Montclair, New Jersey • April 20–23, 2022
“Sharing Midwifery Skills and Practices”
Wednesday • April 20 • Pre-Conference
Choose one full-day class: A1 – A3 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
A1 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Shoulder Dystocia — Gail Hart and Marion Toepke McLean
Our teachers will discuss the mechanical and physical causes of shoulder dystocia. They will describe symptoms and signs to predict it. They will analyze tools and methods used to overcome panic reactions. They will also demonstrate effective treatments. Gail will look in-depth at more than 14 maneuvers, and cover mnemonics and the latest research. Learn to identify different types of presentations, their likelihood, and causes.
1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Malpresentations — Gail Hart and Marion Toepke McLean
Learn about the myths and realities of malpresentations. Learn about what factors increase the likelihood of a malpresentation. Identify different types of malpresentations and discover techniques for assessing and dealing with them. The teachers will present many tips for helping with malpresentations so birth can move forward and be achieved with good outcomes. Bring your techniques to add to this body of midwifery knowledge.
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
A2 Releasing the Pelvis — Elaine Stillerman
This hands-on class will use myofascial release, muscle energy technique, trigger point release, strain/counterstrain, Swedish massage, and other appropriate modalities to free the pelvis of musculoskeletal restrictions that may prevent fetal engagement, slow labor, and cause discomfort. These modalities will be explained, demonstrated, and practiced in class. Particular attention will be given to the lower lumbar muscles (erectae spinae and quadratus lumborum) and their relationship to the cervical spine, the iliopsoas, piriformis and other hip rotators, and other pelvic structures. Midwives and doulas will be amazed at the ease with which these hand-saving techniques work and how easily they can be adapted to a variety of birth positions. Please bring a pillow, lubrication, one flat sheet, a rebozo if you have one, and one towel.
A3 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Optimal Pelvic Positioning: Working with Gravity — Cathy Daub
When a mother is lying on her back, labor is more difficult and tiring, and the ability of the sacrum to move is limited—yet most women today lie on their backs to give birth. Why not work with gravity rather than against it? In this hands-on class, participants will feel their own pelvis and how it moves in various positions, and learn about the Four Principles of Optimal Pelvic Positioning. They will then analyze labor positions that do or do not follow the Four Principles.
1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Feeling Centered and Calm in Birth — Cathy Daub
Fear is a paralyzing emotion that causes body guarding, which is the opposite of the “letting go” needed to give birth. Birth is sacred. Birth is instinctive. Birth is love. Yet love and fear cannot be accessed simultaneously in the human body: we are in either one or the other. The calmer a woman is in labor, the better her labor can progress. In this class we will explore the magic of oxytocin—the hormone of love, experience energy fields, and learn practical ways to stay focused on the body wisdom that knows how to give birth.
5:15 pm – 7:00 pm | Open to all registrants
Christian Midwives Dinner Meeting—All are welcome
Thursday • April 21 • Pre-Conference
Choose one full-day class: B1 – B3 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
B1 Hands-on Care | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
9:00 am – 10:30 am
The Emotions of Labor — Cathy Daub
When a woman has learned what to anticipate before labor, yet knows there are likely to be surprises, she will be more likely to cope with whatever labor brings her. When silence prevails, the emotions of labor can be minimized so she can stay focused in her primal, instinctive brain that knows how to give birth. Predictable stress points in labor will be discussed, along with concrete suggestions for psychological and physiological methods that help a woman to cope with labor.
10:40 am – 12:00 pm
Hands, Our Treasured Tools — Lois Wilson
This class will affirm the knowledge and the power we contain and express through our hands. It will remind you that the essence of midwifery is, after all, its hands-on approach to providing care, support and education. It will give you confidence to use your senses, to keep your heart open, and to listen. Gain skills that involve the sense of touch. The practical use of hands will be discussed; you will be reminded that hands are also tools of emotional support and love.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm | Lunch Break
(There are many great restaurants in the area)
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Prenatal Care to Prevent Complications — Gail Hart
The relationship between midwife and client helps to create a trusting birth experience. Learn how women’s bodies function differently when trust exists. Learn the heart of care during the prenatal period and how that affects the birth. Learn what you missed in midwifery school.
