3 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

A1 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Midwifery Skills, Part 1Carol Gautschi, Gail Hart, and Beth S. Barbeau

9:00 am – 10:30 am
VBAC Skills for the Midwife and DoulaBeth S. Barbeau
What are the risks of VBAC, and what are the benefits? We will concentrate on all the things you can do as a health professional to help a client 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 provide you with a lot of facts and a few beautiful stories of women who have made it.

10:30 am – 10:45 am
Break and Hugs

10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Classical (Traditional) Midwifery—An Endangered SpeciesCarol Gautschi
It is time to redefine terms! As present-day “midwifery” incorporates an impersonal, medicalized mentality, midwives must rise up and reclaim the organic, life-infused roots of mamababy care, tenaciously preserving the old ways while embracing the new. We need to preserve the distinction between the art of midwifery and the field of medicine. Sensitive holistic care is key. Carol gives insight into how we’ve lost our way and how to reclaim it. Our first start is awareness. There will be interactive time, to add to the conversation.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch break

1:30 pm – 3:00 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. What works in one hospital unit is often different from that in 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 a high level of technology for implementation.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Postpartum HemorrhageCarol Gautschi
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 techniques and approaches that render the need for pharmaceuticals rare.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
How to Recover from a Shocking HemorrhageBeth S. Barbeau
Learn simple, affordable, and astoundingly effective tools to bring up mom’s hemoglobin swiftly while minimizing risk to her milk supply from the shock. Have the relief of literally watching the color come back into mother’s lips with the dissolvable items from your bag, the save-the-day trick in every Amish woman’s kitchen cupboard, and the Dollar Store home IV without needles.


A2 Breech Skills WorkshopMary Cooper and Diane Goslin
We will begin this workshop with a discussion of how to turn breech babies. This class will also address the skills needed when attempts at turning don’t work, and the parents and midwife decide to do a vaginal or home breech birth. Although breech birth is not for beginners, everyone is welcome in this class because you never know when one will surprise you. Learn the art and science of breech birth. Learn what factors may lead to breech presentation. We will also cover palpation skills, estimating fetal weight, amniotic fluid, and how to communicate with the baby through touch and words. We will discuss avoiding postpartum hemorrhage as well as special aspects of prenatal care. We will cover basic skills, including the hands-off approach and how to handle problems while staying calm. Frank, footling, and complete breech will be discussed, as well as cord prolapse, fetal heart tones, and recognizing intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and other complications of breech presentation. You will be exposed to ideas on using waterbirth for breech.


A3 Diastasis Recti: A Medical Problem during and after Pregnancy — Julie Tupler
Diastasis recti can cause many issues for women in pregnancy, including back pain, umbilical hernia, GI issues, and poor posture. It can even make pushing more difficult, leading to postbirth problems or an unnecessary c-section.

This full-day lecture and demonstration workshop will teach midwives about how to make diastasis recti smaller during and after pregnancy, using the research- and evidence-based four-step Tupler Technique Program. It will also teach midwives about effective pushing techniques as well as pre- and postnatal exercise routines. Participants will receive Perfect Pushing and Lose Your Mummy Tummy DVDs, the Tupler Technique Guidebook, and a diastometer.


5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Dinner break


6:30 pm – 8:00 pm | Open to all registrants; choose one or rest!

  1. Christian Midwives Meeting — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, facilitator
  2. Talk Story — Gail Hart, facilitator

Thursday • April 16, 2020 • Pre-Conference

Choose one full-day class B1 – B4 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

B1 Midwifery Skills, Part 2 (You are not required to take A1 to take B1) — Mary Cooper, Diane Goslin, Cathy Daub, and Beth S. Barbeau

9:00 am – 10:00 am
Prenatal Care to Prevent ComplicationsMary Cooper
The relationship between midwife and client helps to create a trusting birth experience. Learn how women’s bodies function differently when trust exists. Learn the heart of care during the prenatal period and how that affects the birth. Learn what you missed in midwifery school.

