Sessions and Presenters
Educators and Birth Professionals

ONE-DAY CONFERENCE SESSIONS

KEYNOTE SESSION: PREVENTING CHALLENGING BIRTHS THROUGH CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION
Naolí Vinaver, Traditional and Professional Certified Midwife, Speaker, and Educator

A thorough understanding of physiological, emotional and psychological processes has been proven to have a great impact on pregnant women’s birthing experiences. Challenges in birth often stem from a lack of flow in the birth energy, which in turn can get minimized when the mother has familiarity and an understanding of her body, as well as the empowering tools available to her.

RESEARCH UPDATE: HEALTHY BIRTH PRACTICE #1 - LET LABOR BEGIN ON ITS OWN
Debby Amis, BSN, former RN, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE

Is routine induction at 39 weeks a “done deal”? In this session, Debby will discuss guidelines and recent research from around the world about the optimal time for routine labor induction. She will also discuss the factors that childbirth education students should consider when making an informed decision about elective labor induction.

FEEDING FRENZY: PLANNING THE FIRST 48 UNCOVERED
Tomesha D. Walker, LCCE, CD (DONA), CBC

Feeding timelines for healthy and medically fragile/ NICU infants' birth and immediate feedings can go array. We'll discuss how to plan, execute and adjust to complement the Healthy Birth Practices, promote and facilitate healthier feeding timelines for healthy and medically fragile/ NICU infants.

PRENATAL PREP USING THE BIRTH BALL: IMPROVE YOUR CLIENT'S PREGNANCY, LABOR & BIRTH EXPERIENCES
Emily Wannenburg, DNDM, CLC, AdvCD(DONA), HBCE, AFAA, 4TFM

Up-skill and expand your offerings to your pregnant clients with evidence-based practices using the birth ball. Add purposeful movement to your prenatal meetings - in person or virtually. You will learn 7 strengthening and stretching exercises for pregnant people in all stages of pregnancy, as well as best practices for use in labor and birth for optimal client experiences. Have your own birth ball ready and a mat and get ready to roll through this fun session with laughter and purpose!

PREPARING THE BODY FOR PHYSIOLOGIC BIRTH
Melissa Lennox, MBA, RYT, RPYT;Founder, Yoga For Birthing™;Yale University Certificate in Anatomy of the Chest, Neck, Abdomen, and Pelvis;Spinning Babies Workshop Attendee

Prenatal yoga supports physiologic birth by bringing the body into an optimal state for birthing by achieving a balance of strength & suppleness of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) in the pelvis; releasing fascial adhesions; and teaching the birthing person how to access a parasympathetic nervous system state. In these sessions, you’ll learn tips and tools to support your clients in pregnancy and birth, including practical tips such as environment design, (lighting, sound) breath work, and verbal cueing. Participants will have the opportunity to practice with Melissa while learning how they can bring these yoga techniques to their own childbirth education classes.

RECLAIMING SEXUAL PLEASURE DURING THE CHILDBEARING YEAR: TEACHING SEXUALITY FROM CLASS ONE
Mary Jo Podgurski, RNC, EdD, LCCE

Sexuality is often ignored during the childbearing year. The presenter is the author of the textbook Reclaiming the Sexuality of Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum (publication pending, Routledge Press). This session provides practical interventions for incorporating information on sexuality throughout a childbirth class.

TRAUMA INFORMED CARE AS A UNIVERSAL PRECAUTION FOR PERINATAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Mechell Duran, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, CDCES, BC-ADM, NBC-HWC, LCCE

This session will discuss the importance of incorporating a trauma-informed approach during the perinatal period. Trauma is pervasive in our society with most adults reporting the experience of adverse childhood events. During the perinatal period, these events lead to adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes such as perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, pre-term birth, low birth weight and impaired or delayed bonding. Trauma-informed care as a universal precaution expects the presence of trauma in the lives of parents being served being careful to not replicate it. In this presentation, trauma-informed care will be explored as a framework with practical ways those providing services during the perinatal period can apply them to their practice.

OBSTETRIC VIOLENCE: THE ROLE OF THE CHILDBIRTH EDUCATOR
Hillary Melchiors PhD, MPH, LCCE, CD(DONA)

Awareness of obstetric violence is growing both on social media platforms, amongst birth professionals and scholars, and in expecting families too. How can we as childbirth educators help our students? Using examples from my own practice, this session will illustrate ways that childbirth educators can help students not only recognize obstetric violence but also advocate for themselves. Helping students to know the standards to which they should be holding their providers is imperative, because helping students put a name to the behavior is the beginning of accountability for obstetric violence. Childbirth educators have a unique opportunity to reach expecting families to help them raise expectations for their own care and know how to respond when they are not met.

RESTORING BIRTH EQUITY
Kay’La Mumford- Full Spectrum Holistic Doula and Doula Trainer, CHW, Executive Director of Birth & Embrace Communities Inc; Lakeeta Watts Full Spectrum Doula, CHW, Trauma Informed Trainer; Teresina Simmons RN, Wisconsin Perinatal Coordinator, Doula

The better birth outcomes we wish to see start with creating opportunities for equity-based care. All birthing people deserve to be informed, cared for, and comfortable to receive optimal outcomes and we will discuss some key components to achieving them. Breaking barriers and generations of damage begin here.

A MAP OF MATRESCENE: HOW PERINATAL PROFESSIONAL'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE IDENTITY SHIFT INTO MOTHERHOOD CAN BE PROTECTIVE OF MOTHERS' MENTAL HEALTH
Jessie Harrold, B.Sc.,MA, CD(DONA)

The transition to motherhood, or matrescence, is an identity shift that takes two to three years to traverse. Though we’re increasingly acknowledging the “first forty days” and the physical and emotional shifts that occur in the early postpartum time, the developmental process of matrescence remains unexplored territory. Research shows that having an awareness of the transition to motherhood as a transformational experience is protective of mothers' mental health. Our current lack of nuanced understanding of this process leads new mothers to feel isolated in their experiences, and also to the pathologization of the normal, but often challenging, the experience of this important life transition. During this presentation, participants will receive a "map" for this uncharted territory in our understanding of new parenthood, learning a framework rooted in rites of passage theory and adult development psychology that describes how matrescence unfolds, as well as tangible, evidence-based supports they can provide mothers at each step along the way.

Become Certified to Teach

Find a Local Class

Learn about the only accredited childbirth educator certification, the Lamaze Childbirth Educator Certification (LCCE).

Learn More

Find a Local Class
Search