The Virtual Midwife
By The Virtual Midwife
A podcast for the thinking woman, not afraid to question the current policy based maternity system. Hosted by the Virtual Midwife, Karen Wilmot who left hospital work to unlearn everything she knew and relearn it in a way that remains true to her calling to be "with women". In this podcast she shares lessons from the labor room, women's wisdom, interviews with thought leaders and discussions with change makers, along with transformational lessons and meditations for pregnancy and birth.
When Should I Call my Doula?
Charlene had a call from a client in early labor on the morning of recording this episode so we thought it would be a great topic to chat about. Despite the call, we still managed to record this episode and have a few cups of tea and a chat before it was time for Charlene to head over to be with her and the baby was born later that evening. So in this episode we discuss: When should you call your doula? Should you call your doula or your midwife first? Should you let the hospital know you are en route? Is it different if you are having a home birth? Is it possible to call too late? More about Karen here More about Charlene here Preview Relax into Birth PLUS here
October 14, 2021
Enjoy this 1-hour track of soothing music with positive birth affirmations. I recommend listening to it daily during pregnancy during deep meditation or as background while doing other tasks. During labor, you can have it playing quietly in the background or listen with headphones to keep you focused and grounded. Don't underestimate the power of your mind to change negative and limiting thought patterns. Use the affirmations that don't resonate to identify possible blocks.
October 10, 2021
Is a baby ever to big to be born vaginally?
This week we had a great question from a listener who is concerned about the size of her baby. She sent us a one liner message asking "Is a baby really ever too big to give birth to vaginally?" As always, we consider both facts and opinions and explore the different perspectives of doulas, midwives, birthing mothers and obstetricians. More about Karen here More about Charlene here Preview Relax into Birth PLUS here
October 10, 2021
Do I need to be induced?
In this episode, we cover the topic of induction as requested by a listener on our Relax Into Birth PLUS mom's whatsapp group. "Dear Charlene and Karen. I am 39 weeks tomorrow and this morning at my routine checkup, my doctor recommended that I come in for an induction of labor on Thursday. Part of me is like 'hell yes, let's get this baby out pleazzzze', but there is another part that is wondering whether my baby needs a few more days inside? Is he ready? And actually - am I? I have definitely noticed that I am getting more frequent Braxton Hicks and I am feeling a lot of heaviness in my pelvis, but besides that, not much at all. If I go in on Thursday, I could be home by the weekend with my precious baby boy? Should I go for it? Looking forward to your thoughts on induction. Thanks Anon" Is induction of labour always necessary, or is it (sadly) sometimes scheduled out of convenience, fear, impatience or discomfort? Listen in for the ins and outs of this topic, as well as learn about some natural forms of induction that can get the bun in the oven keener to come earth side. If you are keen to join our whatsapp group of preggie mamas, please slide into our DMs and let us know. Also, look out for our Relax Into Birth PLUS online antenatal course, covering extensive Hypnobirthing techniques, as well as the physiological side of labour and birth. See you there! Remember to subscribe and share this podcast if you liked it. More about Karen here More about Charlene here Preview Relax into Birth PLUS here
September 29, 2021
What does Bait and Switch mean?
This was an uncomfortable topic to tackle. Unfortunately bait and switch tactics are common, especially in South Africa. The conversation was started by a query in our private Whatsapp group which got everyone sharing their experience and encouraged us to open the discussion on our podcast. In this episode Karen and Charlene attempt to look at it from all angles rather than making it an "us against them" situation and share some useful tips for red flag conversations and how to manage them. More about Karen here More about Charlene here Preview Relax into Birth PLUS here
September 22, 2021
Guide to Essential Oils during pregnancy
If you've been wondering about using Essential oils during pregnancy, your'e going to love this episode with Gayle Friedman from Sunshine Health in Cape Town. Gayle is founder of the Sunshine Colour and Health Academy and Registered Member of Allied Health Professions Council of SA and WOMBS. Gayle has been in the Health Care Field for over 30yrs and has experience as a qualified Aroma Therapist, Reflexologist, Colour Therapist, Pregnancy Therapist, Doula (Child Birth support) and Yoga Teacher for pregnant women. Gayle offers support comfort and care, using her expertise and experience as a mother of 3, to guide woman & their partners on their beginning journey into parenthood. An essential oil is a concentrated aromatic oily liquid containing volatile chemical compounds extracted from different. parts of plants for instance, leaves, barks, seeds, flowers and peels. They can be obtained by expression, fermentation, effleurage. or extraction but among all the methods, steam distillation and.plants herbs gums to enhance body emotions mind and Spirit. They can be described as the hormone of the plant and they directly affect the Limbic system of the brain via olfactory nerves, lungs and skin. Gayle shares how to use them safely and effectively. Learn more about Gayle here Learn more about Charlene here Learn more about Karen here Preview Relaxintobirth PLUS here
September 15, 2021
When to go to Hospital in Labor
In this episode we talk about the various scenarios you might face and the tools and resources you will need to feel confident. We know that it's tempting to go in earlier rather than later "just in case", but your labor won't progress any faster because you are in hospital. In fact, the clinical environment may slow or stall your labor and pave the way for interventions you prefer to avoid. Many parents start their journey of childbirth at home - and initially, labour in the home space and then eventually, at a certain point, leave home for hospital to continue their labour there. When is the best time to leave home for hospital? The answer to this question is quite complex - and there is no one-size-fits-all. If you are planning a hospital birth, take the time to listen in, as this information is for you - and will help you navigate the decision about when to go to hospital. What happens if your waters break at home? What if you lose your mucus plug at home? What if it's the middle of the night? We answer these questions and more. Connect with pregnant mamas from around the world and join our Relax Into Birth PLUS whatsapp group here. More about Karen here. More about Charlene here. Get the 3 Must Have resources that will help you navigate this decision.
September 8, 2021
Talk to me about episiotomy and tearing
In this episode, because we love it - we talk about a natural footling breech twin birth, weekends away in the mountains to recharge and last but not least, we answer a mom's question about tearing and episiotomies. We cover the full spectrum from what an episiotomy is, when is it necessary to perform one, when tearing is better than an episiotomy, how to avoid one and how to heal up the perineum after birth. Filled with expert tips and advice, we aim to remove your fear from this topic and help you understand what you need to know before you birth your baby! Resources mentioned in the podcast: *Check out this link about your role and your doctor's role in protecting your perineum during birth: *Read up more about how to use an epi-no - and check out the video on this page *Postpartum Perineal care info: Check out my @relax_into_birth Insta reel on this very topic: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CRyBdstJ27q/?utm_medium=share_sheet You can thank me later! Here's a quick guide and recipes to help heal the perineum for the Postpartum Mama. 💜Spray bottle for the loo: Mix: -100mls Witchazel -4-5 tablespoons of sea salt or Epsom salts -1-2 drops or high quality lavender or tea tree essential oil Spray the area every time you go to the bathroom - to assist the healing process. 💜Padsicles A padsicle is a frozen pad, made for nicks, tears or episiotomy. It is so soothing can help with bruising of the area. It is also helpful for post caesarean birth to place over the dressing. What you will need: -A spray/squeezie bottle -1 cup Raspberry tea -¼ cup of hammelis (witch hazel) -3 drops Lavender Essential Oil -3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil -A tube of single ingredient aloe vera gel / hammelis gel -1 to 2 packs of 12 absorbent maternity pads -A butter knife that you have sterilised in boiling water Method: 1. Make the tea and pour it into your spray/squeezie bottle once cooled. 2. Add the drops of essential oil to the bottle. 3. Lay your pads out, face up on a table on top of a clean towel / linen saver. 4. Spray the solution of tea, witch hazel and oils onto the pads quite thoroughly. 5. Squirt a little of the gel onto the tea-soaked pads and then spread like butter onto each pad. 6. Fold pads in half and place into a clean freezer bag / lunchbox and freeze. 7. Use as desired. Do not use one pad for an extended period of time. Change as needed. 💜Sushi Noori aka Seaweed: This is an amazing natural product too. Get a pack of sushi noori and use the sheets individually. Take one sheet, fold it in half, wet it under water and place on top of a dry pad. This has immense healing capacity. 💜Soak in a sitz bath of salt or Epsom salts daily until all healed up. More about Karen here More about Charlene here Get your pregnancy playbook and journal here
September 1, 2021
Giving Birth in Dubai with Midwife Cecile de Scally
This week is the first in our interview series where we speak to birth workers making a difference around the world. Cecile and I trained at Addington Hospital in Durban, South Africa in 1980 something (yes! we are "that old"...) and then years later, we met up when we were both working in the Middle East. We both hold a vision of restoring normality to birth through effective prenatal education, so I could not wait to catch up and find out what she has been up to and pick her brains about all things pregnancy and birth in Dubai. More about Cecile de Scally Cecile de Scally, also known as “baby whisperer” is an experienced South African trained midwife, who qualified in 1990 and has more than 25 years’ experience in prenatal and postnatal support and education. Cecile offers educational support to parents, providing prenatal classes, HypnoBirthing workshops and baby/toddler feeding and sleep consultations Cecile’s main focus is Mother and Baby services, offering educational support and advice for new parents and sleep support for parents of new babies as well as toddlers. With Cecile’s wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise, she assists families to make informed decisions about their pregnancy, birth and baby. To book a consultation or prenatal workshop with Cecile, please email: email@example.com More about Karen here More about Charlene here Get your pregnancy playbook and journal here
August 26, 2021
Pain Relief in Labor - what are my options?
Letter of the week: Dear Karen and Charlene, I have just finished your course - and I loved it by the way, but I have a few questions about pain relief. I have been thinking about about how labour will be - and if i will cope. I have heard that epidurals are amazing for pain relief - but have also heard that they can have an adverse effect on the baby. Is this true? What options do i have for pain relief - and should i opt for an epidural? From the course I learnt about having a doula present to help with natural forms of pain relief. How do they compare to the big guns of epidural and pethedine? What other options do I have? I think i have a high pain threshhold, but my husband thinks I will be begging for an epidural from the get go. I am hoping to prove him wrong - but I also have no idea what to expect. Thanks for your help - and for the course, I learnt so much! Elle in Cape Town. If you want your query addressed in our podcast email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Preview Relax into Birth PLUS here More about Karen here Get your FREE pregnancy journal here
August 19, 2021
What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
Our weekly listener email Dear Charlene and Karen I actually found your podcast when I was doing a google search to know the difference between a midwife and a doula so it would be great if you could talk about that in one of your shows. I listened to your episode last week about which gyn to choose but recently I have been considering working with a midwife. When I posted in the Facebook group I belong, I had lots of recommendations but many of them were for doulas and now I am a bit confused. Is a doula able to do my prenatal care and deliver my baby? Can I hire a doula instead of a midwife? If I have a midwife will I automatically have a doula? And if I choose to have a hospital birth can I still have my midwife or maybe even my doula....as you can see I am totally confused and befuddled and hoping you can help me understand. Thanks so much, Annamarie. 18 weeks pregnant with my first baby. If you would like to have your question on the podcast, send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Get the Relax into Birth PLUS Pregnancy Playbook and Journal (free download) here About Karen here About Charlene here Please subscribe, rate and review our podcast!
