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  • Epigenetics and the Microbiome: The Latest Buzzwords in Maternity

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    At the end of this session, the learner will be able to: 1. Define “epigenetics” and “microbiome” 2. Explain how environmental factors, epigenetics and the microbiome may harm or benefit the developing fetus throughout life, and even future generations 3. Discuss ways a doula and other birth workers may help improve epigenetic effects and the microbiome

    At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

    1. Define “epigenetics” and “microbiome”
    2. Explain how environmental factors, epigenetics and the microbiome may harm or benefit the developing fetus throughout life, and even future generations
    3. Discuss ways a doula and other birth workers may help improve epigenetic effects and the microbiome

    Penny Simkin

    PT

    Penny is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968. She estimates she has prepared over 12,000 women, couples and siblings for childbirth. She has assisted hundreds of women or couples through childbirth as a doula. She is the producer of several birth-related films and is the author of many books and articles on birth for both parents and professionals. Books include The Labor Progress Handbook (2011) with Ruth Ancheta, The Birth Partner (2008) and When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse of Childbearing Women (2004) with Phyllis Klaus. Her latest film is “There’s a Baby: A Film for Children about Birth and the New Baby” (2013).

    Besides being one of the Founders of DONA International, she currently serves on several boards of consultants, the Editorial Board of the journal, “Birth”, and serves on the senior faculty at the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, which was named in her honor.

  • In the Time of COVID, Babies Are Still Being Born, and Doulas Are More Valuable Than Ever!

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    In this presentation for birth and postpartum doulas and other maternity workers, we will examine how the pandemic has caused severe illness, profound loss of life, and, in the United States particularly, has been impossible to contain. We will discuss adjustments in maternity care to maintain safety, and the impact these changes have had on maternity care workers and their clients and families.

    The COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States suddenly in early 2020 and quickly spread all over the country. As is true all over the world, the pandemic has caused deaths, damage, and despair in every aspect of American Life.

    In this presentation for birth and postpartum doulas and other maternity workers, we will examine how the pandemic has caused severe illness, profound loss of life, and, in the United States particularly, has been impossible to contain. We will discuss adjustments in maternity care to maintain safety, and the impact these changes have had on maternity care workers and their clients and families.

    The non-clinical support role that doulas play at births and postpartum is well-suited to meet the needs of childbearing people. The challenge is to adapt the role to meet the requirements for safety and containment of the virus, and, as much as possible, to preserve normalcy and parent-infant contact as much as is possible during the very special beginning of the family. Playing that role requires much adjustment and caution on the parts of the doulas, and a high degree of professionalism.

    Penny Simkin suggests that the doula, who does not have clinical responsibilities, is well qualified and in an excellent position to address and offer support during the profound emotional reactions experienced by expectant and new parents before, during, and after birth. This may require some modification of the role of the doula, which we will explore during the presentation.

    Penny Simkin

    PT

    Penny is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968. She estimates she has prepared over 12,000 women, couples and siblings for childbirth. She has assisted hundreds of women or couples through childbirth as a doula. She is the producer of several birth-related films and is the author of many books and articles on birth for both parents and professionals. Books include The Labor Progress Handbook (2011) with Ruth Ancheta, The Birth Partner (2008) and When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse of Childbearing Women (2004) with Phyllis Klaus. Her latest film is “There’s a Baby: A Film for Children about Birth and the New Baby” (2013).

    Besides being one of the Founders of DONA International, she currently serves on several boards of consultants, the Editorial Board of the journal, “Birth”, and serves on the senior faculty at the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, which was named in her honor.

  • Beyond the Rainbow: How to Support LGBTQIA+ Clients & Create an Inclusive Practice for All Families

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    As a doula, how are you welcoming and supporting LGBTQIA+ clients in your practice? Are you sometimes confused by the acronyms and new terms you see? This session will give you a foundational understanding of what all the letters mean (and why is that "plus sign" there?). We will discuss how to create a safe space from the initial contact to the birth and beyond. You will leave with a better understanding of how inclusive your practice currently is, along with tips you can implement immediately to let clients know that you are truly ready to serve all families.

