Archive for the ‘Conference Schedule’ Category

Meet William Camann, MD – Lamaze/ICEA Conference Plenary Speaker

August 25th, 2015 by avatar
William Camann, MD

William Camann, MD

With the Lamaze/ICEA Joint Conference a little more than three weeks away, final details are well underway to make sure this joint conference offers something for everyone who attends.  And if for some reason, you are unable to join the conference in person, there is a Virtual Conference option for some of the sessions.  Today on Science & Sensibility, we meet Dr. William Camann, Director of Obstetric Anesthesia, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, author and researcher.  Learn more about Dr. Camann and hear some of his thoughts today on the blog.  Then plan on attending Dr. Camann’s plenary session – “What Does the Informed Childbirth Educator Need to Know About Labor Pain Relief in 2015?” at the Lamaze/ICEA 2015 Joint Conference in Las Vegas, NV next month.

Sharon Muza: What is the role of the childbirth educator in helping families to understand their childbirth pain relief options as they prepare for labor?

William Camann, MD: One of the things I often say is that “the most predictable thing about labor is that it is unpredictable”. The childbirth educator plays a critical role in properly preparing women and their partners for labor and birth. But the educator is also up against the reality of our electronic age. Much information is available online, and many women utilize these electronic resources as an adjunct to, or even in place of, traditional classes. Openness to all options, realization that things may change as labor begins and progresses, and an understanding of why some common medical procedures and interventions are done, is critical.

The educator needs to be realistic and unbiased and not try to place their own thoughts/feelings/agendas onto the woman and her partner. Just as the woman and her partner need to go into labor with an open mind, likewise those who teach childbirth education must approach the task with all options open. It can indeed be a very tricky interaction. Some do it better than others. Another important thing is for the educator to be aware of particular practices at local hospitals. Not all hospitals do things exactly the same way. Being aware of local practice patterns and preferences can assist with proper preparation of the women for what they can expect. Hopefully conferences like this one will assist with sharing of valuable ideas for all of us to make ourselves better educators.

SM: What are some of the common misconceptions that parents and/or childbirth educators have about epidurals?

WC: Many parents have heard that epidurals:

  1. don’t work
  2. are dangerous, to both mother and baby
  3.  cause back pain
  4. cause headaches
  5. contribute to unnecessary cesarean deliveries
  6. make it impossible to push the baby out
  7. you have to be a certain number of centimeters dilated to get an epidural and if labor has progressed very far, it may be “too late” to get an epidural
  8. are not needed in most labors
  9. can result in paralysis

All of these concepts need to be discussed in proper context. There is very comprehensive research behind each of these concepts, but it is complex, and sometimes conflicting and confusing. This is where a good, insightful, informed and realistic childbirth educator can be so helpful.

A related misconception is that some, perhaps many, women feel that they do not need to attend childbirth classes if they are planning to have an epidural. Not true!

easy labor book cover camannSM: How have labor pain relief options changed in the past 10 years? What is new and exciting?

WC: The most significant changes have been with regard to the technology and medications used in epidurals. “Low-dose” epidurals with ability to maintain movement, and “patient-controlled” epidurals which give a large degree of control back to the patient, are now very commonly used in most labor units. Small changes in needle and catheter design, and drug delivery systems, have made these techniques more effective, with even lower doses of medications, resulting in fewer side effects. Likewise, technological advances allow for increased flexibility and comfort in how the actual epidural is inserted. Overall, these changes have made the use of epidural anesthesia a much more user-friendly technique, and a technique that can really facilitate a good, safe, satisfying birthing experience.

SM: As an obstetrical anesthesiologist, how has your role as a valuable member of the birth team changed over the years?

WC: There has been increasing awareness, among both anesthesiologists and others also (nurses, obstetricians, midwives, doulas, childbirth educators) that anesthesiologists are a critical part of the entire birth team. We can provide much more than just administering anesthesia. We are often sought after for advice on appropriate pain management choices, particularly in mothers with various comorbidities and other complex medical conditions. We are more often being asked to participate in prenatal education classes. We are very welcoming to learning about alternative methods of pain relief, and how this may fit into the overall paradigm of care during labor. As more and more mothers with complex medical conditions become pregnant, our role as anesthesiologists has expanded to include significant consultations with obstetricians and other medical colleagues to assist with ensuring a safe pregnancy and birth.

SM: You do a lot of work and research around offering a family centered cesarean? Do you consider it important for the mother to have a second support person (doula or other support) along with her partner, in the OR for the birth? How can families advocate for their desire to have two support people during a cesarean?