10:00 am – 11:00 am
Posterior PresentationDiane Goslin
The importance of positioning, maternal sense of control, and flexibility to approaches will be shared as well as how to do an early diagnosis. Prevent cesareans by understanding how to prevent and fix posterior presentations.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Improving Your Powers of ObservationMary Cooper
The art of safe, sustainable midwifery relies on attending to sometimes exquisitely subtle cues and the quietest of messages. Tune up your senses and learn the rewards of manifesting the “quiet alert state” as a midwife.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch break

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm
Having the Best Birth PossibleCathy Daub
Learn about normal labor and birth, including the physical as well as emotional aspects. Learn about ways to help moms avoid falling into the medicalization trap.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Getting Clear about Shoulder DystociaBeth S. Barbeau
One of the basics every birth attendant has to be utterly solid about is shoulder dystocia (SD). Let’s diffuse the anxiety and improve your care with simple clarity about how to minimize the risk of SD throughout third trimester care and the pushing stage, how to anticipate SD, when to take action, exactly what actions to take, and how to be ready for what comes afterwards. Doulas, too—your educated coaching can make the critical difference! If you have access to a teaching pelvis and newborn doll, please bring them.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Emotions of LaborCathy Daub
When a woman has learned what to anticipate before labor, yet knows there are likely to be surprises, she will be more likely to cope with whatever labor brings her. When silence prevails, the emotions of labor can be minimized so she can stay focused in her primal, instinctive brain that knows how to give birth. Predictable stress points in labor will be discussed, along with concrete suggestions for psychological and physiological methods that help a woman to cope with labor.


B2 Two half-day classes (You must sign up for both.)

9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Shoulder DystociaMaria Milton and Gail Hart
Our teachers will discuss the mechanical and physical causes of shoulder dystocia. They will describe symptoms and signs to predict it. They will analyze tools and methods used to overcome panic reactions. They will also demonstrate effective treatments. Gail will look in-depth at more than 14 maneuvers, and cover mnemonics and the latest research. Learn to identify different types of presentations, their likelihood and causes.

1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
MalpresentationsMaria Milton and Gail Hart
Learn about the myths and realities of malpresentations. Learn about what factors increase the likelihood of a malpresentation. Identify different types of malpresentations and discover 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 with good outcomes. Bring your techniques to add to this body of midwifery knowledge.


B3 Learning from an Amish Midwife — Edith Byler, Katie Joynt, and Carol Gautschi
These midwives, who serve the Amish community, share some of the practices that work best for them. Learn about how herbs are commonly used to treat pain, hemorrhage, a difficult breech delivery, or shoulder dystocia. They will discuss how to use chiropractic techniques during pregnancy, in labor, and after birth—helping to ensure that the pubic bone, pelvis, and hips are aligned and that baby’s jaw is aligned. They will also talk about how their care continues after birth, with nutritious meal preparation, tasty teas, and home-brewed After Pain formula, among other practices. These useful techniques, such as body alignment and handcrafted birth tinctures, as well as social and cultural ways, are sure to give you some new ideas that will help you in your own midwifery practice. Carol will facilitate this class.


B4 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 will 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. Please bring a pillow, lubrication, one flat sheet, and one towel.


5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Dinner break


7:00 pm – 8:30 pm | Open to all registrants
Tricks of the Trade — Facilitated by Jan Tritten and Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos
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. We’ll start off this session with the facilitators each sharing a story of facing a complication and finding their way to a successful outcome, with a midwife’s inner resources and knowledge. Bring your best story to share! This is always a much-appreciated session, for its sense of sisterhood as well as its information.

Friday • April 17, 2020 • Conference Day One

9:00 am – 10:00 am | Opening general session
Sharing Midwifery SkillsJan Tritten, Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, and Maria Milton
Sharing of skills is exciting now because we have gleaned various ideas and techniques from all over the world. Travel and international conferences have expanded our horizons with new ideas, insights, and techniques. We will each share something we have learned from others and give you time to share as well.