August 11, 2021
How do I know if my doctor is good for the birth I want?
Every week, we cover topics of pregnancy, birth and motherhood – and we read your letters and interview relevant folk to bring you the most up to date info in every podcast. We do our research – thoroughly… In this episode, we answer a letter from 20-week pregnant mama Jennifer, asking us for advice on how to best choose a doctor and hospital for her gynae-led birth. We offer advice and tips to cover all bases, including info on home birth vs hospital birth and midwife-lead vs ob-gyn-lead birth. Charlene and Karen share their recommendations and some anecdotes – both funny and serious. If you love what you hear and you want more then drop by and download our FREE 40 page pregnancy playbook and journal packed with loads of fun stuff and tons of “must know prego info”. Grab it here All about Karen here All about Charlene here Relax into Birth PLUS course here
August 7, 2021
Will my GYN know I had sex?
Each week you are invited to send us your big birth question and we'll give you every angle of the dangle. This week a listener, Fran, shares her concerns about whether her midwife or OBGYN will know if she has had sex when she is examined - if sex was the activity that induced her labour? Also, she is feeling mighty frisky - and we assure her this is normal too - Frisky Fran! Charlene and Karen share their recommendations and some anecdotes - both funny and serious. If you love what you hear and you want more then drop by and download our FREE 40 page pregnancy playbook and journal packed with loads of fun stuff and tons of "must know prego info". Grab it here More about Charlene here More about Karen here
July 29, 2021
I'm worried about how my husband will be after he watches me give birth?
Each week you are invited to send us your big birth question and we'll give you every angle of the dangle. This week a listener shares her concerns about how her partner might react during birth. Will he still find her desirable afterwards and will her body change? Charlene and Karen share their recommendations and some anecdotes - both funny and serious. If you love what you hear and you want more then drop by and download our FREE 40 page pregnancy playbook and journal packed with loads of fun stuff and tons of "must know prego info". Grab it here All about Karen here All about Charlene here Relax into Birth PLUS course here
July 22, 2021
What if I poo?
I've partnered up with the best doula in South Africa Charlene Yared West, founder of Relax into Birth. We have been working together for the last few months bringing our collective knowledge and expertise into a course that highlights "the doula and the midwife" perspective and we had such fun doing it that we decided to share it on our podcast. We've also been getting tons of questions in our whatsapp group so this is the perfect platform to share them with you (with permission of course!) Each week you are invited to send us your big birth question and we'll give you every angle of the dangle. This week is the big poop question.... If you love what you hear and you want more then drop by and download our FREE 40 page pregnancy playbook and journal packed with loads of fun stuff and tons of "must know prego info". Grab it here All about Karen here All about Charlene here Relax into Birth PLUS course here
July 15, 2021
Effect of delayed vs early cord clamping on breast feeding and skin to skin contact rates
Teresa LW and Inderjeet Kaur, Fernandez Foundation, India The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Delayed umbilical cord clamping (not earlier than 1 min after birth) for improved maternal and infant health and nutrition outcomes. The aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of delayed vs early cord clamping on breast feeding and skin to skin contact rates. Retrospective data collection of six-month data from 1741 mothers who birthed at Fernandez hospital is analysed from July 2020 to December 2020. The analysis shows that 292(17%) mothers had early cord clamping soon after birth of the baby followed by 1449(83%) had delayed Cord Clamping. The breast feeding and skin-to-skin contact rates were high among the mothers who had delayed cord clamping. We recommend delayed cord clamping for all births irrespective of the mode of delivery unless there is an indication to separate the mother and baby.
May 31, 2021
Impact of intrapartum midwifery-led care on routine episiotomy rates in a public health care setting in South India
In Indian health care settings Midwifery-led care is in its infancy. In public maternity settings, practice of prophylactic episiotomy is implemented for all primigravidae and for those with diagnosis of meconium-stained liquor or LGA baby. From December 2020 to January 2021, 55 mothers were supported during birth by the midwifery mentors and trainees of the Telangana State Nurse Practitioner in Midwifery [NPM] program. The group we studied had 24(44%) primigravidae, 52(95%) with term gestation and 3(5%) with MSL. Perineal protective measures like intrapartum mobilization, warm perineal compresses during active second stage, birth positions of choice along with perineal support and helping mothers breathe out their baby slowly were used. Results revealed only 3(5%) mothers needed an episiotomy, 22(40%) had intact perineum post-birth . None had extensive tears. Twenty one (38%) babies had birth weight of 3kgs and greater while 53(96%) enjoyed the first golden hour with skin-to-skin contact.
May 24, 2021
Acupressure for induction and augmentation of labour
Acupressure for induction and augmentation of labour Loredana Zordan, Independent midwife, Italy Acupressure is an ancient Chinese technique based on the principle of acupuncture which involves the use of finger pressure (without the needle) on specific points along the body. Chinese culture believes the points to the junction of the meridian pathway that carry energy called QI, Acupressure stimulates the bodies own energies to help fight illness and restore harmony. Acupressure has also been used to stimulate contractions, helping to induce labour. Induction of labour is common as Post maturity can pose risks for the pregnant women and the unborn child, increasing the risk of stillbirth. Acupressure helps to establish contraction and promote cervical dilation. The acupressure points commonly used for induction of labour, have a very strong effect on the energy of the uterus, causing uterine activity and promoting a downward expulsion of the foetus. We have chosen to focus on acupressure rather than acupuncture as acupressure is a less invasive procedure and has the advantage that the woman or her partner can administer it themselves. The case presentation here reports a case of successful use of acupressure for induction and augmentation of labour for post maturity in a home birth situation.
April 28, 2021
Reviewing evidence and revisiting the option of caesarean sections in breech mothers by offering physiological breech as a choice of birth
Reviewing evidence and revisiting the option of caesarean sections in breech mothers by offering physiological breech as a choice of birth Kalavathi Mudili and Inderjeet Kaur, Fernandez Foundation Introduction: At Fernandez Foundation, the Breech clinic was introduced weekly in June 2019 after multidisciplinary breech training by Shawn Walker. Method: Retrospective data collection of 68 low risk mothers with breech presentation between 32-38 weeks attended breech clinic from June 2019 to March 2020. Results: Spinning baby exercises explained at the initial visit. 27 babies (45%) turned cephalic when checked for presentation between 36-37 weeks. 8 notes were misplaced, 33 mothers (55%) offered ECV. 14 (42%) mothers accepted ECV and 7(50%)were successful. Out of 19 (68%) mothers 5(26%) accepted the choice of a Vaginal Breech Birth and 3 (60%) mothers had physiological Breech Birth. There were no maternal or fetal morbidities in Vaginal Breech Births. Conclusion: The breech team and midwifery consultations offered mothers who were eligible, the choice of physiological breech birth. This will also impact on the caesarean section rates for breech presentation.
April 28, 2021
Midwifery postpartum clinical guideline following a term stillbirth
Midwifery postpartum clinical guideline following a term stillbirth Barbora Snuggs, University of North Georgia, Vanderbilt University, USA Many pregnancies and births bring joy and excitement while some end with the death of the baby prior to labor and delivery, also known as an intrauterine fetal demise (IUFD) or a stillbirth. Midwives are closely involved in care for these women during labor and delivery, but evidence-based care guidelines related to midwifery care during the postpartum period following a term stillbirth are limited in the literature published in the United States. A midwifery guideline was developed based on 1) a needs assessment, 2) a literature synthesis, and 3) current guidelines to care for women following a term stillbirth in the initial 6-week postpartum period with input from obstetrician-liaison and the midwives working in a practice setting. Midwives can care for patients utilizing their clinical knowledge with skill, empathy, and compassion by following an established term stillbirth postpartum clinical guideline.
April 28, 2021
Signs of a healthy birth
Signs of a healthy birth / Zeichenlehre der gesunden Geburt Rafaela Joos Signs of a healthy birth. Observation of the healthy birth process by midwives. Background: «Unique normality», that each person’s uniqueness is normal for them, has been recently postulated in the literature as a new paradigm in midwifery practice. Midwifery skills should include a holistic, woman-centered care during a healthy birth. Instead of a linear approach where, birth should be considered as a circular process. Method: Within the setting of action research, four semi-structured interviews with midwives with expertise in the field of birth centre or homebirth were conducted and an observation chart for the healthy birth was developed. The qualitative interview analysis was carried out with the Mayring method. Results: The multi-faceted knowledge of midwives is demonstrated. A comprehensive observation chart for the observation of a healthy birth could be provided. Conclusions: Each birth is unique and requires continuous individual observation by the supervising midwife.
April 28, 2021
Pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia
Pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia: Knowledge, anxiety and motivation Niken Bayu Argaheni, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia Background: The COVID-19 pandemic threatens such as pregnant women who are predicted to be at higher risk and more susceptible to exposure. The purpose of this study was to find out the knowledge about COVID-19 among pregnant women and how their motivation to continue pregnancy. Methods: Researchers collaborated with SEKOCI (Sekolah Komplementer Cinta Ibu) to provide bold counseling to its members consisting of 69 pregnant women from various cities once every 7 days for 1 month, then an online questionnaire was evaluated the knowledge, the feelings and motivation for pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: This study shows that respondents who have good knowledge about COVID-19 (76%), experience moderate levels (69%), and have motivation to do pregnancy (93%). Conclusion: Pregnant women in Indonesia have good knowledge about COVID-19, and still have the motivation to come to health workers.
April 27, 2021
Improving Midwifery Students Motivation and Learning Outcome in Contraceptive Course
Improving midwifery students motivation and learning outcome in contraceptive course Erika Agung Mulyaningsih, Stikes Pemkab Jombang, Indonesia UNESCO said 73% of schools were closed for 3 months or more due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Face-to-face learning at Diploma III Midwifery Program has been stopped for more than 9 months. Efforts to achieve competence in Midwifery Education are a problem that must be solved innovatively. The purpose of this study was to improve student motivation and learning outcomes through the Lesson Study method. The method of this research is Classroom Action Research which is conducted in two cycles, The research was conducted on third semester students on contraceptive study materials which consisted of 9 topics. Lesson study can increase student motivation and learning outcomes. Various innovations and creativity are needed for students and lecturers to continue learning and teaching in a pandemic situation which is supported by the management in improving the quality of learning.