WC: For those who do want a second support person, if properly chosen and truly desired by the woman, then I believe there is value in this. In my personal practice, I am totally fine with a second support person in the operating room, if this is what the family wants. In the overall picture of women having cesareans, it just is not a common request.

SM: Do you see any challenges to presenting informed consent information to a woman in the throes of labor? How do you do this effectively?

Photo by Patti Ramos Photography

Photo by Patti Ramos Photography

WC: YES! This is an extraordinarily difficult and complex time to properly obtain informed consent. In these situations, we try our best. It is not easy. The involvement of a good obstetrician, labor nurse, midwife and doula can be very helpful. Pre-labor education is crucial, to avoid these difficult circumstances. However, pre-labor it is impossible to really know what the pain is like. We have all seen “best laid plans” rapidly change once the reality of labor pains commence. This is why having an open mind and flexibility is so important for women about to embark on labor and birth.

SM: What are you looking forward to most about being a plenary speaker and presenting to the Lamaze/ICEA 2015 conference attendees?

WC: I always enjoy these types of conferences. I feel I become a better anesthesiologist when I interact with and learn from interested colleagues who may share some different perspectives. I also hope that the attendees at the conference will become better educators, doulas, and midwives as a result of what I will share in my lecture and by attending the meeting.

SM: Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of Science & Sensibility and attendees at the upcoming conference?

WC: We are all working together to ensure a safe, satisfying birth for mom, partner and baby. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this conference.



2015 Conference, 2015 Lamaze & ICEA Joint Conference, Childbirth Education, Conference Schedule, Epidural Analgesia , , , , ,

Introducing the Lamaze International LCCE Educator Social Media Guide

July 23rd, 2015 by avatar

LI_0350215_LCCE-SocialMediaGuide-FINALThis past Tuesday, I collected and shared a multitude of Lamaze International resources that are available on a variety of social media platforms that many of you might already be familiar with – Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook and many more.  The vast majority of these resources are available to any birth professional or consumer, and a scarce few are limited to Lamaze International members.  There is one more resource for Lamaze International members that I would like to make you aware of – the just released LCCE Educator Social Media Guide.  The Social Media Guide satisfies one of the Lamaze International Strategic Framework Goals for 2014-2017: Continue to build-out social media presence and engagement, and build educator skill and engagement in social media outreach.

Lamaze International has long provided a LCCE Educator Marketing Toolkit to help educators market their Lamaze classes to their community.  The Social Media Guide augments that Toolkit and is a comprehensive document that explains the different social media platforms so that you can select the one(s) that best meet your needs and serve your purpose.  We then help you get started, if you are new to the selected platform. There is also additional information if you are already a user and want to take your professional social media usage to the next level.

The Social Media Guide shares how it might benefit you and your business to engage with potential clients and students on social media, and what impact it might have on your business.  And as everyone knows, using social media can sometimes feel like falling into a big, black hole.  The Social Media Guide helps you to understand the importance of a) setting limits and b) using your limited time wisely.

Have you wondered if you should have a personal AND professional social media account or use the same account for both purposes?  We can help you decide, as the guide discusses the pros and cons of both.  We also provide various social media graphics that you can incorporate into your profiles, helping you to create a brand identity as a premier childbirth educator.

Each platform section is full of “Pro Tips,” useful suggestions and examples that can help you to use the platform effectively, efficiently and wisely.  There is information for all skill levels from beginner to current user.

There is even a comprehensive glossary so that you can make sure to understand all the abbreviations, acronyms, and keywords that are associated with each platform.

Being active and engaged on social media positions you as an expert in your field and can really help consumers to see both the benefits and value in utilizing your services. It also helps share evidence based information that can help guide families to safer and healthier births.  With a smart and effective social media strategy, you will be able to see the return on your time and energy investments with increasingly full classes and further recognition as an expert in serving families during the childbearing year.

If you are a current Lamaze member, head right over, log in and check out and download your copy of this comprehensive guide. If you are not currently a Lamaze International member, this guide along with all the other benefits offered to members is a real value for the price of a membership.

I also want to share that my colleague Jeanette McCulloch and I are teaching an interactive and jam-packed preconference workshop- “Social Media Smarts: Strategic Online Marketing for the Busy Childbirth Professional” on Thursday afternoon, right before the Lamaze International/ICEA 2015 conference starts, on September 17th, in Las Vegas, NV.