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Prolonged Labor — Gail Hart and Marion Toepke McLean
Long labors may be associated with complications ranging from social or emotional issues to physical problems. Gail and Marion will discuss different reasons for prolonged labor, how to distinguish the pathological labor from the simple prolonged labor and how to overcome difficulties and correct problems when possible or facilitate transfer when needed.
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
B2 Diastasis Recti: A Medical Problem during and after Pregnancy — Julie Tupler, RN, CPT
Diastasis recti can cause many issues for women in pregnancy, including back pain, umbilical hernia, GI issues, and poor posture. It can even make pushing more difficult, leading to postbirth problems or an unnecessary c-section.
This full-day lecture and demonstration workshop will teach midwives about how to make diastasis recti smaller during and after pregnancy, using the research- and evidence-based four-step Tupler Technique® Program. It will also teach midwives about effective pushing techniques as well as pre- and postnatal exercise routines. Participants will receive Perfect Pushing and Lose Your Mummy Tummy DVDs, the Tupler Technique® Guidebook, and a diastometer.
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
B3 Alternative Remedies for the Childbearing Year — Iris Wolfson
Learn about the use of herbs, homeopathics, nutrients, and other natural remedies as treatments for concerns during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. There will be a shared discussion of when and how to safely use these natural tools and modalities to support health and wellness throughout the childbearing years. Join Iris for a fascinating and educational morning. Iris has been educated in a wide variety of alternative modalities in the US, Europe, and South America, and draws from many cultural and spiritual philosophies. Her studies include herbal medicine, nutrition and vitamin support, homeopathy, flower essences, energy therapies, guided visualization, sound healing, mediation, and Native American healing techniques.
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Opening, Connecting, and Healing through Song, Story, Movement, Ritual and More — Lois Wilson
Throughout history and all over the world, midwives have recognized and used the power of song, story, movement, and ritual to help mamas “open up” their minds, hearts, and bodies during pregnancy and birth. Among midwives, these same ancient ways help build community and solidarity, and enable us to reconnect with and recharge our souls. In this workshop we will explore, share, and practice these beautiful tools and traditions. By the close of our time together, we will have a song in our hearts, and a smile on our faces … guaranteed!
Enjoy the exhibits and network with your old and new friends!
Friday • April 22 • Day One
9:00 am – 10:00 am | Opening general session
Sharing Midwifery Skills and Practices — Jan Tritten, Gail Hart, Marion Toepke McLean, Elizabeth Devaney, and Lois Wilson
Sharing midwifery skills and practices has been at the heart of our calling for as long as women have been assisting other women in childbirth! Our panel includes many decades of experience attending births and serving with women. “Midwifery skills” include everything from the birth language we use, to the way we engage the community, to the hands-on (and hands-off) techniques essential to our trade. In this session we invite you to participate in opening your mind and heart to the wide world of what it means to honor and pass on our sacred skills and practices.
10:00 am – 11:00 am | General Session
Visions and Dreams for Gentle Birth and Midwifery — Jan Tritten and Debra Pascali-Bonaro
In this inspiring class, Jan will discuss how we each play an important part in changing the future of birth for mothers and babies with a discussion of what other birth professionals are doing around the world. She encourages you to discover your dream and carry it out.
11:00 am -12:00 pm | General Session
Creating a Better Future for Birth — Marion 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. A future where every family starts with this sacred and safe beginning. How do we get there from here?
12:00 am – 1:30 pm | Lunch Break
1:30 pm – 3:15 pm
Roundtables — 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.
