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Early Bird Registration Closes August 1 for the 2014 Lamaze & DONA Confluence!

July 29th, 2014 by avatar

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This year’s Confluence (the special term being used to describe the 2014 conference hosted jointly by Lamaze International and DONA International in Kansas City, MO is shaping up to be simply an outstanding experience for all the attendees.  The confluence committee has put together an outstanding line up of speakers for the general sessions.

Pre-Conference Events

In the days  leading up to the confluence, attendees can register to participate in several different pre-conference events.  Choose from a three day Lamaze Childbirth Educator Seminar – one step on the path to becoming a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator.  This workshop is taught by the Denver-CPAC Lamaze-Accredited Childbirth Educator Program.  Take in the wisdom and experience of midwife Gail Tully, of Spinning Babies fame as she leads participants through a half day program designed for doulas, educators, doctors, midwives and L&D nurses.  Learn strategies and skills to teach to students and use with laboring women, when a malpositioned baby is interfering with the normal progression of labor and birth.   Patty Brennan, author of “The Doula Business Guide: Creating a Successful Motherbaby Business” leads a four hour business development workshop on establishing and growing a successful birth business and all that a birth pro needs to be successful.  Our final pre-conference offering is a full day “Evidence Based Nursing: Labor Support Skills” workshop designed especially for clinicians who want to help support safe and healthy birth through non-pharmacologic pain management strategies and hands on labor support skills. This workshop is taught by the amazing Kathryn Konrad.

Captivating General Session Speakers

Penny Simkin, Eugene DeClercq, Michele Deck, Katharine Wenstrom and Ngozi Tibbs are the plenary speakers at this year’s confluence and I could not be more excited.  These leaders in the field each bring their own diverse background and perspective to the confluence, while having the common goal to improve maternal infant health.  Learn more about the general session speakers and their background in this Science & Sensibility post.

Concurrent Sessions (focusing on four different tracks)

This year, there are four tracks of concurrent sessions!  Choose the track that most interests you or mix and match the concurrent sessions to customize a program that meets your individual needs.  Our four tracks are:

  • Evidence based teaching and practice
  • New and emerging research in the field of childbearing
  • Using technology and innovation to reach childbearing women
  • Supporting the needs of childbirth professionals

Enjoy the presentations of both seasoned presenters back again to share their wisdom and welcome those presenting for the first time, full of fresh and exciting perspectives and ideas.

Social Events

LCCEs attend the DONA Conference Photo Credit HeatherGail Lovejoy

Photo Credit HeatherGail Lovejoy

Half the fun of attending a professional conference is the opportunity to network and socialize with both new friends and old. The 2014 Confluence is no exception.  The Wine and Dine Event scheduled for Saturday evening at the beautiful Amigoni Urban Winery will include a custom designed wine tasting and gourmet dinner.  Your ticket includes RT transporation, to make it easy to enjoy the evening with a minimum of stress.

Exhibitors

When I attend conferences, I always make sure to leave plenty of time to browse the exhibit hall.  I love to see what new and innovative products are available for my doula and CBE practice.  Exhibitors from all over come to share what is hot and what is helpful and I love being able to ask questions about services from these experts and try out and examine all kinds of items useful for my business.  The list of exhibitors is long and full of well known companies who you will love to connect with in the Exhibit Hall.  For a list of those currently exhibiting, see our exhibitor list on the Confluence website. New exhibitors are being added, so check back frequently and be sure and stop by and say hi!

Register Now

There are many reasons to attend the 2014 Lamaze and DONA Confluence in Kansas City, MO September 18-21.  Take advantage of early bird pricing by registering by August 1 so that you can save some money and feel confident that all your continuing education and networking needs will be met by attending this fabulous Confluence.  See you in Kansas City!  Register now!

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5 Business Practices of Successful Childbirth Educators

June 26th, 2014 by avatar

by Robin Elise Weiss, PhDc, MPH, LCCE, FACCE

Robin Weiss, childbirth educator and president-elect of Lamaze International shares some very smart business tips for being a successful childbirth educator, regardless of whether you work for a large hospital system or teach independent classes. Check out her advice below and share your own suggestions in our comments section. – Sharon Muza, Community Manager for Science & Sensibility

Being in childbirth education is an amazing profession. As a childbirth educator, we are privileged to be with families as they learn and prepare for one of the most exciting journeys of their lives, that of giving birth. Many childbirth educators began this path as a calling, and have had to stumble through the business aspects. It can be difficult to separate the calling from the business.

The good news is that there are five things that you can do that will greatly improve your business acumen and help you become successful in all facets of your profession.

