Birthworkers in Bath, frustrated by the current political disregard for women’s birth choices, have come together to host an exciting conference.
The “Whose birth is it anyway?” conference will play host to some of country’s top international speakers and hopes to attract attendees from all sides of the debate including parents, midwives, obstetricians, paediatricians, doulas, birthworkers and breastfeeding counsellors.
The conference will take place at the postgraduate centre of the Royal United Hospital, Bath and will be co-chaired by Rhiannon Hills, Maternity Divisional Manager, RUH, Bath and Noreen Hart, NCT Antenatal Educator and Birth Campaigner who says the aim of the conference is to;
“Inspire and promote a more collaborative approach to pregnancy and birth with the parents being at the very centre of our care. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to link in the new Birth Place Studies that highlighted the importance of birth centres (Bath Trust has four), knowing how to find a Virginia OB GYN and homebirth as a real choice for many parents. With fathers/partners in Bath being warmly welcomed to stay overnight after the birth of their baby, we know how positive this initiative has been for parents starting off on their parenting journey. In my work, I am often struck by how parents can feel that our current risk averse and overstretched maternity system, takes their birth away from them with; hence our conference title.
“The day will provide an opportunity for us all to listen and reflect upon the latest research and experiences of all birth advocates and shift the focus towards the needs and choices of the individual birthing woman”
Sheena Byrom OBE; a practicising consultant midwife of 35 years, board member of the Royal College of Midwives and author of the Sunday Timed bestseller Catching Babies and more recently The Roar Behind the Silence: why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care (http://www.pinterandmartin.com/the-roar-behind-the-silence.html) a resource to promote positive childbirth throughout the world.
Mark Harris, midwife and nurse, antenatal educator and founder of Birthing4Blokes, father to six children, grandfather to six grandchildren and author of Men, Love and Birth (http://www.pinterandmartin.com/men-love-and-birth.html).
Dr Amali Lokugamage is a consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist, honorary senior lecturer at two London hospitals. Her main clinical interests lie in medical gynaecology, general obstetrics, the long term behavioural and emotional consequences of birth and the fourth trimester and complementary therapies; Dr Lokugamage set up a maternity acupuncture service within the NHS. She also has a keen interest in improving rates of natural birth and her experience of homebirth led to her write The Heart in the Womb (Lulu.com).
Mr Richard Porter, a consultant obstetrician in Bath since 1989, was prompted by the realisation that technology had the unintended potential to hijack the process and became widely known for his support of ‘low-tech’ midwife units and homebirth. As well as his work in the UK, he was worked extensively with the WHO and NGOs in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to promote liberalisation of maternity services after the collapse of the Soviet empire. He believes that vigilance is always necessary, however much things have changed for the better.
Mary Newburn, freelance maternity services advocate, former Strategic Ambassador and Head of Quality and Research at the National Childbirth Trust and Editor of maternity journal Perspective. She has championed user involvement in research.
Stalls and workshops will be run by publishers Pinter & Martin, Neals Yard, Juno and holistic therapists.
Attendance of the conference costs a competitive £65 to include a light lunch, refreshments, workshops and goody bag, with a reduced cost of £55 for RUH Trust Midwives and £35 for Student Midwives. To book please email email@example.com