the conference rocked!!
And it was actually the fruition of a dream I had many years ago when I was on the Lamaze board - the dream was for ALL the birth organizations to gather together in one spot. I thank the Lamaze board for supporting the vision that each organization would suspend their own conference for 2010 and come together to build relationships and turn our individual organizational voices into a very vocal choir. The early conference calls had everyone invited from CAPPA, to Midwifery Today, to DONA and everyone else who had annual conferences. I was so hopeful (this was 5 - 6 years ago!) For various reasons groups withdrew but I am so proud of Lamaze and ICEA for sticking it out and sticking together! And how wonderful that both organizations were turning 50 this year and it could be a celebration as well. They did a count of how many pregnant women's lives and births those in attendance have touched. I hope they post it but it was millions and millions!
I was fortunate enough to be asked to co-facilitate a preconference workshop with Marilyn Hildreth and Pat Predmore where we spent 2 intensive days with 42 brand new as well as experienced childbirth educators. Then we leaped from there to the 3 day conference. I presented a concurrent on Balloons, Balls, Beads, Bags, Blocks: Creating Fun and Inexpensive Visual Aids.
The Passion for Birth workshop facilitators (known as the Passioneers) made me very proud as a dominant force on the program. Sessions led by Passioneers were (in order of appearance):
- Barbara Hotelling: Teaching Techniques for Promoting Safe and Healthy Birth
- Lisa Gartin: Uniting for Normal Birth Even in a hospital
- Sharon Muza: Supporting the Journey, Avoiding the Obstacles: Interactive Strategies for Dynamic VBAC Classes (and a morning round table)
- Robin Weiss: Keynote panel: 34 Million Moms Are Online, Are You? Why and How to Get Into the Conversation Concurrent: Mistakes Childbirth Educators Make on the Internet (and a morning round table)
- Dawn Kersula: Let that Belly Dance!
- Pat Predmore: Courageous Childbirth—From “I think I can...” to “Yes, I can!”
- Sharon Dalrymple: Safer Birth Practices—A Multi-professional Approach and the More OB Experience