1) Get educated

A formal education in childbirth prepares you to teach and for your certification examinations. However, other than quick mentions of finding clients and paperwork, there is often little information given towards having a business and running it well. There are many questions that you might have from settling on a business name, incorporating, taxes, license fees, or office space. These are questions that have widely varying answers, but that are very specific to where you live and how you practice. Finding a local resource for education is an imperative. Many groups that are willing to help small business owners, like SCORE. They offer free classes and counseling to help you get started.

2) Have back up

Back up in this case refers to your certifying organization. Having an international organization behind you will open many doors. While a hospital of doctor’s office may not know you, the name of an organization such as Lamaze International is well known. The people that you are applying to work with know of the high standards that Lamaze International sets forward in their educators.
There are also special benefits to being a member of a professional organization. This can include referrals for clients in your area, continuing education, conferences, and other things of professional interest. In addition to these benefits, there is also the satisfaction of being with like-minded people.

3) Give Referrals

Referrals may seem like something that does not fit in this list. But following the old adage of it being better to give than to receive is only partially true. I would amend it to be that when you give, you also receive. Keep a local resource list handy and feel free to give it away to anyone who would like it. Also be quick with personal referrals for those with complementary business practices. Think about lactation consultants, doulas, midwives, and doctors in your area. Be sure to ask the person to whom you give the referral to say that you sent them. This shows others in the area that you appreciate their services. Consider asking for their cards to pass out when asked for referrals.

4) Be present

Attend all of the local functions that you are invited to attend or that you can apply to attend. This can include baby fairs thrown by hospitals, guest speaking for various groups from nursing education to mothers’ groups. Being seen in public and having lots of people get to know you is beneficial. It has two benefits, 1) to get to know others in the community and to give back, and 2) to let people know about your services.

5) Be prepared

You should always be prepared with at least two things: your business cards and your elevator speech. Multiple business cards is a no brainer. Don’t be so thrilled with your cards that you are afraid to give them out. (I did this when I first started!) Give them out like candy. Need to give another mom your number for a play date? The back of your card works as a great white space!
Your elevator speech is a 1-2 minute long summary of what you do. Be prepared so that the next time someone asks you what you do for a living, you can quickly and confidently tell them. You can practice this after writing it out at home if that helps you. Some childbirth educators say that they’ve even made a video to watch themselves give this mini-speech to help make it more natural.

In the end, do not let the business side of your calling be a barrier. There are ways to build this side of your skill set and to be both a great childbirth educator and a great businessperson, with just a few steps.

About Robin Weiss

robin weiss head shotRobin Elise Weiss is a childbirth educator in Louisville, KY. She is also the President-Elect of Lamaze International. You can find her at pregnancy.about.com and robineliseweiss.com

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“Kansas City, Here I Come!” Ten Reasons You Should Plan on Attending the 2014 Confluence with Lamaze and DONA

June 10th, 2014 by avatar

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On September 18-21, 2014, just about 13 weeks away, hundreds of doulas and childbirth educators, along with other birth professionals, will be meeting up  in Kansas City, MO,  for the 2014 Confluence with Lamaze International and DONA International.  The theme is “flowing together for safe, healthy birth and beyond.”  This confluence (according to Merriam-Webster, a confluence is a place where two rivers or streams join to become one or a situation in which two things come together or happen at the same time) is a joint conference hosted by the two organizations.  While this conference cooperation has long been a dream of both organizations, the vision is finally coming to fruition this fall with this great conference opportunity.

Here are my top reasons why you want to to attend the 2014 Confluence: Lamaze & DONA – Flowing together for safe, healthy birth and beyond.

1. Have fun in Kansas City, a midwestern Missouri town of half a million, sitting on the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers.  Officially known as the “”City of Fountains,” there are over 200 fountains in Kansas City, second only to Rome.  Kansas City is known for its steak and BBQ cuisine, along with its jazz music.  There will be plenty of time to enjoy all three during conference down time.  For more on attractions, restaurants and what to see and do in Kansas City, check out the official Kansas City tourism site.

2. See old friends from conferences past. This one of the best things about going to a conference. When you attend, you have the chance to see the birth professionals that you connect with throughout the year online and on the phone, and rarely get a chance to visit with in person. Imagine three plus days to chat, visit and learn with your best birth buddies. Some of my dearest friends I only see at the Lamaze conference, and I cherish the time I get to spend with them.

3. Meet new friends and establish new relationships that can grow and flourish! There will be so many interesting people from all over the world attending the annual conference. This year, we will have doulas and educators attending from many countries all around the world, as well as men and women from all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. It is easy to mix and mingle with people new to you, find out interesting things and establish new friendships!

