This 5 day conference was held in September 2016. The video recordings comprise the nine keynote talks, which unfold what ‘Healthy Birth, Healthy Earth” means and how awareness of birth can support our evolution, in co-creation with nature. The conference can be bought as a whole or as individual talks.
In this powerful talk, Robbie Davis Floyd describes clearly how there are three major global paradigms of birth and health care: the technocratic, humanistic, and holistic models of medicine. The profound differences in belief, practice, and worldview among practitioners of each of these three paradigms are explained, so that birth practitioners can understand the power of these paradigms to influence belief and practice. This talk will help them evaluate their own choices in terms of where they wish to stand on this spectrum. An excellent, accessible and enlightening presentation.
Robin Lim opens her talk with an hilarious and heart rending enactment of delivery in the presence of midwives and doulas. She presents with a fierce, heart-felt passion how Awakening Birth is a commitment to honour, protect and serve, mothers, babies and families, globally. The way we welcome the newest citizens of Earth, the newborn babies, defines us as humans. Are we kind? Are we gentle? Do the mothers and babies receive respectful care, regardless of their worldly ‘worth’? Wisdom in birth means we have the courage to ask these questions.
Binnie Dansby gives a stunning talk on how healing our own birth suffering can help us to heal and support each other and by extension the Earth. Referring to her work with the breath, she describes how the four words ‘Healthy Birth, Healthy Earth’ contain the six words ‘Heal Thy Birth, Heal Thy Earth’. She goes on to offer insights into how our ideas of relationship come from the original intimacy in the womb and how that first relationship completed or did not. This impacts us as we move forward into relationship with our surroundings, other people and the environment. Healing is possible and relationship Is.
Michel Odent refers to the fact that there is a widespread thought-form, present in many disciplines, that humanity is ‘on a precipice’ in its relationship with the Earth. He gives a brilliant talk on how since Neolithic revolution and the advent of agriculture and animal husbandry, we have seen survival as being dependent on our domination of nature. In parallel with this has been our socialisation of childbirth: we have sought to control sexuality and the way women give birth in an effort to be safe. Now it is clear our survival depends not on domination of nature but in cooperation or symbiosis.
In this fascinating talk, Elena discussed the impact that family history and women’s own experiences prior to the due date have on their delivery. What can be done before birth, and in the best case scenario, even before conceiving to neutralise negative imprinting and assure a deeply satisfying outcome? Elena speaks to the purpose of her work and its deepening clarity in healing negative imprinting for the benefit of the next generation. She demonstrates a ‘monkey face’ and ‘seaweed swaying’ experiential exercises.
A powerful and passionate midwife from Mexico, Angelina delivers a wonderful talk on how traditional midwifery plays a crucial role in indigenous cultures. It is concerned with the alignment of body, mind and spirit for the benefit of the mother-to be, her family and her community through the use of simple, non-invasive practices such as the use of the rebozo and various ceremonies to honour the woman during pregnancy, birth and post-partum.
Ray Castellino works with families to prepare for birth as well as to heal trauma and resolve traumatic birth experiences. Charisse Basquin works in Scotland with healing early imprints from birth and bonding. In this profound and unique work, children and babies resolve their birth stories through gesture and movement, allowing the family to deepen their connections in a new configuration. Using video recordings of work with babies born by caesarean section as well as breech, they share foundational therapeutic principles that create conditions which allow healing to take place. This wonderful presentation illustrates how ‘two layers of support’ for the baby: the mother, the father, the midwife, and the doula are essential for optimum bonding.
In a barnstorming presentation Robin draws on neuropsychology, epigenetics, psycho-history and anthropology to illustrate how and why many of the world’s cultures lost, over centuries, the capacity for healthy connectedness in early life. Now that so much is known about the centrality of connected relationship for healthy human function, there is a social and global imperative to ease back towards a society of healthy connectedness. The implications are bigger than you think. And your job is more important than you realised. A very importantly affirming challenge to those who are holding Healing Birth in the same breath as Healing Earth.
Romiro Romero electrifies the audience with his sharing, music and insights from his life. He is in a family of midwives and his description of what it’s like to be a midwife, coming from his own personality and identity, gave an amazing window into A) what it takes for an indigenous midwifery and birth care to really exist, and B) how male and female principles can truly support and work together.