Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Midwifery Today Conference

I was lucky enough to attend Friday at the Midwifery Today Conference in Eugene, Oregon. Not only did I get to see familiar faces, but I got to meet new people, learn new skills and have a great time.

We had a small meet up of a few members of the Organic Birth group from Facebook. Not too many people showed up, but there was so much to see and do that I can hardly blame anyone for forgetting.

The general session included talks by Jan Tritten, Mickey Sperlich, Elizabeth Davis, Gail Hart and Penny Simkin. I enjoyed them all, but Gail has a way of getting her point across with humor while being able to underscore the importance.

Some tidbits from the General Session:
Jan Tritten: For every year your last baby is breastfed, you get one more year of protection from diabetes.

Elizabeth Davis: There is nothing normal about birth... it is ecstatic, transforming, extraordinary and orgasmic!

Gail Hart: When a newborn baby is skin to skin with Mom, they have a higher blood saturation and a more stable blood sugar. Babies who are separated from Mom or wrapped tightly in blankets do not fare as well.

Penny and Mickey had terrific talks as well, but they were a bit more complex and technical and hard to quote a quick nugget.

After lunch, I went to Kara Spencer's class on Bodywork for the Pelvis. Kara does craniosacral therapy and massage. This was an interesting class where we learned a lot about how to apply this technique as well as use the rebozo and other techniques to help reposition baby and help labor along.

Next was Massage for Labor and Birth with Elaine Stillerman, Kara Spencer, Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Naoli Vinaver. This was a terrific class on using acupressure points, massage, the rebozo and all sorts of physical tricks to help a labor along and reposition posterior babies.

I did not attend Dr. Michel Oden't's talk, or the Womb Dancing session. The Tricks of the Trade session was hosted by Gloria Lemay and Gail Hart, two of my favorites. This session was full of laughter, sharing and wonderful tricks to help everything from latching a baby on to emptying a waterbirth pool. It was a joy to be there. Many of the physical tricks we learned were graphically demonstrated... while we all learned much and laughed, I can't help but wonder what the hotel staff thought of all us crazy women. But then, they may be used to it... the conference is held here every other year.

It was a day I won't soon forget. Thank you, Kori, for letting me volunteer so I could get a day at the conference. I look forward to many more in the years to come.


Gloria Lemay said...

Great post, Toni. I loved meeting you in the flesh. I'll be posting my photos soon and will send you the link when they are up on the www.

Keep up your good work. Gloria

Toni said...

Thanks, Gloria! Great meeting you, too!

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