10:00 am – 10:30 am | General session
Massage to Restart LaborEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Jan Tritten
Learn this easy technique to change the energy in a birth that does not seem to be progressing. It is one that can really alter the outcome of a birth. It is good to have in your set of skills.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm | General session
Amish and Mennonite Midwifery — Edith Byler, Katie Joynt, and Katherine Weaver
Plain peoples emanate mystery, challenges, and folklore. Have you ever wondered what it might be like to work in an Amish or Mennonite community—with little in the way of amenities and challenges that go beyond the typical? Our teachers are experienced and part of the Mennonite or horse-and-buggy Amish communities and have helped many babies come into this world! Hear of their experiences assisting plain and “English” (non-plain) birthing women. Come be inspired by their wisdom.


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch break


Concurrent sessions C1 through C3 | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

C1 The First Hour after Birth and the MicrobiomeCarol 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 baby 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.

C2 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 learn how to balance protocols with common sense.

C3 Tongue TiesBeth S. Barbeau
Have you noticed that tongue-ties have gone from rare to epidemic? When mothers suffer excruciating nipple damage and/or babies don’t gain weight, the cause is commonly an undiagnosed lip or tongue “tether.” This class will use visuals and cutting edge evidence to bring birth attendants up to speed on why “central line” defects are increasing; how to recognize, resolve, and possibly prevent them; the lifelong health implications of unresolved tongue-ties; and how to resolve them yourself simply.


Concurrent sessions D1 through D3 | 3:15 pm – 5:00 pm

D1 Alternative Remedies for BirthDiane Goslin
This class contains powerful information from Diane, whose knowledge comes from attending over 8000 births. You will learn about the use of herbs, homeopathics, and other natural remedies in birth. Learn practical uses of these remedies for your clients’ ailments and complications, such as using alternatives to halt a hemorrhage and how to keep your mothers well. This class is not just for novices but for everyone!

D2 Hemorrhage and Estimating Blood LossGail Hart
It is important to understand the full process of third stage and to facilitate the delivery of the placenta correctly. Let’s look at the evidence and learn 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. Gail will also talk about using the placenta, cord, and membranes for hemorrhage control.

D3 Optimal Pelvic Positioning: Working with GravityCathy Daub
When a mother is lying on her back, labor is more difficult and tiring and the ability of the sacrum to move is limited—yet most women today lie on their backs to give birth. Why not work with gravity rather than against it? In this hands-on class, participants will feel their own pelvis and how it moves in various positions, and learn about the Four Principles of Optimal Pelvic Positioning. They will then analyze labor positions that do or do not follow the Four Principles.


5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Dinner break


7:00 pm – 8:00 pm | Open to all registrants
International IssuesEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Jan Tritten
Brainstorm with us and your peers on how we can effect changes in midwifery and childbirth on the global level. This will be an interactive session, learning from the midwives present from the many different cultures represented. 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.


8:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Open to all registrants
Extraordinary NutritionBeth S. Barbeau
The effects of environmental contaminants on all populations today now require us to educate our families beyond “protein and salt” for the greater and changing needs of motherbabies. Learn the five nutrients needed to protect DNA from mutating, the missing mineral when babies fret all night, and inexpensive approaches for improved outcomes. Illustrated with pictures of families’ babies before and after, you’ll see the notable differences in the formation and behavior of their infants.

Saturday • April 18, 2020 • Conference Day Two

9:00 am – 10:00 am | General session
Respect in MidwiferyMary Cooper and Diane Goslin
Fostering respect in the birthing community is of paramount importance! Respect between mentor and students; respect between the midwife and birthing couple; respect between midwives and doulas present at same birth or in the community as a whole; respect between professionals (e.g., CNMs and CPMs); respect during transports from home to hospital; respect for the natural birth process (e.g., a couple desiring no vaginal exams); respect for other’s values and culture; respect for clients’ choices though different from ours.