April 27, 2021
Promoting a positive norm towards planned home birth practice among midwives
Promoting a positive norm towards planned home birth practice among midwives: A randomised controlled trial Auwalu Muhammed, Department of Nursing Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; Lee Khuan; Shariff-Ghazali Sazlina; Salmiah Md Said; and Mairo Hassan, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia This study was to determine the effect of a PHB education in promoting a positive norm towards PHB among midwives. A parallel group randomised controlled trial was conducted among 226 midwives. A close-ended questionnaire was used for data collection. The intervention group received training, while the control group maintained a usual care. Data were re-collected at immediate-post, and three months follow-up. Statistical analysis showed a significant change in the mean subjective norm within the intervention group (p;lt;0.001), but not in the control group (p =0.140). The participants in the intervention demonstrated a more positive norm towards PHB practice compared to the control group at immediate post-intervention (p & lt;0.001, d =0.9), and three-month follow-up (p & lt;0.001, d=0.9). PHB education is effective in promoting a positive norm towards PHB practice among midwives. The finding may inform midwives and policy makers on the strategy to create a network of collaboration towards safe motherhood.
April 27, 2021
Getting to Know Isabella Garti
Midwives' knowledge of pre-eclampsia management: A scoping review Midwives in poorly resourced settings are engaged in pre-eclampsia management and deliver lifesaving interventions depending on the prescribed scope of practice. Therefore, we aimed to produce a synthesized summary of what midwives from around the world know about pre-eclampsia management. Method: We utilized the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) format and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analysis extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-Scr) checklist. Results: Following application of the inclusion criteria, twenty journal articles from low- and middle-income countries and nine guidelines were reviewed. Three main themes identified related to management whilst the last theme described how contextual factors led to either increased or decreased knowledge of pre-eclampsia. Conclusion: Midwives in some low- and middle-income countries have knowledge deficits of several aspects of pre-eclampsia management. The review suggests pragmatic steps are urgently needed to strengthen the knowledge base of practicing midwives in resourced constrained settings.
April 27, 2021
Lupus and Pregnancy
Nikoleta Chatzipanagiotidou, Midwifery Department, University of Western Macedonia, Greece Lupus is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs because it cannot tell the difference between viruses, bacteria, and other germs and the body’s healthy cells, tissues, or organs. Out of 1.5 million Americans with Lupus, 90% are women between the ages 15-44. Lupus affects them greatly when it comes to making the decision of getting pregnant. There are a lot of misconceptions that Lupus prevents people from getting pregnant and there is not enough information given to those who are interested and the results of that are showing very clearly on the studies that have been done. This poster aims to provide accessible, evidence-based knowledge on the subject of pregnancy with Lupus in order to inform people about the possibilities that women with Lupus have on the matter of becoming pregnant.
April 26, 2021
Getting to Know Marcela Mendoza
Marcela Mendoza es una obstetra peruana que actualmente reside en Australia. Esta es su tercera conferencia como facilitadora/moderadora y nos cuenta cómo ha sido su experiencia en estos últimos años desempeñando este rol. Que significa Equidad de Nacimiento para Todos. Y también anima a personas interesadas a formar parte del equipo de facilitadores para las próximas conferencias del VIDM. Marcela is a midwife from Perú, currently residing in Australia. This is her third conference as a facilitator, and she tells us what her experience has been in the last years participating in this role. What does Birth Equity for All mean to her? And she also encourages people interested in becoming part of the facilitator group for the coming VIDM conferences.
April 19, 2021
Getting to Know Kaveri Mayra
Kaveri Mayra is a midwifery, nursing and public health researcher from India. She has over twelve years' research experience working on nursing and midwifery workforce policies and practice. Having seen mistreatment during childbirth early on as a student midwife and experienced the lack of leadership and decision making power to midwives and nurses, Kaveri started researching and advocating on these life experiences and issues. Kaveri is a global speaker on disrespect and abuse during childbirth; nursing and midwifery governance, workforce policies and welfare; and gender-based challenges underlying all these issues. She has spoken about these issues in conferences, through guest lectures in universities and at public events in countries including Zambia, Switzerland, USA, Argentina, England, Iceland, Wales, Canada and in many states in India. Kaveri has been recently recognized as one of the 100 outstanding global woman midwife and nurse leaders by Women in Global Health (WGH) to mark the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020 in collaboration with WHO, ICN, ICM, the Nursing Now Campaign and UNFPA. She has worked with many reputed organizations such as Oxford Policy Management Ltd., WHO, ICM, White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Jhpiego and Academy for Nursing Studies and Women's Empowerment Research Studies (ANSWERS) and has consulted with central and state governments. She is currently working as a consultant with the WHO HQ, at Geneva alongside pursuing her PhD on Global Health at the University of Southampton, UK where she is exploring the drivers and determinants of obstetric violence in India.
April 19, 2021
Getting to Know Niessa Meier
Niessa Meier is faculty in Frontier Nursing University’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice program where she teaches healthcare quality improvement. She maintains a clinical practice in Kerrville, Texas where she lives with her husband and three teenagers.
April 10, 2021
Getting to Know Catherine Shimechero
Catherine Shimechero is a certified soft-skills trainer and a personal performance coach. She believes that everyone has great potential to achieve their goals in life. She has the flair of bringing out the best in people making them appreciate their abilities from a new perspective which gives them self-encouragement and motivation. She is the founder and lead trainer of Seiso Consultancy in Nairobi, Kenya that does coaching and delivers training courses in Business communication skills, Productivity skills, Personal development, Customer Service and Train the Trainer. Her trainings are learner focused and equip participants with transferable skills. As a coach she helps clients define their needs, wants, ambitions and desires. She empowers them to identify strategies that propel them into action as they measure progress towards their set goals. Coaching and training sessions are delivered face to face, virtually or blended.
April 10, 2021
Getting to Know Cindy Farley
Cindy L. Farley, CNM, PhD, FACNM, studied midwifery at Emory University. She earned her BSN and PhD from The Ohio State University and her MSN from Emory University. She is an Associate Professor at Georgetown University in the Nurse-Midwifery/ Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) programs. She serves as a locum tenens midwife for Pomerene Hospital, a rural hospital in Millersburg, Ohio, serving a large Amish population. Dr. Farley reviews selected legal cases involving midwifery regulatory issues and clinical care. She is co-editor of Clinical Practice Guidelines for Midwifery and Women’s Health and of Prenatal and Postnatal Care: A Woman Centered Approach. Dr. Farley has been instrumental in organizing groups of midwifery students to visit their federal legislators and advocate for positive change in important maternal health policies and legislation. For this work, she was awarded the 2020 American College of Nurse-Midwives Public Policy Award. She received a Faculty Residency in the Fall of 2019 at Oxford University in England, learning from British midwives and midwifery students and exploring their systems of care for childbearing families. Dr. Farley is volunteering with her county’s Medical Reserve Corp to give COVID vaccines and has vaccinated hundreds in her community.
April 8, 2021
9: Sandra Oyarzo Torres, ICM Vice Presidenta
Sandra Oyarzo es matrona, Licenciada en Obstetricia y Master en Educación en Ciencias de la salud. Universidad de Chile. Profesora Asociada del Departamento de Educación en Ciencias de la Salud (DECSA) de la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad de Chile, vicepresidenta nacional del Colegio de Matronas y Matrones de Chile y además es la nueva vice Presidenta de la Confederación Internacional de Matronas (ICM). Fue una de las siete profesionales reconocidas como "Heroínas de la salud 2019” por la WGH/ OMS a nivel mundial. Miembro Directorio Mundial WGH ( Women in Global Health) y Fundadora del Capítulo WGH Chile. Presidenta Fundación Galia Díaz Riffo.
March 20, 2021
8: Entrevista a estudiantes de obstetricia del Perú/Interviewing midwifery students from Perú
Te invitamos a conocer a nuestros invitados especiales para la Conferencia VIDM 2021, quienes estarán brindando un taller para estudiantes de obstetricia. En esta entrevista, ellos nos cuentan cómo ha sido su experiencia estudiando en tiempos de pandemia, qué significa "Equidad de Nacimiento para Todos" en su entorno, y porqué es importante formar parte de esta conferencia internacional. We invite you to meet our special guests for the 2021 VIDM Conference, who will be providing a workshop for midwifery students. In this interview, they tell us about their experience studying in times of pandemic, what does" Birth Equity for All" mean in their environment, and why it is important to be part of this international conference.
March 8, 2021
7: Getting to Know Soo Downe
Soo Downe, BA(Hons), RM, MSc, PhD, OBE, University of Central Lancashire, UKSoo spent 15 years working as a clinical and research midwife. In .2001 she joined UCLan where she is now the Professor of Midwifery Studies. Her main research focus is the nature of, and cultures around, normal birth. She has been a member of the Technical Working Group of the World Health Organization antenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, and optimising caesarean section guidelines. She has published over 120 peer reviewed papers, and has undertaken research using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods. She is a member of the NHS England Better Births national Stakeholder group. She was the founder of the International Normal Labour and Birth Research Conference Series.
March 3, 2021
6: Getting to Know Hannah Dahlen
Hannah Dahlen AM Hannah Dahlen is the Professor of Midwifery, Discipline Leader of Midwifery and Associate Dean (Research and Higher Degree Research) in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University. She has been a midwife for 30 years. Hannah has over 200 published journal articles and book chapters and has strong national and international research partnerships. She has received 20 grants since 2000, including being a CI on three NHMRC grants and an ARC Linkage grant. She has spoken at over 100 national and international conferences in the past 5 years and given invited keynote addresses at most of these. In 2019 Hannah was awarded a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her significant services to midwifery, nursing and medical education and research. In November 2012 Hannah was named in the Sydney Morning Herald’s list of 100 “people who change our city for the better” and named as one of the leading “science and knowledge thinkers” for 2012.
February 26, 2021
5: Getting to Know Catherine Salam
Catherine M. Salam, CNM, MS, FACNM lives in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. She retired from teaching and practicing midwifery. She was an Adjunct Assistant Professor as well as clinical faculty for Shenandoah University School of Nursing, a distance midwifery program. Prior to this appointment she was didactic and clinical faculty, and Interim Nurse-Midwifery Program Director at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Throughout her career she has worked primarily with medically underserved populations and started midwifery services in severalcommunity health centers. In one such center she also held privileges at a free-standing birth center, allowing women options in choice of birth settings.Ms. Salam has developed and implemented health care training curricula for rural settings in the US and internationally. She has consulted in international health for JHPIEGO and ACNM and participated in medical missions to rural Nicaragua. Other areas of interest include cultural humility, health equity, and student and program evaluation. She has been a speaker and a facilitator for the VIDM Conference in previous years.
