Berkeley, CA – 2022 Program

Conference Program

Berkeley, California, USA • June 19–22, 2022

“Birth Revolution”

Sunday • June 19, 2022 • Conference Day 1

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Registration and Introductions

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm | Opening General Session
Birth RevolutionDiana Paul and Jan Tritten
We really need a birth revolution to change birth to the way it was designed to be. What is the future of midwifery and birth? What can each of us do to create a better future? What is your vision? We envision a future where every woman gives birth as she chooses and every baby is welcomed in gentleness and love. A future where all women have optimal pregnancies and births and every baby is healthy. A future where every family starts with this sacred and safe beginning. How do we get there from here? That is what our Birth Revolution is about!

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm | General Session
Wild Naked LadiesSenator Nancy Skinner, Charlie Toledo, and Jane Beal
A lady in labor, doing original work, reaching through rocky resistance to create something beautiful is, by definition, a Wild Naked Lady. Celebrate her! Just like a Belladonna Lily that grows best when left alone in nature and will not flower if removed from the wild, a Wild Naked Lady has learned to listen to her own instincts, to yield to Mother Nature’s design in order to birth something beautiful, good, and true. Join us as we hear stories from our WNL presenters.

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Checking Dilation without Vaginal ExamsGail Hart
For many women, a cervical exam in labor is not just uncomfortable, but emotionally intrusive. Sometimes an exam may be necessary, but there are other methods we can use to detect the progress of labor, and the position and descent of the baby. By including these traditional hands-off skills, we can often do a “hands-out” labor.

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm | Dinner Break

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm | General Session
A Laugh-Your-Baby-Out Night — Terry Harris
Join us for a fun evening of laughing, loving, and story. When Captain Terry Harris served in the Richmond Fire Department, he saw more than his share of emotional and physical fires and violence. But when he got a 9-1-1 call about a woman in labor, it was always an adventure. Captain Harris has birth stories from a uniquely inspired perspective.

Monday • June 20, 2022 • Conference Day 2

9:00 am – 10:00 am | Opening General Session
Visions and Dreams for Gentle Birth and Gentle MidwiferyJan Tritten and Lois Wilson
In this inspiring opening, we will discuss how we each play an important part in changing the birth future for mothers and babies, with a discussion of what other birthworkers are doing around the world. We encourage you to discover your dream and carry it out. Together we can continue the Birth Revolution.

10:00 am – 11:30 am
Autonomous Midwifery: The Key to the FutureLois Wilson and Deb Puterbaugh
One of the keys to joy in midwifery practice is autonomy. It is essential that midwifery be an autonomous profession. Autonomy gives us the freedom to modify our practices, rather than getting stuck in medically-based “standard of care” protocols that are not evidence-based and are often against our own intuition and integrity. Learn specific ways in which autonomy can help birthing women reduce unnecessary and risky intervention in birth and keep the joy in your midwifery practice.

11:30 am | Introduce Roundtables

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch Break

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Learn from the combined experience of these teachers and other participants. Always informative, sometimes heart-wrenching, it’s a unique opportunity to share. Rotating into three different groups, the registrants meet for three different classes. Choose three of the following topics:

Physiologic Transition of the Newborn — Gail Hart
Maternal Mortality Around the World — Marion Toepke McLean
Birth Revolution — Diana Paul
Stopping Hemorrhage — Deb Puterbaugh
Mothering as a Black Mother — Keniece Ford El
Fear in Midwifery and Birth — Jan Tritten
Posterior Babies — Lois Wilson

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Concurrent sessions A1 through A3: Choose one:

A1 Shoulder Dystocia Prevention and ManagementGail Hart
Do you know that the clues of the impending development of shoulder dystocia can help us prevent its occurrence? Gail will discuss the mechanical and physical causes of shoulder dystocia; the associated risk factors; the symptoms and signs to predict it; how to prevent it; and how to remedy it. She will analyze tools and methods used to overcome panic reactions and demonstrate effective treatments.