4. Lamaze International and DONA international contact hours are available to you for every conference session you attend, and participation in pre-conference workshops will award you even more! The 2014 Confluence will also award nursing contact hours as Lamaze International is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation

5. Learn fun, childbirth class activities, creative teaching ideas, doula client tips, ideas and suggestions that will enhance your classroom and doula client activities and relationships. Learn from leaders in the maternal infant health field as well as from innovative doulas and childbirth educators.   Lots of learning opportunities and take-aways of useful material for you to use when you get back home.

6. Learn about new research, evidence based information and best practices that you can take back to your communities to help improve maternal infant outcomes for women and families. Leaders in the field will share the newest information with you. Use this new information in your classes and your clients, offering the latest facts to your families so they can make informed choices.

7. Hear five fabulous keynote speakers present in our general sessions. Michele Deck RN, BSN, M.Ed., LCCE, FACCE, Eugene R. Declercq, PhD, Katharine D. Wenstrom, MD, Ngozi Tibbs, CD (DONA), LCCE, IBCLC, and Penny Simkin, PT  are all excited aout presenting to the DONA and Lamaze community at this groundbreaking conference.  Read Dr. Waldman and Amber McCann’s interviews on Science & Sensibility and then hear them speak in New Orleans.

8. Attend fantastic pre-conference events on a variety of topics by arriving in Kansas City a few days early! Complete a Lamaze Childbirth Education Seminar, attend a Birth or Postpartum Doula workshop, Evidence Based Nursing: Labor Support Skills workshop, or one of two speciality workshops on getting grants for your organization or resolving fetal malposition. All of these pre-conference activities offer additional contact hours for attendees.

9. Learn about new and exciting opportunities and alliances that Lamaze International and DONA International have planned for the future to continue to grow our organizations and remain leaders in the field of doulas and childbirth education. Both organizations will be holding annual meetings on Saturday morning, open to all during the confluence. You can meet the board members and staff of each organization and provide input on how the organization is meeting your needs.

10. Network with colleagues and experts and establish professional relationships with opportunity for collaboration and joint-ventures. Discuss business opportunities and create new alliances that can help you further your career and grow your business.

Bonus Reason #11! Come say hello to me! I will be in Kansas City, both presenting and blogging at the conference and would love the chance to meet you all, hear your thoughts on our blog and learn what you would like to see on the blog in the future!

Won’t you consider attending this year’s Lamaze/DONA confluence in Kansas City, MO?  Early bird registration prices are available until August 1st, 2014. Discounts are offered to members also! What are some of your favorite reasons to attend the conference? Will we see you there? Let us know in the comments section. To learn more about the programs, speakers, learning opportunities, venue and to register, please see the conference page. And don’t forget to make your hotel reservations sooner than later so that you can secure your desired lodging. See you in K.C!!

Photo Source: creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by ZTW1: http://flickr.com/photos/zachwerner/7730952314

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Lamaze International Webinar- Six is the New Four: A Review of the Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery Consensus Report

March 24th, 2014 by avatar

Lamaze International is delighted to be offering a continuing education opportunity for all interested professionals.  ”Six is the New Four: A Review of the Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery Consensus Report” is being facilitated by Richard Waldman, M.D. and Peggy DeZinno, BSN, RN, LCCE from OB-Consult on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 4 PM EDT.

A few weeks ago, Science & Sensibility’s Judith Lothian highlighted and reviewed the just released joint ACOG/SMFM report “Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery” and many agreed it was a game changer.  Many of the recommendations listed in the report appeared to be shifting away from current, but outdated practices and encouraging more evidence based care that promotes patience, expectant management and acknowledges that protocols need to be changed if there is to be a reduction in cesareans, particularly that primary (first) cesarean.
In this upcoming webinar, Dr. Richard Waldman and Peggy DeZinno will discuss the gap between current practice and the opinion paper’s recommendations.  What will it take to get us there?  What needs to change and where are the challenges?
Dr. Waldman is the former president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a keynote speaker at the 2013 Lamaze International Annual Conference that was held in New Orleans, LA.  You can read an interview I did with Dr. Waldman last summer and also read his article, “Birth as the Ultimate Collaboration” that he wrote for Science & Sensibility in advance of his keynote presentation.
Co-presenter Peggy DeZinno, BSN, RN, LCCE provides OB-Gyn-specific risk management services at OB- Consult. She has over 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry, specifically as a coordinator and instructor of women’s health and education programs.
At the end of this webinar, learners will be able to:
  • List two reasons why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine developed a Consensus for the safe prevention of primary Cesarean Delivery.
  • Describe the definition and management of abnormally progressing first-stage labor.
  • Describe the definition and management of abnormal second-stage labor
  • Discuss the role of continuous labor support in decreasing primary Cesarean births.