Social media marketing may be free, but your time isn’t. With Facebook views on the decline and increasing competition for your audience’s attention, how can you reach new families and fill your childbirth classes or client calendar without spending your day online? Join us for the workshop and advance your skills!  More info on the conference website.  Early bird registration for the conference and this workshop is available through August 1st.  Register now.

Have you had an opportunity to get a peek at the Lamaze International LCCE Educator Social Media Guide.  Share your experiences putting some of the information to work for you in our comments section.



Childbirth Education, Conference Schedule, Continuing Education, Lamaze International, Lamaze News , , , ,

Great Line-up of Plenary Conference Speakers and President’s Desk Updates

May 14th, 2015 by avatar

lamaze icea conf 2015Today on Science & Sensibility – news you can use!  Plenary speakers have been announced for the upcoming conference and Robin Elise Weiss, Lamaze International’s Board President has a new series of informative videos called “From the President’s Desk” that you will want to check out.  Read on for information on both of these topics.

Lamaze/ICEA Joint Conference News

Lamaze International and the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) just announced their plenary (general session) speaker line up for the joint Lamaze/ICEA 2015 conference at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas on September 17-20.  Four speakers will address the entire conference in general sessions and I am very much looking forward to listening to their presentations along with the many concurrent sessions that will be offered over the four days of the conference.

ICEA and Lamaze celebrated their 50th anniversaries together in 2010 in Milwaukee, WI with a well attended “mega-conference” that had great energy and educational offerings and I expect that this conference will be just as big and wonderful.  Bringing together two leaders in childbirth education to hold a joint conference means that all attendees will benefit in numerous ways.

The theme of the Las Vegas conference is “Raising the Stakes for Evidence Based Practices & Education in Childbirth” and I know that educators, doctors, midwives, doulas, L&D nurses, IBCLCs and others will come together and take advantage of this joint conference to network, learn, receive contact hours, and socialize with other professionals.  Maybe, even win a little at the blackjack tables or take in a great show.  Las Vegas is a great venue for this conference, offering a wide variety of locales, activities and nightlife to enjoy outside of conference  hours.

This year’s plenary speakers

camman head shot 2015William Camann, MD
Director of Obstetric Anesthesia, Brigham and Women’s Hospital,  Associate Professor of Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School

Presentation: What does the informed childbirth educator need to know about labor pain relief in 2015?



combellick head shot 2015Joan Combellick, MSN, MPH,CM
PhD Student, NYU College of Nursing
Midwife, Hudson River Healthcare

Presentation: Watchful Waiting Revisited: Birth Experience and the Neonatal Microbiome



Joseph head shot 2015Jennie Joseph, LM, CPM
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery

Presentation:The Perinatal Revolution: Reducing Disparities and Saving Lives through Perinatal Education and Support



mcallister head shot 2015Elan McAllister
Founder, Choices in Childbirth

Presentation: No Day But Today





Concurrent sessions

Watch the website for soon to be released information on concurrent speakers and their topics.  Concurrent sessions will fall into one of four categories:

  • Evidence-Based Teaching and Practice
  • Using Technology and Innovation to Reach Childbearing and Breastfeeding Women
  • New and Emerging Research in the Field of Childbearing and Breastfeeding
  • Challenges of the Maternal Child Professional

Preconference workshops

Additionally, there will be two preconference workshops available for a small additional fee.  These 4 hour workshops allow you to really immerse yourself in the topic and leave with concrete skills applicable to your work with childbearing families.

  • Movement in Birth (AM)
  • Social Media Smarts: Strategic Online Marketing for the Busy Childbirth Professional (PM)

Early bird registration is open until August 1, 2015, so registering now allows you to save money on the conference fees and make your travel and hotel plans now.  Look for interviews with the plenary speakers over the next few months on Science & Sensibility.

 From the President’s Desk

Board President Robin Elise Weiss, Ph.D, has recently made a series of short and useful videos for Lamaze International on several topics.  The video series is called “From the President’s Desk”. Released to date are several on cesareans;

Robin’s newest video discusses the recently released ACOG committee opinion “Clinical Guidelines and Standardization of Practice to Improve Outcomes“. This video helps both birth professionals and consumers to understand how pushing for the best evidence based care can result in both pregnant people and their babies having improved outcomes.  ACOG wants to be able to offer best practice to those receiving care from its members, and consumers can help by sharing their desire to receive care in line with recommended guidelines.

Head over to Lamaze International’s YouTube Channel to see all the offerings, share the relevant videos with your students and clients and subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss any of the releases.