A2 Intuition and MidwiferyDeb Puterbaugh
What is intuition, and can we learn to rely on it? How much a part of the midwife’s art is based on it? And what role does it play in the birthing process—for midwife and mother alike? This class explores the physiological underpinnings of intuition, links intuitive ebbs and flows to the monthly cycle and certain brainwave states, and includes practical suggestions for cultivating our intuitive abilities.

A3 Labor DystociaMarion Toepke McLean
Set the stage for good births in prenatal care. Learn to identify your own risk criteria. Learn to look, listen, know, and act to prevent problems. Develop ways to inform and educate your clients about complications. Review the midwife’s role before, during, and after transport. Learn about how to handle specific complications as they arise.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Dinner Break

7:00 pm Film Night

Join us for the world premiere of NIA. NIA is the story of an African-American family who chose homebirth for their children. First with their son, Naeem, and then with their daughter, Nia. The birth of Nia was filmed 14 years ago. In second grade, Nia had her own band and before that she was making up her own songs, singing, and recording with her mom’s iPhone. Of course, she became an actress! In this film, Nia joins her father, Xavier, in composing the score..

GIVE LIGHT: Stories from Indigenous Midwives
Pre-release Film Screening Monday, June 20th at 7:00 PM

GIVE LIGHT showcases the voices of Indigenous midwives from five continents as they relate their life stories and discuss the joys and challenges of their profession, interwoven with testimony from medical anthropologists, historians and Western midwives and doulas. The film looks at the state of childbirth around the world and explores the fundamental question: Could lessons from Indigenous midwifery actually offer better birth outcomes and far more meaningful rites of passage during childbirth? Director Steph Smith will be with us for a short introduction and a Q&A following the film.

Midwifery Today Viewers: Sign up on our website to learn how to share the film with your community or place of work. Or become a sponsor for our 2023 educational tour. The film team would love to hear from you:

*This is a special version of this documentary film prepared exclusively for the Midwifery Today 2022 conference registrants. The film is currently screening at festivals and will broadcast on PBS nationwide in 2023.

Tuesday • June 21, 2022 • Conference Day 3

9:00 am – 10:00 am | General Session
International Issues — Marion Toepke McLean, Diana Paul and Jan Tritten
Brainstorm with us and your peers on how we can effect changes in midwifery and childbirth on a 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.

10:00 am – 11:00 am | General Session
Midwifery Defined by MidwivesDeb Puterbaugh
It is about time that we midwives define ourselves, what we do, and what we need. Only homebirth midwives and the moms who we serve know what we really do. The obstetric community does not understand undisturbed birth or midwifery. In fact, many of them have never seen a normal, hands-off birth. Let’s define ourselves now!

11:00 am – 12:00 pm | General Session
Respect in Midwifery and Birth — Keniece Ford El and Marion Toepke McLean
Fostering respect in the birthing community is of paramount importance! We will discuss: respect of the natural birth process itself; respect of one another’s values and cultures; respect between the midwife and the birthing couple; respect between midwives and doulas present at same birth and serving in the same community; respect for the many paths of learning and certification/non-certification among midwives; respect between mentor and students; respect during transports from home to hospital; and respect for the choices people make that are different from our own.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm | Lunch Break

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Concurrent sessions B1 through B3: Choose one:

B1 The Future of Midwifery Education GloballyDeb Puterbaugh
In order to have a meaningful discussion about the future of midwifery education, we must consider the question: what is a midwife? To understand what a midwife is, we need to ask ourselves some other important questions. First, who created midwifery? Second, what do midwives do? And finally, the most important question of all: exactly who “owns” human reproduction? Only after we have answered these important questions can we discern and develop a plan to educate future midwives and effectively address the huge crisis we have in maternal/child health care today.

B2 Detection and Prevention of Fetal Distress in LaborGail Hart
Participants will be guided, step by step, through the world of fetal monitoring. Gail will show how to identify reassuring and non-reassuring patterns of fetal heart rates. She will also discuss non-electronic fetal monitoring tools and their effectiveness and other ways of understanding how well the baby is doing, including taking into account fetal movement. Gail will also cover the essential (and often overlooked) subject of hydration and nourishment in labor. The mother and baby (motherbaby) are totally connected, after all, and both must be kept strong.