Participants in the full hour of the webinar will be able to receive 1.0 Lamaze Contact Hour and 1.0 Nursing Contact Hour after completion of a post-webinar evaluation. Lamaze International is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission on Accreditation.

This webinar and the associated continuing education hour is provide free as a benefit of Lamaze International membership.  Non-Lamaze members are invited to participate for the reasonable fee of $20, which includes the continuing ed contact hour.  Register for the webinar now to reserve your place at this exciting event scheduled for April 8th, 2014 ag 4:00 PM EDT.

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Keynote Speakers Announced for 2014 Lamaze/DONA Confluence

February 14th, 2014 by avatar

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I was excited to hear that the keynote speakers for the Lamaze International/DONA International 2014 Confluence were announced yesterday.  I am very much looking forward to this conference and love the idea of Lamaze and DONA sharing energy, resources and learning opportunities.  I think that both organizations and all the men and women in attendance at the conference will benefit from this joint venture.  The conference takes place on September 18-21, 2014 in Kansas City, MO at the Kansas City Marriot Downtown.

Keynotes for this year’s event include:

Michele Deck, RN, BSN, MEd, LCCE, FACCE

deckAn internationally renowned presenter, author, and educator, Michele Deck is the co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of G.A.M.E.S. and Tool Thyme for Trainers . She has won the prestigious “Excellence in Nursing” award, has been selected as a “Great 100 Nurses in Louisiana” and was elected to Sigma Theta Tau National Nursing Honor Society. In 2000, she received the sought-after Belinda Puetz award and in 2004 was the recipient of the Margaret L. Messore Lectureship award.  I have had the honor of bringing Michele to Seattle for a presentation given to our regional childbirth education conference and she brought down the house!  Her interactive and engaging activities left us all energized and excited.

Eugene R. Declercq, PhD

Eugene-Declercq2A professor of Community Health Sciences, assistant dean for DrPH Education at the Boston University School of Public Health and professor on the faculty of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Eugene R. Declercq has served as lead author of national reports on women’s experiences in childbirth. He was a technical advisor to the film documentary, The Business of Being Born, and developed and presented the short film, Birth by the Numbers. He is one of the Principal Investigators for the Massachusetts Outcomes Study of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (MOSART), a NIH funded study of infant and maternal outcomes associated with assisted reproductive technologies.  I have heard Dr. Declercq speak several times and always leave his presentations amazed at the skill he has in presenting data effectively and with humor.  I have great respect for his work and appreciate all he does to promote maternal infant health improvements.  Did you know that Dr. Declercq is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator?

Katharine D. Wenstrom, MD

wenstrom_katharineDirector of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and director of the Prenatal Diagnosis Centers in Providence, RI, New Bedford, MA and Foxboro, MA. Katharine D. Wenstrom is also professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. A geneticist and nationally recognized leader in the field of maternal-fetal medicine, Dr. Wenstrom works to set the standard for the best care of high-risk pregnant women.  What a unique perspective this perinatologist must have.  I look forward to hearing her speak and sharing her views on pregnancy and birth.

Ngozi Tibbs, CD(DONA), LCCE, IBCLC

ngozi tibbsThe founder and owner of Sankofa Childbirth Education and Lactation Services, in Pittsburgh, PA, Ngozi Tibbs holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Maternal Child Health and is a candidate for a Master of Public Health in – 2014. She has served as a doula, childbirth educator and lactation consultant primarily serving at risk communities including: African American, Latino, immigrant and low- income women from more than 10 counties in the United States. She is a Certified Birth Doula through DONA International, a Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) through Lamaze International, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a La Leche League Leader through La Leche League International.  What a powerful combination of talents!  I am confident that Ngozi will share information that will help everyone to better meet the needs of underserved populations who are often lacking in birth services promoting safe and healthy birth.

Penny Simkin, PT

penny_simkinA physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968, Penny Simkin has prepared over 11,000 women, couples and siblings for childbirth. She has produced several birth-related films and is the author of many books and articles on birth for parents and professionals. Currently, she serves on several boards of consultants and on the senior faculty at the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, which was named in her honor.  Penny has such wisdom and experience in helping families to have a better birth experience, and her work has had such an impact on birth professionals and families all around the world.  As one of the founding members of DONA International, it is very fitting that she is speaking at this joint conference.

This conference will be very rich in experience and expertise and I am definitely planning on attending. It is also a great way to meet my continuing education requirements.  I am looking forward to hearing who will be presenting concurrent sessions, finding out what preconference sessions are scheduled and making plans to connect with colleagues from all over the world.  Is your calendar marked for this conference?  Registration opens April 15th, 2014!  Register early to take advantage of early bird prices, once it opens.  To learn more about the conference and stay up to date on important information, check back to the conference site regularly.

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