    As a doula, how are you welcoming and supporting LGBTQIA+ clients in your practice? Are you sometimes confused by the acronyms and new terms you see? This session will give you a foundational understanding of what all the letters mean (and why is that "plus sign" there?). We will discuss how to create a safe space from the initial contact to the birth and beyond. You will leave with a better understanding of how inclusive your practice currently is, along with tips you can implement immediately to let clients know that you are truly ready to serve all families.

    Andrea Hewitt

    MA, CD (DONA), LCCE

    Andrea Hewitt, MA, CD(DONA), LCCE is the owner of East Nashville Doulas, LLC, a doula agency serving all families in Nashville, TN. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, she has been asked to share her lived experience on various panel discussions, workshops, and trainings for small businesses about how best to create more inclusive and supportive spaces for families in the birthing year.

  • Black Maternal Health: How Can DONA Doulas Make A Difference?

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Black Maternal Health discussion with midwife, Jennie Joseph.

    Join DONA Leaders and doulas as we discuss the state of Black Maternal Health (during #BMHW) with special guest, midwife, Jennie Joseph. Today, maternal health mortality is on the rise, and the data shows that there is a clear disparity and inequity amongst our Black birthers and babies.  Doulas, we can make a difference, and we invite you to join this session as we host a casual but meaningful discussion to dive deeper into the doulas role in healthcare inequities. We’ll also discuss the impact of COVID-19 on maternity care, and introduce viewers to the incredible wisdom and work of our special guest, Jennie Joseph, CPM.  This casual, yet impactful conversation is full of guidance and hope.

    Jennie Joseph

    LM, CPM

    Jennie Joseph is a well respected health advocate for women and newborn babies. A British-trained midwife, Jennie has become one of the world's most respected midwives and authorities on women's health: healthy pregnancies, healthy deliveries and healthy babies. She has become a true advocate for systematic reform that puts women and babies first in healthcare; before profit, convenience and the numerous reasons America trails other developed nations in healthy births. Jennie's common sense approach has won her the attention of global news media and brought her invitations to speak all over the world. Jennie is the founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. and the creator of The JJ Way, a common sense approach designed for women and children. Jennie has worked extensively in European hospitals, American birth centers, clinics and homebirth environments. She has been instrumental in the regulation of Florida midwives since the 1990s and has been involved in midwifery education since 1995. Jennie firmly believes in patient-centered, woman-centered care and works tirelessly to support the systems, providers and agencies charged with delivering that type of care. Until women and their loved ones feel that they have enough knowledge and agency to be part of the decisions around their care and until they have access to the education and support that they are lacking, they will continue to be at risk.  - Jennie Joseph.

  • And Then She Was Gone… with Charles Johnson

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    And Then She Was Gone

    A Family’s Perspective

    Charles Johnson has suffered an unimaginable tragedy that strikes too many families – and has made it his life’s mission to save others from the same fate.

    In April 2016 Charles’ healthy and full-of–life wife, Kira, gave birth to their second beautiful child. But Kira immediately began struggling in ways that the hospital staff could not explain, even as Charles watched and implored the staff that something was horribly wrong. Kira died within hours.

    Charles was understandably overcome by grief – grief that turned into outrage. He channeled his pain and his passion into founding a nonprofit, 4Kira4Moms, that is dedicated to changing systems to better prevent birth-related deaths. 4Kira4Moms advocates for improved maternal health policies and regulations; educates the public about the impact of maternal mortality in communities; provides peer support to victims’ family and friends; and promotes discussion of maternal mortality as a human rights issue.

    In this session, Charles will share his journey and discuss ways that doulas can make a difference.