B3 Heart & Art of Birthing Workshop for DoulasLois Wilson
Are you a doula who was trained in an online, medical, or hospital setting? Are you thinking about becoming a doula and wondering if it’s a good fit for you? Do you feel like you might be “missing something” that has to do with the heart and art of natural birth, homebirth, and the ancient, traditional path? Then this workshop is for you! At the heart of every birth is trust: in the mother, the baby, and the unchanging nature of birth itself. Join us as we explore how to create a space for women that is so safe and trusting that the laboring mama can relax, open up, and give birth without fear. What is normal birth? Why trusting birth matters. How to create emotional safety and ease. Working with birth energy. And much, much more.

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm General Session
Tricks of the TradeLois Wilson, Jan Tritten, and you!
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. Previous topics have included preventing hemorrhage, herbs for labor and birth, correcting malpresentations, nutrition hints, and essential oils. We also plan to share tips for breech in this session. This is always a much-appreciated session, for its sense of sisterhood as well as its information. “Worth at least two weeks of academic training,” said one participant.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Dinner break

7:00 pm | Outrageous Turquoise Fashion Show and Babywearing
“Don’t miss this hilarious event highlighting turquoise—the Birth Revolution color. Be part of the show with an outrageous outfit. But don’t worry if you don’t have turquoise … yet. Diana Paul is bringing her stash.” This always provides a lot of laughs, lighthearted fun, and a bonding time for all of us!

Wednesday • June 22, 2022 • Conference Day 4

9:00 am – 10:30 am | General Session
Creating a Better Future for BirthMarion Toepke McLean
What is the future of midwifery and birth? What can each of us do to create a better future? What is your vision? We envision a future where every woman gives birth as she chooses and every baby is welcomed in gentleness and love. A future where all women have optimal pregnancies and births and every baby is healthy. A future where every family starts with this sacred and safe beginning. How do we get there from here?

10:30 am – 12:00 pm | General Session
Technology as a Threat to the Normal Birth ProcessGail Hart and Lois Wilson
We will explore the consequences of the inappropriate or excessive application of technology—drugs as well as instruments, machinery, and surgery—in birth. Learn your role in protecting pregnant and birthing women and how current research actually supports the use of less intervention in birth. Discover how to establish the appropriate and careful use of technology in childbirth.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch Break

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Concurrent sessions C1 through C2: Choose one:

C1 New and Old: Techniques for Controlling and Preventing HemorrhageGail Hart
Excessive blood loss is often preventable or is controllable without medication. It is important to understand the full process of third stage and to facilitate the delivery of the placenta correctly. Can active third stage management still be supported as the wider body of evidence accumulates? Let’s look at the evidence and learn techniques to reduce hemorrhage when routine oxytocics are not accessible. Gail will discuss how to handle third stage problems with non-pharmacological and manual methods that are frequently faster and more effective than medications. Gail will also discuss uterine compression and the use of the placenta, cord, and membranes for hemorrhage control. A revival of these midwife techniques could save many maternal lives worldwide.

C2 Postdates Pregnancy—Waiting, Watching and Not WorryingLois Wilson
The fear surrounding prolonged pregnancy and postmaturity syndrome has unleashed an unprecedented and harmful wave of labor inductions and c-sections in the United States. What is at the root of all this? Let’s discuss the facts and fears concerning prolonged pregnancy and how to help the mama, her partner, and her extended family and friends cope when baby decides to stay inside a little longer. Let’s also look at what the evidence says about actual risks, discuss how to assess and support the prolonged pregnancy, and learn how to balance protocols with common sense.

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm | Closing General Session
Gentle Birth; Gentle MidwiferyMarion Toepke McLean, Lois Wilson, and Jan Tritten
Join us for an inspirational closing, where we will recap what we have learned. Every woman has the right to a gentle birth with kind, loving midwifery care. All birth practitioners need to work toward this goal of helping families achieve an optimal, gentle birth.

Skip to content