Belgium 2013

Midwifery Today Conference

Blankenberge, Belgium • 30 October – 3 November 2013

“Autonomous Midwifery: The Key to the Future”

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Photo courtesy Duinse Polders

Dear midwives, doulas, and other birth lovers,

We are so excited to invite you to a Midwifery Today international conference for the first time in Belgium! This event will be at the beautiful seaside town of Blankenberge.

love, jan

P.S.—Please read the testimonials below to give you an understanding of what these conferences mean to many who attend.

Learn from These Inspiring Speakers!

Please click linked names to view speaker biographies.

  • Suzanne Colson
  • Hilde Curinckx
  • Elizabeth Davis
  • Robbie Davis-Floyd
  • Mirjam de Keijzer
  • Soo Downe
  • Cornelia Enning
  • Carol Gautschi
  • Tine Greve
  • Gail Hart
  • Els Hendrix
  • Lieve Huybrechts
  • Michel Odent
  • Debra Pascali-Bonaro
  • Marlene Reyns
  • Verena Schmid
  • Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos
  • Jan Tritten
  • Gail Tully
  • Thea van Tuyl

Attend These Exciting and Informative Classes!

These are some of the topics we plan to present at the conference. Please see the conference program for the complete list of classes.

  • Physiological Analgesia in Labor
  • Waterbirth
  • Rebozo Techniques and Practice
  • Placenta Medicine
  • Homebirth: Research, Safety and How to Do It
  • Special Massage for Restarting Stalled Labor
  • Spinning Babies — Sorry; this class is full.
  • Authentic Midwifery in Hospital Practice
  • And many, many more

Monday, 4 November Summit:
Birth Rights in the European Union: Mobilizing Change

Please see the full program listing for this summit here.

This one-day summit on the Monday following the MT conference, will explore the intersection of law and midwifery from a human rights perspective.
The summit will be led by Hermine Hayes-Klein”, “HAYES-KLEIN”)%>, who put on the “Human Rights in Childbirth” conference in The Hague in 2012. The summit is presented jointly by Midwifery Today and Human Rights in Childbirth (HRiC)

HRiC will convene consumers, birth professionals, and lawyers, from countries across Europe, who are engaged in lawsuits that evoke the 2010 case of Ternovszky v. Hungary. Conference participants will work toward the creation of a road map for political action capable of making human rights a reality for birthing women everywhere.

Conference Location and Accommodations

The conference will be held at Duinse Polders, a beautiful retreat site with good food and a lovely ambiance.

Hotel Price: €60.00 per person per day, includes breakfast, hot lunch, cold dinner and overnight stay. Each room has a private bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet. Cleaning service is not included; sheets and towels are changed weekly. There is an additional fee of €5.00 to have your bed made on arrival. Rooms and studios are available from 3:30 pm and check-out time is 9:30 am.

Booking: You must mention that you are part of the Midwifery Today group when you book in order to get this price. You may book using the phone number or address below.

Duinse Polders
Phone: +32 (050) 43 24 00
Address: Ruzettelaan 195
B-8370 Blankenberge
[email protected]

Deposit: A 25% deposit, paid by bank transfer, is due within 14 days of booking. Duinse Polders will send an invoice for the deposit amount. The balance for the reservation is due one month before your arrival date. Last minute bookings may pay by cash, Visa or MasterCard on arrival, but the Midwifery Today room block is only guaranteed until 31 August 2013 (special two-week extension of original deadline), and we don’t expect rooms to be available on a last-minute basis.

Hotel cancellation: A cancellation two months in advance of your stay will receive a 50% refund of your deposit. There are no refunds for cancellation less than 21 days before your stay.

Important: The rooms are held for the Midwifery Today group only until 31 August 2013 (two-week extension of original deadline). You are urged to book your rooms by that date because the hotel books up many weeks in advance.

How to reach Blankenberge

By air (

Belgium has one international airport (Brussels International Airport) and four regional airports (Antwerp-Deurne, Charleroi-Gosselies, Liège-Bierset and Ostend-Middelkerke). A train from Brussels International Airport to Blankenberge will be far less expensive than a taxi. The distance is approximately 120 km.

After arrival in Blankenberge, you can take the coast tram, following directions to Knokke. The tram is 1–2 km from the station.

By train (

The ride from Brussels Airport (Zaventem) to Blankenberge lasts about 1.46 hour but you need to transfer in Brussels Midi. A one-way ticket (from Zaventem to Blankenberge) costs €14.

To reach Brussels Midi: From 6:00 am until nearly midnight, the Airport City Express links the airport with Brussels Midi (less than 20 minutes) four times per hour. The train station is located in the basement (Level -1) of the terminal building itself. Timetable information for the Airport City Express is available on the Belgian Railways (SNCB/NMBS) website; enter Zaventem Airport as the departure or destination station.

International trains, including Thalys (Paris, Amsterdam and Köln) and Eurostar (London, Lille) bring you to Brussels Midi, where the same transfer is necessary.

The train ride from Brussels Midi to Blankenberge takes approximately one hour and 13 minutes. This train leaves Brussels for Knokke-Blankenberge. In Bruges the train is separated into two parts: the front part goes to Knokke and the last carriages to Blankenberge. So, you need to sit in the last carriages. If any doubt, ask the ticket inspector.

By coast tram (

With the coast tram you can travel along the entire Belgian coast, from De Panne to Knokke. There is a tram every 20 minutes. The price depends on the number of “zones” you need to cross: one zone = €1; for one additional crossed zone = €0.40; maximum price = €3 (one-way ticket). You may also purchase “there and back” (round trip) tickets, to use on the same day.

By car:

Belgium has a highly developed motorway network, the densest in the world. High-capacity motorways are centered around Brussels or cut across the country. The motorways are supported by a network of expressways. Most of the motorways are part of European routes.

Some tips:

  • Avoid Antwerpen, as the traffic may be jammed due to road maintenance.
  • Use the A10-E40, following directions to Gent, Oostende, but leave the motorway at the traffic interchange Brugge, exit 8, and follow the N31/E403 express way, following directions to Blankenberge. Be careful as there are speed limits.
  • A city map can be found here:
  • Duinse Polders has a free large private parking lot. However, please be aware that the closer you come to the sea, the more vehicles are banned from the streets. Moreover there are many one-way streets. Parking meters must be used on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 9 am until 7 pm (€1 / h). During the week parking is free.

Read What Others Have Experienced at International Conferences

“Everyone was so friendly and warm, I felt I met my ‘tribe’! Thank you so much for this eye-opening experience. I will make sure to come back next time and bring colleagues!”

“I feel very fortunate to have had such an inspirational and educational week amongst such beautiful women who are involved in childbearing and birth all over the globe. Thank you so much.”

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