Oregon Conference Program 2023

Midwifery Today Conference

Eugene, Oregon, USA • April 30 – May 3, 2023

Healing Midwifery and Birth

Sunday • April 30, 2023

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Registration and Welcoming

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Opening session
Reclaiming MidwiferyEneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Jan Tritten
We open with a reminder of the awesome calling we as midwives have within our world. Our calling is responsible for the foundational health and well-being of society. Let’s bring to birth the joy we know is possible. Let’s discover the joy that we as midwives should be experiencing in our profession. We will ponder these ideas together for four days.

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Posterior ArrestElizabeth Davis
Not all babies in posterior positions experience an arrest during labor. Discover why some babies pass through the pelvis just fine, and why others get stuck at the inlet. Learn about hands-on maneuvers for addressing posterior arrest that are non-invasive and available to anyone, as well as internal repositioning maneuvers that every midwife should know. Case histories will be presented and special circumstances explored.

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Healing Midwifery and Birth – Deb Puterbaugh, Marion Toepke McLean, and Jan Tritten
There is still time to heal midwifery and birth, but let us do it now. It is important for the future of motherbaby, families, and, indeed, all of society to have healthy birth. Birth is the foundation of all of life physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Come and brainstorm with all of us on how we can find ways to help. Then let us go home with ideas and determination regarding the part we will play.

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Dinner break

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Neonatal Resuscitation with the Placental Circulation Intact – Gail Hart
Analyzing the various techniques used around the world brings the surprising conclusion that neonatal resuscitation methods are a cultural, not a scientific, norm. What works in one hospital unit is often different from that in a unit in the same city, and practitioners who work in both home and hospital know they often do things differently depending on the setting. Gail will present the concept of safe and effective physiological resuscitation methods that don’t require a high level of technology for implementation.

Monday • May 1, 2023 • Conference Day 2

9:00 am – 10:00 am Opening General session
Intuition in Birth and Midwifery —  Elizabeth Davis
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.

10:00 am – 11:00 am
International IssuesEneyda Spradlin-Ramos, Marion Toepke McLean, and Jan Tritten
Brainstorm with us and your peers on how we can cause changes in midwifery and childbirth on the global level. This will be an interactive session, learning from the midwives present from the many different countries 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. We will share techniques, systems, and political and educational ideas that will help you further the midwifery model in your sphere of influence.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sharing Midwifery Skills — Deb Puterbaugh and Elizabeth Davis
Sharing of skills is exciting now because we have gleaned various ideas and techniques from all over the world. Travel and international conferences have expanded our horizons with new ideas, insights, and techniques. We will each share something we have learned from others and give you time to share as well.

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Our Eyes and Non-verbal Communication — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos
What do the eyes say? Why do newborns and their mamas seek each other’s eyes in that profound gaze of the early hours of life? Research evidence on communicating through eye contact throughout life will be shared.

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm Lunch break

2:00 pm – 3:40 pm
Rebozo Techniques and Practice – Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos and Anita Rojas
The origin of these techniques and traditions from Mexico goes back thousands of years. We will teach how to use a rebozo—a useful tool in all parts of the childbearing cycle. In this amazing class you will discover simple techniques that promote healthy pregnancy and birth. You will learn many “new” old techniques you can apply immediately to your practice. Time for hands-on practice will be provided.

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
The First Hour after Birth and the Microbiome — Gail Hart
This presentation explores the human microbiome and how it affects the human being inside the womb and throughout the lifespan. We will discuss the baby and intrauterine life, labor, birth, and the first hours and days after birth. Because maternal and newborn practices following birth set the stage for the rest of the child’s life, the importance of not disturbing this delicate balance is emphasized. Practices to encourage microbial seeding in the newborn will be explored.

5:15 pm – 5:45 pm
Massage to Restart Labor — Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos 
This is a fantastic tool to treat labor dystocia, to get labor restarted, and more. This treatment activates the parasympathetic nervous system and facilitates expansion. You can release tensions in the pelvis and pelvic floor and open up the birth canal. You can improve oxytocin, sexual energy, and the well-being of the baby, supporting him in his effort of coming into the world. You may avoid cesarean sections. Every midwife should have this tool!

Tuesday • May 2, 2023 • Conference Day 3

9:00 am – 10:30 am
Medicine-Based EvidenceGail Hart
Jan Tritten: “I was at a conference in Mexico when I heard this mistranslation of ‘Evidence-based Medicine.’ It resounded so much with me that I knew we had to cover this important subject.” So much supposed research is poorly done, old, or manipulated. We will cover the double standard applied to subjects such as midwifery and alternative therapies, from the perspectives of three experts in the field. Included will be medicine as pseudoscience and medical myths posing as research.