February 18, 2021
4: When a Doula and Hypnobirthing Teacher Gives Birth in a Pandemic
Johanna is a mother of 2, a doula, hypnobirthing teacher and a pre and postnatal yoga instructor who gave birth in hospital 2 weeks into lockdown. Thanks to her birth work experience she was well prepared, but even so she faced a challenge towards the end of her pregnancy that almost changed her plans completely and could potentially have resulted in a very different outcome. I learned that it is possible to hire a a "kine" who is like a prenatal physiotherapist who is able to accompany you to your birth (in addition to a doula and a midwife) and assist with positioning. As far as I know this is unique to Europe but I would love to hear from you if you have something similar. You will learn so much from listening to Johanna's experience and especially how she embraced the challenges - even when her and her husband were left to labor alone a lot of the time. You can connect with Johanna here or find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/johannatillycoaching
September 3, 2020
3: Mindful Return - how to survive as a working parent.
An open hearted chat with Lori Mihalich-Levin about navigating the changes that come with having a baby when you are a successful and driven business person. She shares with is how and why she started Mindful Return and wrote her book Back to Work After Baby "The first year of each of my children’s lives were the hardest years of my life. I fell madly in love with two little redheads, who turned my world upside down and left me in a spiral of both chaos and beauty. I was fiercely committed to my career, yet had no idea how to survive being a new working parent. How to be an engaged mother at home and a leader a work. I created Mindful Return after too many tears on the kitchen floor. Too much overwhelm. Too much guilt. Too much anxiety."I am sure that many of you can relate to this! The Virtual Midwife offers virtual support for couples who have limited or no access to quality antenatal care or who seek additional support and guidance. https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/
August 10, 2020
2: Tristan and Chanelle
Tristan put significant effort into being an awesome "daddy doula" and says that his biggest gift was knowing how to be fully present for Chanelle through her labor. He is in awe of the power of birth and was transformed by the exchange of energy during the pushing phase. Chanelle shares how Pethidine gave her a chance to get some rest and helped her through the most intense part of her labor. Being aware of the power of suggestion gave her a deep insight into other peoples beliefs about birth without impacting her own belief system and enabled her to confidently decline the offer of an epidural. Her labor progressed so fast that there was no time for her to be moved to the delivery room and we talk about how this was a blessing in disguise. If you would like to share your birth story, I would love to hear it. Stories connect us through shared experience and now more then ever we need reminding of our shared connection. Please book a spot here More about me and how I can help you here https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/
June 29, 2020
1: From Hospital to Home Birth at 38 Weeks
Nicole was planning a hospital birth with her second baby due in April 2020 - which was predicted to be a busy time for hospitals due to Coronavirus. With the uncertainty of having to move rooms and the possibility of not being able to have her husband with her, they decided to have a home birth instead. It was not an easy decision to make and Nicole admits that her husband was initially concerned about what would happen if "something went wrong". Together with their midwife, they talked through all the possibilities and learned how midwives manage complications at home. Listen to her story and if you would like to share YOUR story, I would love to hear it. It doesn't matter if english is not your first language or if you think you have an accent - if you feel called to share your story just click here and let's chat. More about me and how I can help you here More about Nicole here A message from NicoleIf you’re ever looking for free information from the perspective of a mama and Physical Therapist, I put out videos weekly on my YouTube channel Mamas & Misses. I also offer 1 on 1 virtual Physical Therapy consultations for moms and offer an Online Postpartum Recovery Course for those interested in on-demand online learning Learn more on my website https://mamasandmisses.com/ . Dr. Nicole Bringer, DPTOwner of Mamas & Misses, LLCEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (616)466-4889
June 24, 2020
18: A review of perinatal social support interventions for asylum seeking and refugee women resident in Europe
An interview with Marie Claire Balaam who submitted a poster presentation to the VIDM 2020 entitled A review of perinatal social support interventions for asylum seeking and refugee women resident in EuropeIn this interview you will learn more about The presenters Why they chose this topic The main message of the poster The key findings Where they see this research going. Visit www.vidm.org for more information on VIDM 2020Abstract In 2018 over 638,000 people applied for asylum in Europe, half of these were women. Asylum seeking and refugee women frequently experience socioeconomic marginalisation, low levels of social support and poor physical and mental health, often exacerbated in the perinatal period, when women struggle to access optimal maternal healthcare.There is a lack of evidence on which interventions are most effective in addressing the needs of asylum and refugee women at this time. In order to fill this gap a Critical Interpretive Synthesis was undertaken. Our findings suggest community befriending interventions may be most effective in supporting asylum seeking and refugee women in this period. There is little evidence that asylum seeking and refugee women have been consulted as to what support would be most useful to them. The involvement of asylum seeking and refugee women in the design of future interventions is paramount in ensuring that their needs are met.
May 11, 2020
17: Normalizing Pregnancy and Birth Rates with Advanced Midwifery Practice in Sligo University Hospital
An interview with Roisin Lennon who submitted a poster presentation to the VIDM 2020 entitled Normalizing Pregnancy and Birth Rates with Advanced Midwifery Practice in Sligo University HospitalIn this interview you will learn more about The presenters Why they chose this topic The main message of the poster The key findings Where they see this research going. Visit www.vidm.org for more information on VIDM 2020Abstract In 2016, a service needs analysis identified the need for an alternative pathway to provide care for women with pre-existing medical problems, raised BMI and those wishing to have a vaginal birth after CS.The Irish National Maternity Strategy helped validate the need for an advanced practice service in Sligo choice and continuity for women out with traditional midwife led care inclusion criteria. The service has proven to bea safe and popular option with a high number of vaginal births, a lower CSrate, reduced number of interventions yet with no increase of adverse outcomes.This has been shown through ongoing review and service users’ feedback.-2017-155 (18%) AMP care. 82%vaginal birth (69% SUH). 18% CS (31% SUH)2018-226 (17%) AMP care. 79%vaginal birth (63% SUH). 21% CS (37% SUH)initial;2019-271 (20%) AMP care. 83%vaginal birth (65% SUH). 17% CS (35% SUH).
May 1, 2020
16: Early Detection of Post Partum Depression (PPD) in Women 1 - 2 weeks Post Partum.
An interview with Erika Agung Mulyaningsih who submitted a poster presentation to the VIDM 2020 entitled Early Detection of Post Partum Depression (PPD) in Women 1 - 2 weeks Post Partum. In this interview you will learn more about The presenters Why they chose this topic The main message of the poster The key findings Where they see this research going. Visit www.vidm.org for more information on VIDM 2020As part of a midwifery cultural exchange betweenThe Ohio State University and The University of Chester operating on theBailiwick of Jersey, two American graduate nursing students traveled to Jerseyin March 2020. A primary purpose of the exchange is to observe and examinedifferences in midwifery scope and practice in differing environments.While Jersey is not part of the UK or its health system, it is aBritish Crown dependency and uses guidelines from the Royal College ofObstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to guide practice. A substantial practice difference recommendation between RCOG andthe American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) noted was thatof screening and treatment guidelines related to maternal colonization of groupB streptococcus in the prevention of GBS early-onset disease (GBS EOD) inneonates.
May 1, 2020
15: The VRLE Project Virtual Reality Learning Environments - reconfiguring healthcare education
An interview with Denyse King who submitted a poster presentation to the VIDM 2020 entitled The VRLE Project Virtual Reality Learning Environments - reconfiguring healthcare educationIn this interview you will learn more about The presenter Why she chose this topic The main message of the poster The key findings Where she would like to see this research going. Visit www.vidm.org for more information on VIDM 2020
May 1, 2020
14: A Comparison of the Prevention of Early-Onset Group B Streptococcal Disease in Neonates
Could you present yourself - name and affiliation? Could you tell a brief bit about yourself? What is the topic for the poster? How did you come to choose this topic? What is your main message? What were your key findings while doing the poster project? Where do you see this research going?
May 1, 2020
13: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Karen Wilmot
Getting to know Karen Wilmot - committee member for the VIDM 2020My name is Karen Wilmot and I am a free spirited, entrepreneurial midwife living in Cape Town, South Africa. This is my first year on the VIDM committee and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with change makers from around the world. I believe that the choices available to women about where they give birth and who attends them are becoming increasingly regulated and limited. At the same time, access to vast amounts of information is available at the touch of a button and the function of the family and community has been replaced by online support groups and forums. It seems that the more connected we become, the more disconnected we feel. Being part of the VIDM is an opportunity to connect, collaborate and drive change by harnessing the power of technology to drive access to resources that reflect the true essence of birth and being “with women” and empowering women to get the choices, recognition, and respect that they deserve.
April 21, 2020
12: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Linda Wylie
Getting to know Linda - committee member for the VIDM 2020 I retired in 2013 after 43 years working for the NHS as a nurse and a midwife, and for the last 19 years in Higher Education as a midwifery lecturer. I completed my student nurse training in London but moved quickly on to completing my midwifery education in Worcestershire. I then spent several years working as a community midwife, holding a caseload and attending home births and births within a G.P centre. From this experience, and the many years I have been a member of theAssociation of Raassodical Midwives, I have developed a passionate belief in the ability of the majority of women to birth without intervention given the right supporters and environment. My interest in social media has evolved along with the availability of home computers and latterly smart phones. As an educator, I encouraged the professional use of social media by students and midwives and utilised #SoMe to support students out in practice. Within the university I ran a peer support group exploring the value of the different social media platforms and continue to be invited to speak at conferences across the UK on the opportunities social media offers within the profession for Continuing Professional Development and to engage with women and their families. I have been involved with the #VIDoM for many years and believe that such innovations provide the midwifery profession across the world with amazing equitable opportunities to share clinical practice and experiences.
April 14, 2020
11: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Halima Musa Abdul
Getting to know Halima - committee member for the VIDM 2020HALIMA MUSA ABDUL, is a Nurse-Midwife, a Fellow of the West African College of Nursing, and a lecturer from the Department of Nursing Science, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. She started her journey into Nursing in the year 1996 in the famous School of Nursing Ahmadu Bello University Teaching hospital, Zaria Nigeria, where she qualified as a Registered Nurse in the year 2000 with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. She proceeded to the Department of Nursing sciences Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State Nigeria, immediately for the Bachelor of Nursing Science degree and graduated in the year 2005. She was also qualified as a Registered Midwife in the same year. In 2008, She passed the exams for the West African College of Nursing and was awarded a fellow of West African College of Nursing with the Faculty of Maternal and Child Health Nursing (Midwifery) in March 2009. In October 2009, Halima proceeded for a Master’s degree in one of the high profile universities in Nigeria, The University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, where she bagged a Master’s degree in Maternal and Child Health Nursing (Midwifery) in the year 2014. In 2012, Halima sat and passed the exams for public health Nursing and was registered as a public health nurse with the Nursing and midwifery council of Nigeria. Halima won an international studentship in 2016, to undertake a Ph.D. study of the wellbeing of the Nigerian midwifery workforce, based in Cardiff University, United Kingdom. She is currently under the tutelage of Prof. Billie Hunter, who is a seasoned Professor of Midwifery at Cardiff University and two other supervisors named Dr Lucie Warrren and Dr. Dikaios Sekallariou. Halima has published articles in high impact factor journals and have also presented papers at both national and international conferences.
