Sunday, March 29, 2009

Controversies in Childbirth Conference

I have spent the last 3 days at the Controversies in Childbirth Conference here in Ft. Worth. I had no idea what to expect, and I must say, it exceeded my expectations. There were roughly 200 people attending from all over the country. Midwives of all types, doulas, educators, family practice doctors, OB/GYN doctors, nurses, community health workers, attorneys, etc. It was great.

I took pages and pages of notes, so I'll be reporting on it, probably, for weeks. My house, as you can imagine, has fallen apart while I've been away, so I'll be catching up with laundry and doing some major clean up. I did want to share some of the highlights of the conference through pictures, however.

I got to meet Debra Pascali-Bonaro, the director of "Orgasmic Birth" and even eat lunch with her and some other fantastic women who are "movers and shakers" in the world of birth. She also started out as a Bradley Instructor many years ago before moving on to other things. It was fascinating to hear how the movie came about. I'll share more about that later. She was a delightful person.

I recently read a book called "Homebirth in the Hospital" by Dr. Stacey Kerr, a Family Practice doctor working in CA. I didn't realize it at the time of reading it, but she was asked to be a speaker at the conference. It was exciting to get to meet her and get to know her a bit. If all women could have a doctor like that by their side when they give birth, we'd certainly be in good hands. It's a fabulous read, for anyone interested. It also has a chapter in the back of the book written for the doctor who is interested in implementing a program like hers into his/her practice. Amazingly, I bought mine at our local Barnes and Noble.

The next person I met was the President of Choices in Childbirth in NY, Elan McAllister. You'd recognize her from "The Business of Being Born." In fact, my favorite "feel good" quote from the movie comes from her -- when she describes that moment in birth where you think you just can't do it, and then you do it, you "scale the wall." She was great. Definitely a person making a difference in a big way. She is very involved in The Birth Survey, which I will talk more about later. She said that my movie cover is the first she's ever been asked to sign! I hope it was as fun for her as it was for me.

The last person I got an autograph from and picture with was Robbie Davis-Floyd, who appears in all the recent birth movies. She is the anthropologist who gives so much history of midwifery and really helps us understand where we came from, where we are, and where we are going, in terms of birth in not just this country, but in the world. Again, I have lots to share from her talks at the conference.

It was such a privilege to meet all these women who are making such big differences in the world of birth. They truly do it for the women and the babies. Stay tuned for lots of exciting information from the Conference.


Monica said...

Wow, that must have been so much fun and very inspiring!! Thanks for wearing the necklace ;)

Carmen said...

Can't wait to hear more and what a fantastic conference so happy you got to be a part of it! Thanks for always looking out for us!!!

publichealthdoula said...

Wow, I am so jealous! Please tell us all you can from the conference, I'm really curious.

April said...

It would have been fun to come with you, but I was busy watching your daughter. lol! I can't wait to hear all about it!! I'm so glad that you got to go.