    Charles Johnson

    Charles Johnson, founder of 4kira4moms has shared his story and advocated for change through countless live events and media appearances all over the country, including at the March for Moms rally in Washington, D.C., last year. Last September he testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health about the need to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017  - which, as you know, was indeed passed by Congress and signed into law. When he is not advocating to improve maternal health practices, Charles is busy raising his two sons, Charles V and Langston.

  • When Doulas Use Equity as Their Secret Sauce, You Have A Recipe for Life

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Discuss inequities in healthcare based on social identities such as race, immigration status, and class.

    Successful and impactful birth/pregnancy practitioners need knowledge and skills to engage in equitable practices with populations that experience poverty, immigrant populations, and people of color.  There are avoidable and unjust inequities in access to healthcare, quality of care, childbirth, and birth outcomes based on social identities such as race, immigration status, and class.  According to the CDC, black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women’s health. A black woman is 22 percent more likely to die from heart disease than a white woman, 71 percent more likely to perish from cervical cancer, but 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes. In a national study of five medical complications that are common causes of maternal death and injury, black women were two to three times more likely to die than white women who had the same condition. About one in five black and Hispanic women report poor treatment from hospital staff due to race, ethnicity, cultural background, or language. Compared with 8% of white mothers, 21% of black mothers and 19% of Hispanic mothers report experiencing poor treatment while hospitalized to give birth. These data reflect social, economic, institutional, and systemic inequities that require immediate action on the part of birth/pregnancy practitioners. That action starts with education about and a commitment to health equity.

    Natalie Burke

    Natalie S. Burke is a nationally-known speaker, strategist, master facilitator, and public health leader.  As President and CEO of CommonHealth ACTION she works to develop people and organizations to produce health through equitable policies, programs, and practices.

    Natalie believes that to alter our collective health destiny, we must change our language; challenge deeply held beliefs about equity in our society, and accept the role we each play in the production of the public’s health.

  • Can We Get Along with Obstetricians?

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Collaborate with Obstetricians using negotiation skills.

    The rising rate in maternal mortality, especially in black mothers in the United States calls for us the medical community to try something different. We are a part of the high-income countries and should have similar or even better maternal mortality rates as other countries within our cohort. Unfortunately, that is not the case! A solution to this problem is for us to continue to advocate for a more patient-centered obstetrical model. This model should include collaboration between Doulas and Obstetricians. Obstetricians are trained to save the mother and child, and they have been programmed to think and act that way possibly even in low-risk pregnancies. However, we know not all pregnancies end with a complication; many pregnancies do well. As Doulas, can we help limit interventions without inciting an unintended conflict? This session will provide Doulas with some tools on how to collaborate with Obstetricians and to advocate for pregnant woman using negotiation skills. As medicine shifts to value-based care, there is room for Doulas to step in and become an important advocate for the laboring woman. It is time that we the medical community try something different in other to decrease the raising maternal mortality.

    Ebere Azumah

    MD, ACC, FACOG, MPH

    Ebere Azumah, MD, ACC, FACOG, MPH is the Founder & CEO of Azumah Solutions LLC, a Consulting and Professional Coaching Firm. She is a DONA trained Doula and a Board - Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist. 

    Dr. Azumah is a graduate of Wayne State School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan and completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency training from Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York City, New York. She completed her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts where she focused on Negotiation and Healthcare Leadership.

    She has a passion for bridging gaps between organizations through negotiation. Her desire is for Obstetricians and Doulas to work collaboratively to provide a patient-centered labor experience for pregnant women.

    Dr. Azumah's other passions include business development and providing quality healthcare to vulnerable communities in the United States, Haiti, and Africa. She Co-Founded Blacks and Allies for Global Health Equity, a platform for intrinsically motivated individuals in the diaspora to engage in global health equity dialogues and to provide medical mission trips to Low income countries.

  • Ethical Dilemma of Recreational Marijuana Use for Breastfeeding and Pregnant People

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Evaluate recreational drug use during breastfeeding and pregnancy.