2015 Lamaze & ICEA Joint Conference, ACOG, Cesarean Birth, Childbirth Education, Conference Calendar, Conference Schedule, Continuing Education, Lamaze International, Lamaze News , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Keynote Speakers Announced for 2014 Lamaze/DONA Confluence

February 14th, 2014 by avatar

confluence header

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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2014 Confluence – DONA & Lamaze International Want You to Submit an Abstract!

January 3rd, 2014 by avatar

confluence header

You are invited to submit an abstract for the 2014 Confluence – Lamaze & DONA flowing together for safe, healthy, birth and beyond happening in Kansas City, Missouri on September 18-21, 2014.  Abstract submissions are being accepted until January 29th and I know that Science & Sensibility readers are some of the most interesting, engaged and knowledgeable professionals on topics related to pregnancy, birth and postpartum topics that exist anywhere.

confluence definitionThis unique joint conference is breaking new ground in bringing together two long-time leaders in the childbirth professions, DONA International and Lamaze International so that members of both organizations can share learning opportunities, ideas, networking occasions, and collaboration and learn from each other and other experts. Won’t you consider submitting an abstract?

Conference objectives are to:

  • Incorporate the use of technology and innovation in order to meet the needs of childbearing families.
  • Discuss how evidence-based research and best practice guidelines may be incorporated into practice, used to advocate for safe and healthy birth, promote professional collaborations, and support quality initiatives.
  • Implement innovative techniques that support the physical, emotional, cultural and educational needs of childbearing families.
  • Describe current research initiatives and approaches to perinatal care that may impact safe and healthy birth, postpartum, breastfeeding and early parenting.

Abstracts are being solicited that speak to one or more of the following areas:

  • Using Technology and Innovation to Reach Childbearing Women: The Listening to Mothers III Survey indicates that childbearing women are highly connected to social media and widely receive information about childbirth, postpartum, and parenting through social media platforms. How can childbirth professionals connect electronically with new or potential clients and integrate technology into education, support and advocacy? How can we best connect to families with diverse needs? These sessions may consist of case studies, technology tool demos and best practices, or marketing tips for the independent provider, educator and doula.
  • Evidence Based Teaching and Practice: The use of evidence based information is at the heart of childbirth education and labor and postpartum support. Recently developed quality initiatives and professional guidelines can be used to advocate for safe and healthy birth, breastfeeding support, VBAC, parent-infant attachment, and other topics important to parents and to those who provide childbirth support. How can evidence-based practices be combined with awareness and sensitivity to the range of cultural and religious traditions and preferences to promote safe and satisfying births? These sessions will provide information about how to incorporate evidence-based information into support, education, quality initiatives and advocacy efforts.
  • Supporting the Needs of Childbirth Professionals: Doulas, childbirth educators, nurses, midwives, and others are continually searching for creative ways to understand and meet the physical, emotional, religious, cultural and educational needs and preferences of childbearing families. Topics that sometimes generate strong political, cultural and social opinions (for example circumcision, vaccination, and co-sleeping) may be addressed. Presenters will share innovative techniques for supporting and sharing information with pregnant and parenting families. In these sessions the attendees will act as the learning audience and presenters will share with peers unique learning tips and support techniques.
  • New and Emerging Research in the Field of Childbearing: These sessions are for the presentation of new research, practice guidelines and collaborative efforts (published in the last three to five years) that are relevant to childbearing families and those who serve those families. Topics may range from holistic approaches to perinatal care, nutritional recommendations, effects of stress and toxic environmental exposures on pregnancy, the life course approach to healthy birth, preconception health and other subjects. These abstracts may be submitted for a live session or a poster presentation.

The deadline for abstract submission is January 29th, 2014 and I am confident that many of you have expertise, knowledge and skills that need to be shared with this gathering of professionals. What a great opportunity for you to present on your passion and for all the birth professionals; childbirth educators, doulas, lactation consultants, midwives, physicians, l&d nurses, counselors, authors and more to learn from YOU! Receive a generous honorarium and conference discount if your abstract is accepted.

Please consider sharing your wisdom!  Start working on your confluence abstract now.  You can find more information on submitting an abstract and access to the the online abstract submission tool here.  See you in Kansas City!  Let us know in the comments section if you are planning to submit!  I look forward to all of your great ideas!

2014 Confluence, Babies, Breastfeeding, Childbirth Education, Conference Calendar, Conference Schedule, Continuing Education, Uncategorized , , , , , , , ,

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