April 2, 2020
10: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Jane Houston
Jane F. Houston DNP, CNM, FACNM began her nursing and midwifery education in Scotland where she became a registered general nurse RGN with a Bachelor’s degree and completed her diploma in midwifery in 1992 to become a Registered Midwife. She has always felt called to the profession of midwifery since childhood. Jane has caught over 2000 babies on 4 continents, in countries including USA, Scotland, Zimbabwe and New Zealand. She entered graduate school at the University of Florida in 2001 and completed her MSN studies so she would be able to provide midwifery care in Gainesville, Florida. She became the first midwife on staff at a local hospital there. Jane was in the first DNP class at University of Florida, graduating in 2009 and continued her career in education becoming Director of Midwifery there in 2011-2015. She joined the faculty at Frontier Nursing University in 2015 as Clinical Director for Midwifery and Women’s Health. She is now the Director of the DNP program there.
March 30, 2020
9: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Chris Woodhouse
Getting to know Chris - VIDM Committee Member Chris Woodhouse has worked in many different aspects of IT for over 30 years. Chris became interested in how IT systems and apps are created and supported, leading to active involvement in new uses for IT in small organisations and education. Chris has been facilitating since 2000 and widened his practice to include online groups and meetings in 2008. He started working with VIDM in its second year and joined the committee in 2011. Chris has used his IT experience to support how VIDM is organised and run, and his facilitation skills to support the volunteer facilitators during the conference itself. Chris is now retired and lives in a small village in the Peak District National Park in the middle of England. He has six grandchildren scattered around England. He spends his time playing bridge, going for walks with the dog in the countryside, taking part in community life and, of course, seeing family.
March 28, 2020
8: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Annette Dalsgaard
Getting to know Annette - VIDM Committee Member I am Annette Dalsgaard. I have been a registered midwife since 1990 and been practicing midwifery in different practice settings in Denmark. For the last 10 years, I have been working primarily with education and learning as a lecturer/senior lecturer at the midwifery education and an educational consultant in postgraduate education. I am very interested in ICT and learning, especially in the possibilities of using open online environments, and social media for learning, knowledge sharing, and networking internationally. In 2013 I started as a Ph.D. student studying professional development in open online learning environments. I have been involved with the Virtual International Day of the Midwife since 2010. I am fascinated by the way the VIDM creates connections internationally between midwives and others across borders and time zones in a synchronous online conference and supports the sharing of new knowledge and practice development in midwifery and maternity care. In the coming years, I would be interested in developing the opportunities for interaction at the conference between attendants and attendants and speakers to support the sharing of experiences and networking. I believe that the more the online conference environment can support the attendants in connecting, interacting, sharing knowledge and networking the greater will the personal benefits from participating in the online conference become. https://vidm.org
March 10, 2020
7: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Susana Ku
Getting to know Susana - VIDM Committee MemberHello, I am Susana Ku. I am a Registered Midwife in Ontario, Canada. I am currently working as a full-time midwife. Before starting my career in Canada, I obtained my degree as a Registered Midwife in Peru. I obtained a master degree in Sexual and Reproductive Health, because Women’s health and rights are one of my passions. I speak Spanish, English and French at some extent. I am interested in Global Health and Global Midwifery, so participating at the VIDM committee is a fantastic opportunity to learn and share knowledge globally.I love using social media to be in contact with Midwives from around the world. I believe that VIDM breaks all the geographical and economic barriers and allows people from all over the world to enrich their knowledge in Maternity and Infant care. Moreover, it is a great tool for continuous education for all Health Care providers.https://vidm.org/
March 5, 2020
6: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Lorraine Mockford
Getting to know Lorraine - VIDM Committee MemberIt has been a pleasure and an honour to be involved with Virtual International Day of the Midwife (VIDM) for over a decade. As one of the (two) non-midwives on the committee, I help support the technology and organizational side of bringing together a global virtual conference. My backgound is in post-secondary education and instructional design, primarily in online learning. I am fascinated by the many ways digital technologies can bridge the divides of distance and access, bringing teaching and learning to a global audience.My education background includes a diploma in adult education and a Masters in Education specializing in learning and leadership.I live in the beautiful Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, Canada. I have been mostly retired for the last few years, which affords me the time to work with virtual conferences like VIDM. I also support the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference as the 2020 Programs Chair. It was at this conference many years ago that I first met the VIDM founders: Sarah Steward and Deb Davies. The rest, as they say, is history.Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education http://www.vwbpe.org Virtual International Day of the Midwife http://www.vidm.org
March 2, 2020
5: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Ally Anderson
Getting to Know Ally - committee member for VIDMAlly Anderson is a newly qualified midwife at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, UK. She was a secondary science teacher for thirteen years before embarking on a change of career and going back to study again at Teesside University. Ally’s first degree was in Anatomy and Physiology and she has a PGCE and Masters in Education. Ally has four children and a husband who keep her busy in between placements and study!As part of her studies, Ally took the whole family to Tanzania in 2018 for her elective placement. This experience was invaluable in demonstrating that there are so many things we can all learn from each other whether you are a student, midwife or doctor and whether you work in a well-resourced city hospital in a high-income country or a small village hospital in a low-income country. Ally’s elective placement has enthused her interest in ‘normal’ childbirth, breastfeeding and respectful maternity care.Due to Ally’s previous role, she is passionate about midwifery education – for students, preceptor midwives and qualified midwives for their continued professional development. In the future, Ally is keen that everyone all over the world should be able to have access to a contemporary and innovative midwifery education. The VIDM is one way that this could be achieved. She loves working with the wonderful, diverse members of the VIDM committee!You can find out more about the VIDM on https://vidm.org/
February 27, 2020
4: The Virtual International Day of the Midwife - Raquel Justiniano
Getting to Know Raquel, committee member for VIDMHi! My name is Raquel Justiniano. I´m from Bolivia, residing and working as a midwife in Argentina. I’m currently studying a postgraduate diploma* specializing in Emergency Obstetrics and Gynecology. I developed an interest in maternal and newborn health while finishing my nursing career and later on when volunteering, assisting women´s health in a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Bolivia. Meanwhile, I helped coordinate an independent social communication project with an emphasis on humanitarian aid. Since then, there have been three things that I´m passionate about: the physiology of birth and the factors needed to promote gentle, dignified births, women´s sexual and reproductive rights, and the work of health professionals in conflict zones. I advocate for birthrights, which are under threat in some institutional settings which fail to recognize pregnancy and birth as a natural and physiological process of the human body. I´m currently putting a great emphasis on prenatal classes, which are fundamental for healthy pregnancy outcomes, empowering women to trust their body and make informed decisions. I´m continuously searching for courses, participate in conferences, workshops and reading search findings – this is how I came to know about VIDM. VIDM is another door to a new experience. Being part of the committee and sharing a common passion for women´s health and newborns is an honor and a great opportunity to enrich myself with outstanding professionals. I´m very excited about this VIDM 2020, as we have marvelous midwives who will share their knowledge and work experiences through a FREE online platform! This is amazing! I invite you all to take this chance and join the VIDM2020. I´m looking forward to connecting and learning from all of you!
February 25, 2020
3: The Mama Bamba Way
This is more than a book. It is a philosophy of birth that will guide you to connect with the wisdom and purity of your unborn baby. Learning how to communicate with your baby while they are still in your womb may seem unattainable, but the meditations and guided visualizations will allow you to explore this beautiful practice and develop an awareness of your unborn baby so that you are able to work together during pregnancy and birth and be guided by this deeply held wisdom. You will read stories from parents who have experienced these insights as well as transcripts of session done with the author Robyn Sheldon, midwife and soul integration therapist. The Mama Bamba Way is a beautiful birth book and a powerful reminder of the importance of being still and mindful of every precious moment of pregnancy and birth. Connect with me
December 16, 2019
2: Childbirth Without Fear Book Review
While this in itself sounds too simple, reading the book will give you such a deep insight into the physiology of fear (and its impact on the birthing body) that you will be forever changed. It is not an easy read, but it is worth the effort - especially if you have deep-seated fears that are holding you back from experiencing this life event in all it's power and glory.
December 2, 2019
1: Book review Birthing from Within
Season 3 is all about which books to ready during pregnancy, and first up is Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. This is an extra-ordinary guide to childbirth preparation. Each chapter will take you on a journey of exploration into the profound mystery of birth that can never be understood with your mind but is known to your heart. The exercises and activities are the key to unlocking these insights and I encourage you to challenge your creativity and your curiosity as you explore your beliefs and expectations about birth as you work through them. It is not a script or even a rigid method, but you will learn everything you need to know to be able to birth in awareness rather than be focused on a specific birth outcome. As the title suggests, you will learn how to "birth from within" by gaining insight about what labor might feel like from your perspective. You will learn everything that you would usually learn in a traditional childbirth class, but in a way that uses story and metaphor to explain concepts until it resonates with what you intuitively know already. I encourage you to work through it slowly, savoring the wisdom of other women's stories and anecdotes from around the world. Don't be afraid to get your pencils, paints and paper out to play with the many examples of birth art, and don't be surprised at what you discover! There is a lot to learn about birth, and this book is a great place to start. I use many of the exercises in my own birth classes and love watching the transition to a deeper understanding that birth is an opportunity for growth and transformation as you become a parent. If you enjoyed this episode you can sign up for my free video series , check out my store or book a call to chat about signing me up to be your personal virtual midwife.
November 25, 2019
7: How to avoid an unnecessary episiotomy
It's an uncomfortable conversation. You may be told that a cut is better than a tear but a tear sounds terrifying! A recent Cochrane systematic review examining the evidence on selective versus routine episiotomies for vaginal birth concluded: “Overall, the findings show that selective use of episiotomy in women (where a normal delivery without forceps is anticipated) means that fewer women have severe perineal trauma. Thus the rationale for conducting routine episiotomies to prevent severe perineal trauma is not justified by current evidence, and we could not identify any benefits of routine episiotomy for the baby or the mother.” Despite this recommendation, health workers sometimes encounter institutional barriers that pressure them to perform the procedure. Fear of a woman developing a third or fourth degree perineal tear and a lack of proper training can also contribute to high episiotomy rates.Evidence shows that episiotomies do not protect the perineum during birth and in fact increase the chance of a third or fourth degree tear. Once the cut is done the baby’s head emerging causes the cut to tear deeper into the muscle. Tears will heal much better than episiotomies as well. The scar tissue from an episiotomy can be weaker but will not restrict the perineum’s ability to stretch in future births. A previous episiotomy is not an automatic reason for an elective c-section.In this episode I talk about some of the things that you can do to prevent an unnecessary episiotomy. Please connect with me on my Facebook page so that you can be kept up to date with the extensive resources that I am putting together for you about episiotomy.