    In our current society, pregnant and breastfeeding women do use and ingest recreational substances and drugs of abuse. Marijuana use is of special concern currently, especially considering the ethical and legal concerns of its use. The objectives of this presentation are to effectively evaluate recreational drug use during breastfeeding and pregnancy; to counsel mothers who are pregnant or breastfeeding and using recreational drugs, including marijuana; and to discuss and address ethical concerns regarding marijuana use.

    Frank Nice

    Dr. Frank J. Nice has practiced as a consultant, lecturer, and author on medications and breastfeeding for over 40 years. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Pharmacy, a Masters Degree in Pharmacy Administration, Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Public Administration, and Certification in Public Health Pharmacy. He retired after 43 years of government service, including 30 years of distinguished service with the US Public Health Service, 29 years at the National Institutes of Health, and five years at the Food and Drug Administration. He currently is self-employed as a consultant and President, Nice Breastfeeding LLC and President, Pacific United LLC. Dr. Nice has published Nonprescription Drugs for the Breastfeeding Mother, The Galactagogue Recipe Book, Recreational Drugs and Drugs Used To Treat Addicted Mothers: Impact on Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, and Haiti Beyond Belief. Dr. Nice has also authored over four dozen peer-reviewed articles on the use of prescription medications, recreational drugs, Over-the-Counter (OTC) products, and herbals during breastfeeding, in addition to articles and book chapters on the use of power, epilepsy, and work characteristics of healthcare professionals. He has organized and participated in over 50 medical missions to the country of Haiti.

  • Significance of Childbirth to the Birthing Person and Family

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Significance of Childbirth to the Birthing Person and Family

    Significance of Childbirth to the Birthing Person and Family

    Penny Simkin

    PT

    Penny is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968. She estimates she has prepared over 12,000 women, couples and siblings for childbirth. She has assisted hundreds of women or couples through childbirth as a doula. She is the producer of several birth-related films and is the author of many books and articles on birth for both parents and professionals. Books include The Labor Progress Handbook (2011) with Ruth Ancheta, The Birth Partner (2008) and When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse of Childbearing Women (2004) with Phyllis Klaus. Her latest film is “There’s a Baby: A Film for Children about Birth and the New Baby” (2013).

    Besides being one of the Founders of DONA International, she currently serves on several boards of consultants, the Editorial Board of the journal, “Birth”, and serves on the senior faculty at the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, which was named in her honor.

  • Enabling Impact through Cultural Fluency

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Integrative approach to one's leadership duty of care obligation.

    There is an enormous buzz about twenty-first-century leadership competencies that reflect the evolving nature of both the organizational culture as well as the disparate expectations of stakeholders that organizational leaders have to effectively navigate. All of the aforementioned comprise the basis of an integrative approach to knowledge about self, choiceful actions and fundamentally about creating value for those that we serve as leaders. Such an integrative approach weaves in one’s leadership duty of care obligation at all levels of the organization and goes beyond the bounds of compliance or political correctness. In the Emancipatory Leadership frame, leaders ask the following critical question: How can the organizational culture offer a confluence of conditions within which all members of the organization can find meaningful engagement? Such an approach requires both intentionality and the requisite frameworks and tools for effective implementation. The session will explore these phenomena in an experiential and practicable manner.

    Nouman Ashraf

    Nouman Ashraf is Assistant Professor, Rotman School of Management. He possesses a broad range of professional, academic and research interests, with a specialized focus on enabling impactful leadership practice within organization life. A recognized thought leader in governance, Nouman teaches Emancipatory Leadership within the OMNIUM Global Executive MBA Program, Leading Social Innovation within the 2 and 3 Year MBA programs, and is the winner of the 2015 and 2016 Rotman Teaching Award. Furthermore, he advises the Ontario Ministry of Education on governance renewal for all of their school boards. His previous consulting clients include Telus, Cliffs Natural Resources, Bayer, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, United Way Toronto, and numerous post-secondary and healthcare institutions globally. At lunch time, he can be found at Massey College within the University of Toronto, where he mentors exceptional post-graduate students in his capacity as Senior Fellow.