CIMS Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum 2010

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CIMS Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum 2010


Deja, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Ricki Lake, Debra Pascali-Bonaro

It was an amazing, energizing Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum in Austin, Texas. It was like walking into a room of who’s who in childbirth in America. Penny Simkin, DONA International Doula Mentor, Dr. Charles Mahan, Former Dean of the University of South Florida College of Public Health, Barbara Hotelling, Former President of Lamaze International and DONA International, Kathleen Kendell-Tackett, researcher and author of one of my favorite breastfeeding books, Breastfeeding Made Simple, Ruth Wilf, midwife and founding mother of the Booth Maternity Center in Phili, PA, Ray DeVries gave a powerful sociological look at where we are in birth today with a call to use social media and marketing to bring our message out. Dr. Michael Klein, one of the authors of the BC home birth study: Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician provided insights to this important study. Amy Romano and Henci Goer who write the Science and Sensibility blog provided an insightful look at the research. Rima Jolivet, Associate Director of Programs for Childbirth Connection shared a compelling look at how Maternity Quality Matters and their new must read report “2020 Vision” and “Blueprint for Action”  There was so much more both during sessions and in the many meetings, gathering and dinners that we squeezed in just 3 short days. Visit to learn more about the many great presentations and how you can support the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative.

One of the evenings, my friend Robbie Davis Floyd, author, international speaker and hostess extraordinaire, invited our friend Robin Lim, an amazing midwife who started the Bumi Sehat maternity center in Bali to join us for dinner. Robin’s expertise in providing midwifery care in disaster settings began when she set up a clinic to care for people affected by the Tsunami. Her most recent work in Haiti touched our hearts as she and her daughter Déjà, a filmmaker, had just returned from Haiti with photographs and stories of the challenges and their successes as they set up a clinic to provide gentle birth services to the women and families of Haiti. . Read about their work in Haiti – please donate to help their efforts.

Ricki Lake, Director of the Business of Being Born joined us too along with Élan McAllister, Broadway Producer and Founder of Choices in Childbirth,  Eden Fromberg, MD, Rae Davies, Administrative Director of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative, Rima Star, Director of the Star Institute of massage and Alan Huber founder of the Business of Birth International Inc., for a great evening of sharing.

I returned home exhausted, yet energized as I feel we are reaching the tipping point.  The evidence/research is too strong to be ignored.  Mothers and babies in the United States are dying at higher rates than other developed countries.  Mother’s are suffering post- traumatic stress syndrome from a day that should be ecstatic.  Mothers, babies and families are suffering many harms from the overuse of technology, that effect how they feel both physically and emotionally about their birth experience both in the short and long term.   Yet, we have the research, we have the experts who are willing and working hard to transform maternity care.  We each make a difference.  Please let me know your thoughts and ways that you are letting your voice be heard to improve care for women and babies.

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