June 16, 2019
6: Intuition as a tool during pregnancy and birth
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift." Albert Einstein You will be faced with many choices and decisions during pregnancy. Some of them will feel wrong and some will feel right. Some will require a lot of research and study. Some will involve opinions from family, friends and professionals. All of them will seem overwhelming at some point or another. This episode is about rallying your intuition as a valuable tool that you can rely on. You will learn 5 ways of learning to work with your intuition and I end the episode with a short meditation to connect and communicate with your unborn baby. * Using your intuition to give you insight into situations or find a solution * Using your intuition to prepare yourself emotionally for unexpected news. * Using your intuition to listen to your body's subtle signals. * Using your intuition to alert you to take action. * Using your intuition to connect and communicate with your unborn baby. SOME OF THE WAYS YOU CAN CONNECT WITH ME [The 10 day Birth Plan](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/online-childbirth-course/) (Midwife guide to safe and gentle hospital birth) [Personal Pregnancy Coach](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/personal-midwife-2/) Download my App - [Birth Breathin](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/birth-breathing/id1295854733?mt=8)g SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube Channel. Follow me on [Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/thevirtualmidwife/) and Instagram #thevirtualmidwife [Join me in my group](https://www.facebook.com/groups/thevirtualmidwifecafe/)where I do regular live updates and check in calls, adding tips, tools and valuable information for pregnancy.
May 2, 2019
5: How your beliefs and expectations about birth will impact the way you experience birth
In our society it is a miracle if a woman gets to adulthood without taking on the belief that childbirth is inherently painful. We have been taught this since a young age. It’s the way childbirth is portrayed in the media, and it’s reinforced in all of the horror stories that people love to tell us (particularly when we are pregnant). One reason our beliefs are so important is because we all suffer from a cognitive bias called the ‘confirmation bias’. This bias causes us to preferentially seek out information that supports our underlying beliefs while also ignoring or misinterpreting information that would disprove those beliefs. Because of this, two people with differing beliefs can experience the same exact scene in very different ways. Behind the scenes, our brains are subconsciously on the lookout for information that supports our beliefs. This information will jump out at us, while the contradictory information we may not notice at all. The stronger the belief, the more biased we become. When you believe that birth is going to be painful, dangerous, frightening or hard, your brain will set to work in the background, trying to find evidence that this is true. Unfortunately, the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight or flight response, doesn’t differentiate between real and perceived threats. Sometimes fight and flight response does succeed in completely stopping the labour, but more often than not, the result is a long and slow labour with painful but ineffective contractions. And so the self-fulfilling prophecy is complete. The fearful mother searched for evidence of danger (why did that machine beep? Why did the midwife make that face?), the ‘evidence’ she found caused her autonomic nervous system to activate fight or flight mode, her labour became painful and she was proven right. But it doesn’t stop there either, this woman will now share this experience with her friends, cementing their negative beliefs about birthing and setting them up for the same vicious cycle of fear, tension and pain. By contrast, the mother who has worked on her beliefs and has confidence in her ability to birth will be seeking out any evidence that birth is safe and manageable. The evidence she finds will help her to relax and stay calm and focused, and her birth will be much more pleasant. This is why it is essential to take the time to examine beliefs and critically assess whether they are based on sound reasoning or not. Identifying unhelpful or limiting beliefs is the first step in the process, and once this is done , begin to replace those with more accurate and helpful alternatives. The effort put into this preparation is well rewarded when you can fully relax into birth and avoid the pain of a fearful birth. Reducing fears about childbirth is a highly effective way to reduce pain and improve birth outcomes. While physical preparation helps immensely with stamina and strength, in my view it is the emotional preparation that has the most impact on how childbirth is experienced by the mother, both physically and psychologically. What is an expectation? In the case of uncertainty, expectation is what is considered the most likely to happen. An expectation, which is a belief that is centered on the future, may or may not be realistic. A less advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment. Wikipedia What is a belief? Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. Wikipedia If you would like to spend some time getting deeper into your own beliefs and expectations about birth and creating a realistic, relevant and powerful birth plan WITH all the tools and techniques to make it happen PLUS the back up plan (because birth is unpredictable and there are factors that are out of your control) then [LET'S CHAT.](http://thevirtualmidwife.setmore.com/) Re
April 10, 2019
4: Belly Baby Mom - the first doula agency in UAE
Shereen Zarroug and Eleonora Fornelli have a vision "to be the catalyst that makes the UAE the leading country in the world with the highest rates of positive birth and parenting experiences as a result of increased and on going support, education and respected choices" ! In this interview they share their respective birth stories, how they came to be birth professionals and their mission to spread awareness and strengthen relationships and trust with medical professionals resulting in collaboration and partnership, through open communication with hospitals and maternity units on holistic and gentle birth practices. Of course this resonates deeply with me and I love connecting with women around the world who are bring their strength and resources together to be the change we want to see in the birth world. You can find out more about Shereen and Elenonora at [Belly Baby Mom](https://www.bellybabymom.com) and they also have a [podcas](https://www.bellybabymom.com/podcast)t so make sure you subscribe.
March 24, 2019
3: Jen Mclellan Plus Mommy
In April of 2011, Jen McLellan launched the Plus Size Mommy Memoirs (now called Plus Mommy) blog, housed within the Plus Size Birthwebsite. This award-winning blog, which has received over 4 million pageviews, focused on topics ranging from plus size pregnancy to birth, body positivity to motherhood. A Facebook page and exploded overnight and brought together thousands of plus size women of all walks of life. After blogging for seven years Jen felt a desire to try something new and deeper explore topics surrounding motherhood and body image. The Plus Size Birth website is now focused on conception, pregnancy and postpartum for plus size people. Whereas the Plus Mommy website and podcast hones in on motherhood and body love, while still sharing stories and resources around plus size Pregnancy. Jen McLellan is a published author, founder of [Plus Size Birth](https://plussizebirth.com/) and host of the Plus Mommy Podcast. She helps people navigate the world of plus size pregnancy, shares tips for embracing your body and laughs her way through the adventures of parenthood. Jen has grown a community of over 177,000 via the [Plus Mommy Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/plusmommyblog/)page. Her work has been featured in major publications such as Yahoo Shine, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, and International Doula. She authored the [My Plus Size Pregnancy Guide](https://plussizebirth.com/my-plus-size-pregnancy-guide/)and co-wrote the Amazon bestseller, [The Peachie Moms Guide to Body Love for Moms](http://amzn.to/2uIQcBN). She has an essay in Jes Baker’s book [Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls.](https://plusmommy.com/body-positive-book-club/) As a public speaker, Jen has spoken at numerous events including presenting at the National Institutes of Health. Jen is also a certified childbirth educator, wife, and mother to a charismatic eight-year-old. It was an absolute delight talking to Jen and I am so pleased that she is part of the [Virtual Midwife family](http://hevirtualmidwife.com) Please join me in my Facebook group [The Virtual Midwife Cafe](https://www.facebook.com/groups/thevirtualmidwifecafe) where I do weekly live mini workshops and share information and resources for pregnancy.
February 28, 2019
2: Let's talk about birth plans
When you are used to being in control of your life and at work it can be difficult to let go and accept that birth is a process that cannot be 'managed' like a work project and a large part of this process involves letting go of negative beliefs, limiting beliefs, cultural conditioning and factors out of your control. A positive birth experience is one where you confidently participate in all the choices and decisions during pregnancy and birth. You can control your attitude and your ability to be flexible in the face of unexpected circumstances. You can control your mind, your thoughts, your beliefs and your expectations. Letting go of factors that are out of your control might be a bit daunting at first, but between every event or circumstance that arises and the final outcome, there is a potential space that contains your freedom to choose how you will respond. How you respond greatly influences the outcome and how you feel about the outcome which is also important (its your everlasting memory). What you want ultimately is a positive birth experience where you confidently participate in all the choices and decisions during pregnancy and birth and emerge transformed by your experience. This episode will highlight the steps to get there. Please join me in the [Virtual Midwife Cafe](https://www.facebook.com/groups/thevirtualmidwifecafe/) where I do weekly live mini workshops and offer you a space to get answers to your questions about pregnancy and birth. **What is an expectation? ** In the case of uncertainty, expectation is what is considered the most likely to happen. An expectation, which is a belief that is centered on the future, may or may not be realistic. A less advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment. Wikipedia **What is a belief?** Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. Wikipedia Researchers have been able to show direct links between a mother’s expectations around birth and how she experiences labour. One such study concluded that: “anxiety about the pain of labour was a strong predictor of negative experiences during labour, lack of satisfaction with the birth and poor emotional wellbeing postnatally. Women tended to experience what they expected to, whether that was a lot of pain or a little.”(1) The reason for this is that humans (like any other mammal), need to feel private and safe during labour for our birthing hormones to work as they were intended. Feelings of anxiety and fear activate the sympathetic nervous system putting us into ‘fight/flight/freeze mode’, which not only slows labour, but also makes it a great deal more painful. In our society it is a miracle if a woman gets to adulthood without taking on the belief that childbirth is inherently painful. We have been taught this since a young age. It’s the way childbirth is portrayed in the media, and it’s reinforced in all of the horror stories that people love to tell us (particularly when we are pregnant). Reducing fears about childbirth is a highly effective way to reduce pain and improve birth outcomes. While physical preparation helps immensely with stamina and strength, in my view it is the emotional preparation that has the most impact on how childbirth is experienced by the mother, both physically and psychologically. One reason our beliefs are so important is because we all suffer from a cognitive bias called the ‘confirmation bias’. This bias causes us to preferentially seek out information that supports our underlying beliefs while also ignoring or misinterpreting information that would disprove those beliefs. Because of this, two people with differing beliefs can experience the same exact scene in very different ways. Behind the scenes, our brains are subconsciously on the lookout for information that supports our beliefs.