- The Importance of Connection in Prenatal and Postpartum Care — Lois Wilson
- Tongue Tie and other Breastfeeding Issues — Elizabeth Devaney
- The Art of Collaboration between Midwives and Maternal Fetal Medicine Physicians, and Knowing When to Send your Client in for a Consult — Risa Klein
- Diastasis Safe Workout: Something Every Mom Should Know — Julie Tupler
- Massage for the Childbearing Year — Elaine Stillerman
- Opportunities for Working Abroad — Marion Toepke McLean
- Physiologic Transition of the Newborn — Gail Hart
- Fear in Midwifery, Especially of Hemorrhage and Shoulder Dystocia — Jan Tritten
- Therapeutic Touch in Pregnancy and Birth — Iris Wolfson
- Becoming a Doula — Debra Pascali-Bonaro
3:30 pm- 5:00 pm Concurrent sessions C1 through C4: Choose one
C1 Low-Tech, No-Tech Birth — Gail Hart
Discover low-tech ways to make birth safer in those regions where the technology simply is not available or to prepare to be able to provide care during a national disaster. Do you know how to work without medications or IVs? What would you do if you did not have your equipment and supplies at a birth? Would you be lost without your “stuff?” Let’s look at what is truly essential for birth, which routines can be abandoned or modified, and how we can improvise when necessary.
C2 Tools for Responding to Difficult Emotions and Situations — Iris Wolfson
Nurturing the spirit of the midwife and childbearing women with tools that help us skillfully respond to difficult emotions and situations. We will see how to meet challenges with equanimity and to use these challenges as opportunities for growth. As we learn and practice these tools, we will become better able to respond not with fear, but from a centered place of the awakened heart. This class is for everyone.
C3 Heart & Art of Birthing Workshop for Doulas — Lois 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.
C4 Comfort Measures — Debra Pascali-Bonaro
The new WHO Labor Care Guide includes charting non-pharmacological pain relief. Come learn about and discuss these new guidelines as we practice comfort measures including Penny Simkin’s 3 Rs: Relaxation, Rhythm, Rituals; and use peanut balls and CUBs (Comfortable Upright Birth Supports). Have fun with movements that ease labor and help motherbabies have a safe, satisfying birth experience.
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm | General session
International Issues — Marion Toepke McLean, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, 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.
Saturday • April 23 • Day Two
9:00 am – 10:00 am | General session
Best Ways to Prevent Cesarean Deliveries — Risa Klein
You will learn who is prone to cesarean section. We will explore what medical and psychological conditions predispose and or lead to cesarean. We will discuss ways to prevent or minimize these risk factors. When a c-section is medically indicated, we will discuss ways to maintain the safety for mother and baby and implement the Gentle Cesarean.
10:00 am – 10:30 am | Break
Networking and check out our exhibitors
10:30 am – 12:00 pm Concurrent sessions D1 through D3 Breakouts Choose one
D1 New and Old: Techniques for Controlling and Preventing Hemorrhage — Gail 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.
D2 Pushing in Labor — Julie Tupler
Pushing in labor is a skill that can be practiced during pregnancy so it is second nature in labor. Learn how the Tupler Technique® Program teaches pregnant women how to push effectively in labor to prevent the side effects of pelvic floor prolapses, incontinence, and hemorrhoids.
D3 Posterior Presentation — Risa Klein
We will supply the oranges and the socks, and you come ready to palpate, diagnose, and fix the posterior! Reducing instance during pregnancy and labor, with or without an epidural, can reduce cesareans. This class is about babies who decide to slide into their mama’s pelvis with their face up—also known as occiput posterior—and how to evaluate maternal signs and symptoms of posterior by knowing fetal landmarks. We will talk about when to manage with hands on, and when to keep our hands off. Risa says, “I am carrying down the wisdom taught to me by my extraordinary midwife mentor, Valerie El Halta, whom I met at a Midwifery Today Conference in the early 1990s.”
12:00 am – 1:30 pm | Lunch Break
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm | General Session
Tricks of the Trade — Facilitated by Jan Tritten, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, and Lois Wilson
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 sessions have included facilitating effective contractions, dealing with prolonged labor, preventing perineal tears, helping the slow-to-start baby, and holistic first aid. This is always a much-appreciated session, for its sense of sisterhood as well as its information.
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm | General Session
Technology as a Threat to the Normal Birth Process — Gail Hart
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.
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm | Closing
Sharing Midwifery Skills — Jan Tritten, Risa Klein, and Lois Wilson
We will have closing words and a singing circle. Let’s unite for the benefit of motherbaby, families, and each other. Our future is one filled with hope, love, and passion. We will discuss ways each of us can take this beautiful work forward and what we will take home from the conference.