Concurrent sessions E1 through E3 | 10:30 am – 12:00 pm


E1 Amish and Mennonite Practices — Edith Byler, Katie Joynt, and Katherine Weaver
If you missed the all-day session, this is a must. Edith and Katie will discuss how to use chiropractic techniques during pregnancy, in labor, and after birth—helping to ensure that the pubic bone, pelvis, and hips are aligned and that baby’s jaw is aligned. You will also learn about Katherine and her partner’s Mennonite practice. This is a time to discuss in-depth the details of these amazing midwives’ practices, so bring your questions.

E2 Twin BirthDiane Goslin and Mary Cooper
Our teachers have extensive experience with twin birth. They will discuss strategies for safe twin birth, including positioning, time of delivery, premature delivery, and avoiding postpartum hemorrhage, as well as special aspects of prenatal care. Twin-to-twin transfusion will also be covered. The teaching of “how to” skills as well as the telling of amazing birth stories are gifts of both of these highly-experienced midwives.

E3 Pushing in Labor — Julie Tupler
Pushing in labor is a skill that can be practiced during pregnancy so it is second nature in labor. Learn how the Tupler Technique Program teaches pregnant women how to push effectively in labor to prevent the side effects of pelvic floor prolapses, incontinence, and hemorrhoids.


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch break


Concurrent sessions F1 through F3 | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

F1 Expanding Your Birth “Toolbox”Beth S. Barbeau
Naturopathic skills and tools are varied, safe, and adaptable. Increase your motherbabies’ range of safety and expand your care with highly effective “go-to” natural remedies and techniques for such challenges as endless prodomal labor, cervical scarring/swelling, vomiting in labor, managing water imbalances pre/post birth, and getting motherbabies emotionally/physically “unstuck.” Illustrated with practical examples from Beth’s 40 years in birth, this lively class will increase the repertoire of beginning doulas and experienced midwives.

F2 Prolonged LaborGail Hart
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 about different reasons for prolonged labor, as well as methods for helping women move along in labor. Learn methods to help differentiate pathological labor from simple prolonged labor. Analysis of myth and reality will also be discussed.

F3 Feeling Centered and Calm in BirthCathy Daub
Fear is a paralyzing emotion that causes body guarding, which is the opposite of the “letting go” needed to give birth. Birth is sacred. Birth is instinctive. Birth is love. Yet love and fear cannot be accessed simultaneously in the human body: we are in either one or the other. The more calm a woman is in labor, the better her labor can progress. In this class we will explore the magic of oxytocin—the hormone of love, experience energy fields, and learn practical ways to stay focused on the body wisdom that knows how to give birth.


3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | General session
Racism and Its Effect on Birth and MidwiferyMaria Milton and Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos
Racism affects us all; let us choose to look openly at our history, pick a better path, and walk side by side as birth practitioners in cultural humility. This talk will point us toward successful models and hopeful trends in bridging cultures and reducing disparity in birth outcomes as we move forward. Develop your sensitivity to racial issues by learning to discern the subtle meanings conveyed by language and demeanor.


5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Dinner break


6:30 pm – 8:00 pm | Open to all registrants
Changing HumansBeth S. Barbeau
Human biology, fertility, and function are changing and affect communities worldwide and locally—from rural Amish to urban mainstream. Birth attendants are at the cutting edge of this wave of environmental damage and its consequences and are uniquely positioned to educate for change at the family level. From the environmental and agricultural contaminants we must help families avoid, to the specific minerals needed to protect their genetics for normal babies and birthing, we’ll cover the evidence and the practical, immediate, and long-term solutions. We hope you will leave empowered to create informed and proactive solutions for the health and gardens of motherbabies and families you serve.

8:00 pm – 8:30 pm Sharing Midwifery SkillsJan Tritten, Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, and Maria Milton
We will have closing words and a singing circle. Let’s unite for the benefit of motherbaby, families, and each other. Our future is one filled with hope, love, and passion. We will discuss ways each of us can take this beautiful work forward and what we got out of the conference.


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