February 17, 2019
1: The Surfing Midwife
I met the [Surfing Midwife](http://www.thesurfingmidwife.com/) [Margreet Wibbelink](http://www.thesurfingmidwife.com/about/) at the Sensitive Midwifery Conference in 2018 and was immediately blown away by her charisma and her message. She came to South Africa from the Netherlands on a one way ticket and 14 years later she is still here and literally making waves in the birth world here. Besides having surfed on the pro circuit in the [world surf champs](http://www.worldsurfleague.com/athletes/4716/margreet-wibbelink) - she is leading the way in making change in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Soon after she arrived from the Netherlands she started the [Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic](http://www.hmbc.co.za/) which began as a small clinic offering antenatal services and has grown into an NPO is now a full on midwife practice, with services ranging from ante natal care, post natal care, breastfeeding, family planning, and ante natal services with a holistic approach, including counselling. Margreet share with us how shocked she was at the high rate of c/sections and interventions and how this influenced her decision to stay in South Africa. We talk about the difference between the [medical model of care vs. the midwifery model of care](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/what-is-the-difference-between-the-medical-the-midwife-model-of-care-and-does-it-matter/) and how important it is to raise awareness on the role of the midwife in pregnancy and birth in order to reduce the high intervention rate here. Despite working as a private midwife offering home and hospital births with back up from a local doctor, she has partnered with [Sensitive Midwifery](https://sensitivemidwifery.co.za/) and together they are working on initiatives to improve midwifery in Southern Africa. And if that isn't enough - she has also just finished her Phd so she is now a Doctor!! I loved chatting to Magreet and I know you enjoy listening to her story. I couldn't think of a better way to introduce Season 2 of the Virtual Midwife Podcast. Enjoy!
February 1, 2019
16: How to avoid purple pushing
So often, ladies will feedback to me that they “did not know how to push” or that they they were told that they were “doing it wrong.” I am always dismayed when I hear these stories because pushing is instinctive when you work with your body and what you are feeling. You will use the same muscles and techniques as you do when you pass a stool and nobody has ever told you that you are doing it wrong and I am certain that you know exactly what you are doing when you go to the toilet every day. There is never any second guessing yourself of wondering if you are doing it correctly. You just feel an urge to go to the bathroom to have a poo, you sit on the loo and you do it. In saying that, it would not be so easy if you sat on the loo trying to have poo without having any urge to do so. I mean you could sit there for hours, push until you are blue in the face and still nothing would happen. This is what happens when you are instructed to push without the urge to do so and it is called "purple pushing." Being instructed to push against your body’s natural instinct does not improve anything or make things progress any faster and should not be encouraged if your baby is not in distress. The unwanted and unnecessary effects of purple pushing are: * Increased risk for tearing * Low maternal oxygen levels * Low maternal blood pressure * Exhaustion * Increased likelihood of interventions (episiotomies, assisted delivery, c-section) * Fetal distress * Potential problems with urinary continence after birth. **What if the staff are telling me that I am ready to push? ** In this case you would want to know if they are wanting you to push because there is a problem. Please note that if this situation occured, then it would most likely be after many hours of labor and you and your partner will be tired and ready to go with whatever is being suggested. It is not the ideal time for negotiation and questioning and I recommend that your partner takes the lead here as you will be “in the zone” and you do not want something like this to get you out of the zone. In fact as far as possible, you need to keep focusing on what is happening to you while your partner asks the following questions: * Are you concerned about the baby? Is there any sign of fetal distress? * Is there any immediate/urgent reason to encourage pushing now? * Can we delay pushing until my partner feels the urge to push and if so, will you give us the time and space to allow this to happen without interruption. You can add that you have done significant preparation for your birth and that you understand how important it is that your partner is able to work with the natural urge to push. You understand that the baby needs to move into the best position for this to happen. You understand that when your baby’s head presses on receptors in the cervix and later in the vagina, your brain receives the signal to release more oxytocin which triggers strong, expulsive contractions known as the Ferguson’s reflex. You might use this time to work together with your partner to change positions to encourage your baby to move down. Any position that opens the outlet of the pelvis will be good here so consider: * forward leaning wide knee [child's pose](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqVMAPM00DM) * a deep partner supported squat * the [side lying release](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_kMy5MWy8Q) done on both sides for 3 contractions on each side. **What else can I do to encourage my baby down? ** Your baby is being moved gradually down from the uterus, through the dilated cervix and into your vagina. Your contractions are still strong and regular and with every contraction your baby is being gently nudged down. Sometimes your contractions slow down in order to give you time to rest and gather your strength. Sheila Kitzinger calls this the "rest and be thankful" stage and it is merely a matter of time before your co
September 8, 2018
15: Top 10 FAQ about labor
Every day I get asked questions about labor so I thought it would be a good idea to make a podcast of the top 10\. Please join me in the [Virtual Midwife Cafe](https://www.facebook.com/groups/thevirtualmidwifecafe/) where I get to chat about these in more detail and where we have weekly live chats for me to answer your questions or if you have any other burning questions. * What to do if you lose your mucus plug. * How to know how far dilated you are. * How to know the difference between Braxton Hicks and contractions * What will real contractions feel like? * How long can you stay at home? * How to time contractions. * How long is an average labor? * What causes the water to break on its own? * What color should it be? * When should you go to hospital if your water has broken. Understanding the full picture of what happens to your body in labor is covered in my [Ultimate Course for Giving Birth](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/online-birth-pregnancy-course/) and includes the reference eBook. If you have not already downloaded my [Birth Breathing App](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/birth-breathing/id1295854733?mt=8) then head on over to iTunes and do, so that you can get practising and become more breath aware. Looking forward to seeing you in the my Virtual cafe so we can meet and chat. Karen [The Virtual Midwife](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/)
August 15, 2018
14: Breech Relaxation
If you are 34+ weeks pregnant and your baby is in breech position, this meditation is for you. While there is still plenty of time for your baby to move, this guided visualisation will help to focus your thoughts. I recommend using it together with exercises from [Spinning Babies](www.spinningbabies.com) to loosen and ease the muscles and ligaments to allow for movement. As always, this does not replace sound medical advice and should be used in conjunction with medical care. Here are just some of the ways that I can help you The 10 day Birth Plan https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/online-childbirth-course/ A 10 day guided online course to create a realistic and powerful birth plan that includes the 10 essential elements of birth preparation. Ultimate Online Birth Course https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/online-birth-pregnancy-course/ A self directed, work at your own pace, holistic course of video, audio and written content to guide you step by step through each stage of pregnancy. Personal Pregnancy Coach https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/pregnancy-coach/ As your personal pregnancy coach I will guide you step by step through all your pregnancy highs and lows and give you all the support and resources to have a safe and gentle birth. I am committed to working together with you and your partner to co-create your best pregnancy, birth and baby experience. I create a safe and supportive environment, allowing you to expand your view of what is possible and promote discovery of new insights and possibilities. I will encourage you to experience your pregnancy from the inside out. This is a highly personalised package that includes access to all my courses and bi-monthly check in calls. I will guide you through doctors visits, discuss your choices, share the latest evidence and direct you to the best care and resources. Together we co-create a beautiful, positive pregnancy and birth experience. VIP Experience https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/vip-experience/ I invite you to journey away from life as you know it and allow yourself a weekend away with me to co-create and prepare for your birth. I work closely with Alila luxury boutique hotel brand to offer these VIP 1 or 2 day retreats. The brand reflects my commitment to luxury and service excellence. Alila means “Surprise” in Sanskrit, which suitably describes the refreshing character of their properties and impressions of the guests. Listen to my podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-virtual-midwife/id1369615456?mt=2 The Virtual Midwife podcast is for the thinking woman, not afraid to question the current policy based maternity system. In this podcast she shares lessons from the labor room, women's wisdom, interviews with thought leaders and discussions with change makers, along with transformational lessons and meditations for pregnancy and birth. Download my App - Birth Breathing https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/birth-breathing/id1295854733?mt=8 A simple tool to help you incorporate the 5 essential breathing techniques into your daily life during pregnancy so that you are fully prepared for labor and birth. Watch my Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCae38jfCkPZTc3-8SFDuTMA Video tutorials, prenatal yoga classes, tips and tricks for labor and birth. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram https://business.facebook.com/groups/thevirtualmidwifecafe/
August 8, 2018
13: Elective C/Section
Regardless of whether you are having an elective c/section out of choice or circumstance, it gives you an opportunity to prepare yourself for an exact date. This guided visualisation will fast forward you in time to the day your baby will be born and imagine how you might be feeling, visualise what will happen and mentally prepare yourself so that you are able to go into surgery feeling calm and connected to your baby. Use the time to prepare yourself AND your baby for the journey ahead. I recommend listening to this meditation daily in the week prior to your scheduled date and enjoy. These meditations are part of my online program preparing you for a safe and gentle birth. See more on my website [The Virtual Midwife](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/) or join my group on facebook [The Virtual Midwife Cafe](https://business.facebook.com/groups/thevirtualmidwifecafe/?ref=pages_profile_groups_tab&source_id=928774567172861) Here are just some of the ways that I can help you The 10 day Birth Plan https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/online-childbirth-course/ A 10 day guided online course to create a realistic and powerful birth plan that includes the 10 essential elements of birth preparation. Ultimate Online Birth Course https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/online-birth-pregnancy-course/ A self directed, work at your own pace, holistic course of video, audio and written content to guide you step by step through each stage of pregnancy. Personal Pregnancy Coach https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/pregnancy-coach/ As your personal pregnancy coach I will guide you step by step through all your pregnancy highs and lows and give you all the support and resources to have a safe and gentle birth. I am committed to working together with you and your partner to co-create your best pregnancy, birth and baby experience. I create a safe and supportive environment, allowing you to expand your view of what is possible and promote discovery of new insights and possibilities. I will encourage you to experience your pregnancy from the inside out. This is a highly personalised package that includes access to all my courses and bi-monthly check in calls. I will guide you through doctors visits, discuss your choices, share the latest evidence and direct you to the best care and resources. Together we co-create a beautiful, positive pregnancy and birth experience. VIP Experience https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/vip-experience/ I invite you to journey away from life as you know it and allow yourself a weekend away with me to co-create and prepare for your birth. I work closely with Alila luxury boutique hotel brand to offer these VIP 1 or 2 day retreats. The brand reflects my commitment to luxury and service excellence. Alila means “Surprise” in Sanskrit, which suitably describes the refreshing character of their properties and impressions of the guests. Download my App - Birth Breathing https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/birth-breathing/id1295854733?mt=8 A simple tool to help you incorporate the 5 essential breathing techniques into your daily life during pregnancy so that you are fully prepared for labor and birth.
