Verena Schmid and Valerie Barchiesi

Verena Schmid has been a midwife since 1979 in Florence, Italy, and has been an active midwife for over 25 years. She founded a center for natural and homebirth with continuity of care from conception until the first year of the baby; a midwifery magazine; and a school of physiology (Elemental School of Midwifery Art) with the goal of teaching midwives the true sense of the midwifery model of care, giving them a high competence in physiology and salutogenesis and promoting a new birth culture.

In 2000 Verena won the prestigious Astrid Limburg award for midwifery achievement and excellence. She has taught in hospitals all over Italy, in several European countries and in her school since 1988 and is teaching now on an international level. She developed a new paradigm of maternity care: Salutophysiology, based on health, resources and a global approach to women. Since 2011 she has been teaching this model of care in a master class at the University of Salzburg, Austria, and in 2015 at the University of Concepcion in Chile. She is an international teacher in English, German and Italian languages. She has authored or co-authored several books, and is an activist in political promotion of natural birth and midwifery.

Valerie Barchiesi is an Independent midwife who has been involved in homebirth for over thirty years. At her center, Il Nido she holds prenatal classes in English as well as other English-speaking activities such as post-natal groups and prenatal and motherbaby yoga. She is a founding member of the Italian Homebirth Midwives’ Network. She has done a lot of teaching through apprenticeship both officially to midwifery university students and to young midwives seeking hands-on experience with continuity-of-care. She tells us that she is working on setting up a birth center “in the hope of passing on something useful to the next generation.”

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