10:40 am – 12:30 pm
Complicated Birth RoundtablesMarion Toepke McLean, Deb Puterbaugh, and Gail Hart
Learn from the combined experience of these teachers and the other participants. Always informative, sometimes heart-wrenching, it is a unique opportunity to share. Rotating periodically around the room, the teachers meet individually with each small group of participants. You will get to learn from and share with each speaker. Bring your most pressing issues from twins and breech to VBAC and keeping birth normal.

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch break

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Magical BeginningsFernando Molina
Every birth is the result of a magical process that was initiated even before conception and then was followed by various stages of development in the womb, where the unborn child receives the introductory lessons about trust, empathy, love, sadness, anxiety, and all basic human emotions. Many agree that the two strongest emotions are hope and fear. We will explore ways of letting hope overcome fear and energize mom’s mind with everything she needs to impel herself and her baby into a magical happy pregnancy and birth. For this, moms must let go of fear and trust their intuition, therefore, first trust themselves. In this magical process, moms become aware that their baby in the womb is constantly marinated by the amniotic fluid charged with a cocktail of emotions, even from past generations, that needs to be healed. This gentle physician will guide us as practitioners through how to teach about this magical process. Fernando will teach us about how to help a mother reconnect with her wisdom as a pregnant woman, go within her inner silence to connect with herself and her baby, and rediscover her divine power to give birth.

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Tricks of the Trade — Facilitated by Jan Tritten and Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos
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. We will start off this session with the facilitators each sharing a story of facing a complication and finding their way to a successful outcome, with a midwife’s inner resources and knowledge. Bring your best story to share! This is always a much-appreciated session, for its sense of sisterhood as well as its information.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Save the MidwifeDeb Puterbaugh
As midwives, we need to define our work because obstetrics is stealing human reproduction away from women. There is a need for radical and immediate action before we lose ourselves in obstetrics—which is happening like a frog on a stove in cool water slowly going up to a boil. Some of us are already so steeped in obstetrics and do not know the difference. Midwifery is pre-literate, universal, and intuitive with its own body of knowledge. It is time to spread and save it!

Wednesday • May 3, 2023 • Conference Day 4

9:00 am – 10:25 am
Natural Remedies from A Cross-Cultural Perspective — Anita Rojas and Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos
You will learn about the use of herbs, Mexican techniques, essential oils, and other natural remedies in birth. Learn practical uses of these remedies for your clients’ ailments and complications, such as using alternatives to halt a hemorrhage and how to keep your mothers well. This class is not just for novices but for everyone!

10:35 am – 12:00 pm
Hemorrhage and Third Stage DifficultiesElizabeth Davis and Marion Toepke McLean
Many episodes of excessive blood loss are either preventable, or foreseeable and easily controlled. It is important to facilitate delivery of the placenta with patience. Learn about techniques and approaches that render the need for pharmaceuticals rare. Learn about what problems may arise in third stage and how to be prepared to attend them. Bleeding, various problems with placenta retention, and other issues will be discussed. Gail will explain how to assess and deal with bleeding in a way that will increase your confidence. She will also talk about using the placenta, cord, and membranes for hemorrhage control.

12:00 pm -1:30 pm Lunch break

One-hour sessions
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Shoulder Dystocia — Elizabeth Davis
Do you know that the clues of the impending development of shoulder dystocia can help us prevent its occurrence? Elizabeth 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.

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Prolonged Pregnancy: Waiting, Watching, Worrying — Gail Hart
What to do when the due date comes and goes? What are the real risks of prolonged pregnancy? How do we correctly identify the postdates baby, and assess for signs of postmaturity syndrome? How do we know when it is time to intervene, and how do we intervene when it’s needed? Let’s look at what the evidence says about risks and how to mitigate them, discuss how to monitor the prolonged pregnancy, and learn how to balance protocols with common sense.

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Twins — Shannon Michell
Shannon will discuss strategies for preparing for twin birth, including positioning, time of delivery, premature delivery, and avoiding postpartum hemorrhage, as well as special aspects of prenatal care including shared decision making, client eligibility criteria, and finding the confidence or setting your boundaries as a midwife. She will teach “how to” skills as well as telling amazing birth stories.

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Closing: Healing Midwifery and Birth — Deb Puterbaugh and Elizabeth Davis
We will have a warm wrap-up of our time together and discuss any remaining ideas and ideals for healing birth. Share your ideas, because it is only together that we can heal midwifery and birth!

How we were called to Midwifery and Birth — Woven throughout the conference we will share how we were called to our birth practice. We can have a great time sharing these short stories, where we talk briefly about our calling.

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