July 31, 2018
12: Placenta Previa
It is always a concern if you have been diagnosed with placenta preavia, especially if you are hoping to have a natural birth. This guided visualisation will help you to harness the power of your mind to imagine your placenta gradually moving up and thus allowing your baby to move into the perfect position for birth. Your mind does not know the difference between imagination and reality which is the essence of using visualisation for change. I recommend listening to this daily if you are in your second trimester and you have been told that your placenta is partially or totally covering your cervix. These meditations are part of my online program preparing you for a safe and gentle birth. See more on my website [The Virtual Midwife](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/) or join my group on facebook [The Virtual Midwife Cafe](https://www.facebook.com/groups/thevirtualmidwifecafe/)
July 21, 2018
11: Ancient Art Midwifery
Midwifery is a sacred art and through it we honour those who came before us. Our generation did not invent the right to give birth where and with whom one chooses, and we revere the instincts that facilitate healthy non-medical births all over the world. [Ancient Art Midwifery Institute](https://www.ancientartmidwifery.com/) is fundamentally dedicated to the promotion of midwifery as more than a contemporary profession. We want to be known as someone who held space and provided resources for the next generation of smart, caring midwives who practice the ancient art of touching the future. [Lori Barklage](http://www.birthingpeacewithin.com/free-consultation/) is the founder of [Birthing peace within](http://www.birthingpeacewithin.com/) and continues to share the resources and wisdom of this ancient art.
July 2, 2018
10: Real Food for Pregnancy
Real Food for Pregnancy [Lily Nichols](http://pilatesnutritionist.com/), takes prenatal nutrition advice out of the dark ages and provides an easy-to-follow guide for making the best food and lifestyle choices during pregnancy. Most prenatal nutrition advice is either outdated or not evidenced-based. In [Real Food for Pregnancy](http://realfoodforpregnancy.com/), Lily Nichol’s debunks a LOT of prenatal nutrition myths. Misconceptions of conventional prenatal nutrition: macronutrients, salt, “foods to avoid,” fish, etc. In this episode we talk about testing for gestational diabetes—pros/cons of all the methods and traditional postpartum care and the impact of nutrients on breast milk quality. If you are pregnant and wondering about which foods you SHOULD eat and how to get the best nutrition then listen to this episode. Karen [The Virtual Midwife](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/) is on Youtube Facebook and Instagram(https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/)
June 14, 2018
9: Kiersten Miller - Bellies Abroad
[Bellies Abroad](https://www.belliesabroad.com/) was created because becoming a family can be daunting enough – doing it in another culture can be very overwhelming. When women become mothers, we are full of fears and doubts; we do not need the medical community exacerbating this for profit or indolence. [Kiersten](https://www.belliesabroad.com/providers/kiersten-kiki-pilar-miller/) has been a trailblazer in bringing about change in her community as well as having already worked with the UK government to change their policy regarding maternal coverage for their foreign office families. Like Kiersten, I believe that pregnancy and birth is one of the greatest adventures and helping women go through this incredibly transformative process is a wonderfully fulfilling part of our work. We have seen women take control of their birthing experiences by refusing to acquiesce to the bullying of the hospital staff, using the information we share and guiding them through the experience to emerge empowered. I am very privileged to be a [part of the Bellies Abroad](https://www.belliesabroad.com/providers/karen-wilmot%E2%80%8B-global/) community serving women globally, online and in person with information and support.
June 8, 2018
8: Why do Babies Cry?
Listening to your baby cry can be frustrating and worrying. Is your baby crying because something is wrong or because they need something? In this episode I talk about the importance of learning to listen to your baby and tuning in, rather than shutting down or turning to outside sources for guidance. You will learn about the biological response of a mother to her baby as well as the inherent nature of crying as communication. I have included a short meditation to help you quieten your mind and expand your awareness of your baby's ability to communicate with you. Resources [Dr Sears](https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/why-do-babies-cry) and [Mother and Baby](https://www.motherandbaby.co.uk/baby-and-toddler/baby/why-is-my-baby-crying/mindfulness-techniques-to-help-you-and-your-baby-cope-with-crying)
May 31, 2018
7: Childless not by Choice
While this is a podcast for pregnant women there are just as many women who want to be pregnant and cannot, or who are with a partner who does not want (more) children, or who have a chronic illness, or who are not able to find a suitable partner. The list of reasons is endless and as a women without children myself, and in a position where I work with women having babies daily - this is of particular interest to me. Jody Day is both a thought leader and a change maker and an advocate for womens choice and respect through her own personal challenges of being childless NOT by choice. Jody is the founder of [Gateway Women,](https://gateway-women.com/) the global friendship and support network for childless women, and the author of ‘[Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children’ (Bluebird/PanMacmillan).](https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/jody-day/living-the-life-unexpected) A thought leader on female involuntary childlessness, she’s a founding & former board member at [AWOC](https://awoc.org/) (Ageing Without Children), a former Cambridge Judge Business School Fellow in Social Innovation, [a TEDx speaker](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uufXWTHT60Y) and a trainee psychotherapist. Jody takes great pleasure in helping childless women [get their groove back](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvXScNU6GAM) and find their tribe via the Gateway Women workshops, [online communities](https://www.facebook.com/weareworthysummit/) and social meetups across the world. [www.gateway-women.com](https://gateway-women.com/)
May 19, 2018
6: Technology in Midwifery - Enemy or Ally
This episode is a bit different as it is a recording of my presentation at the [Sensitive Midwifery Symposium](http://sensitivemidwifery.co.za/sensitive-midwifery-symposium/) in JHB, South Africa. Embracing technology has been hard for me but a couple of years ago I realised that I if I was to remain true to my calling to change birth practices and improve women's experience of birth then I had to change the way that I was disseminating information and literally get comfortable with apps, tweets, tablets, status updates and cloud computing. I had to find out more about this wireless world where technology knows no boundaries and everyone seems to be constantly logged-on and linked-up. I would love your feedback. Sound quality is not great but the message is clear that the internet is a double edged sword. I discuss the challenge faced by midwives and birth workers to use it effectively. Contact The Virtual Midwife Website: [www.thevirtualmidwife.com](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/) Email: email@example.com Follow The Virtual Midwife on Social Media Facebook: [https://www.facebook.com/thevirtualmidwife/](https://business.facebook.com/thevirtualmidwife/?business_id=234693603941052&ref=bookmarks) Twitter: https://twitter.com/@VirtualMidwife Instagram: virtualmidwife Youtube: The Virtual Midwife
May 10, 2018
5: Trust Meditation
This is a meditation for anyone who is experiencing fear during pregnancy or fear of birth. While a fear of the unknown is normal and expected, fear can very easily grow and get out of control. The antidote to fear is trust. During this meditation you will be guided to find what trust looks, feels and sounds like to you, and to find ways of feeding your sense of trust in yourself, your body, your baby and your support rather than feeding your fear and insecurity. I recommend listening to this session at least once every trimester as your fears and doubts change to help you deepen your sense of trust. Karen has been supporting families around the globe for over a decade. She has a has a strong presence with her online platform [www.thevirtualmidwife.com](https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/). Karen speaks regularly at conferences around the world and regularly contributes articles to high-profile publications and features on podcasts on expat living and midwifery. She has an [app for Birth Breathing](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/birth-breathing/id1295854733?mt=8) techniques available on the iTunes store or [book a chat](https://thevirtualmidwife.setmore.com/) and see how I can help you.
April 30, 2018
4: Knocked Up Abroad
[Lisa Ferland](https://lisaferland.com/) is the editor and publisher of the [Knocked Up Abroad](knockedupabroad.com.) Series, and she helps other woman tell their stories by self-publishing and crowd funding their books on platforms like Kick starter and Indiegogo. In this episode she shares her 2 vastly different birth stories (first baby born in hospital in USA and 2nd baby born (accidentally) at home in Sweden) and goes on to share how this prompted the Knocked Up Abroad series. Lisa is a change maker, a thought leader and a fellow expat. I met her earlier this year at the Families in Global Transition conference in Den Hague, Netherlands after years of communication through our shared interest of birth abroad and supporting women. You can follow her on [Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/lisaferlandconsulting) or connect with her on [LinkedIn](https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisaferland/) You can find a fill transcript of the interview on my [blog at the Virtual Midwife](http://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/blog/)
April 27, 2018
3: Rhythmic drumming
A powerful sound meditation to use during labor. The steady drumbeat is accompanied by positive affirmations to connect with your baby as you flow with the surges of labor. Breath sounds, soothing chants and gentle reminders to work with your body and your baby. Drumming courtesy of [Calm Whale](https://whaleloryb.bandcamp.com/track/shamanic-flow-part-1). Vocals Karen Wilmot.
April 21, 2018
2: Congratulations! You are pregnant.
A short meditation to set you up for a healthy pregnancy and tune into the immense changes your body is undergoing. Stay present and enjoy every moment with the knowledge that your body is incredibly capable. Learn to connect with your baby through the heart and womb energy and to trust your inner knowing. Karen seamlessly combines her study of yoga, breath work and hypnotherapy with the principles of childbirth. She understands the challenges of working in a technocratic policy based system and uses her skill and experience to integrate ancient wisdom with modern knowing. Her dream is for every woman to give birth with confidence, trust and love and her challenge is to provide women with the tools, techniques and skills to be able to do so. Karen's rich diversity of experience has given her a deep insight into the needs of women across countries and cultures. She holds a deep belief in the mind body connection and integrates this into all aspects of her birth work. Karen has been supporting families around the globe for over a decade. She has a has a strong presence with her online platform www.thevirtualmidwife.com. Karen speaks regularly at conferences around the world and regularly contributes articles to high-profile publications and features on podcasts on expat living and midwifery. [Learn more](http://www.thevirtualmidwife.com/) or [book a chat](https://thevirtualmidwife.setmore.com/) and see how I can help you. Download the [Birth Breathing](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/birth-breathing/id1295854733?mt=8) techniques App available on the iTunes store
April 15, 2018
1: Preparing for Birth
A 20 minute relaxation to listen to in the last weeks of pregnancy when you are torn between excitement to meet your baby and apprehension about how giving birth will feel. This meditation will guide you to create a protective shield of self assurance as you allow your subconscious to show you alternatives you may not have considered. Karen seamlessly combines her study of yoga, breath work and hypnotherapy with the principles of childbirth. She understands the challenges of working in a technocratic policy based system and uses her skill and experience to integrate ancient wisdom with modern knowing. Her dream is for every woman to give birth with confidence, trust and love and her challenge is to provide women with the tools, techniques and skills to be able to do so. Karen's rich diversity of experience has given her a deep insight into the needs of women across countries and cultures. She holds a deep belief in the mind body connection and integrates this into all aspects of her birth work. Karen has been supporting families around the globe for over a decade. She has a has a strong presence with her online platform www.thevirtualmidwife.com. Karen speaks regularly at conferences around the world and regularly contributes articles to high-profile publications and features on podcasts on expat living and midwifery. She has an app for Birth Learn more at www.thevirtualmidwife.com or book a chat https://thevirtualmidwife.setmore.com/ and see how I can help you. Breathing techniques available on the iTunes store https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/birth-breathing/id1295854733?mt=8
April 7, 2018