reBIRTH 2019 Conference Program





Conference Opening



Daniela Drandić, Roda

Presentation of mobile app and other project outputs, 3P+ Adult Education for Positive Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum

The key to quality antenatal education is to get to parents where they are. Where are modern parents, and what methods can we use to reach them? This session will present the outputs of the 3P+ Positive Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum Project, including newly developed digital tools and mobile application.


10:30-11:00 COFFEE BREAK



Dot Parry

Fight, flight or freeze -supporting men to be brilliant birth partners

It's only been in the last 40 years or so that men have been ‘allowed’ into the birthing room. How does it feel for men to support their partners through pregnancy and birth?
As an NCT antenatal educator in the UK for 28 years, Dot has helped hundreds of men prepare to be birth supporters. As a midwife I can hardly remember a birth where the partner was not present. Some partners are wonderful, empathetic carers who enhance the birth experience for the mother. Some are merely present and can distract the woman from her work. Others are negatively affected by the experience themselves.
What factors support partners to be a positive influence in the birth room and how can birth professionals make use of their potential? How can we help men to take on one of their key roles during birth - using his behaviour to create the possibility that his partner may experience a fearless response as she gives birth to their baby?



Erika Špirić

Antenatal Education in Croatia - What Was, What Is, What Should Be

Antenatal education has come a long way in Croatia – from courses organized at health centres, to courses led by midwives at hospitals to midwives and childbirth educators organizing courses in communities. This talk will discuss positive practices that have made an impact, those that have not, and what is important to delivering quality education to pregnant families in the future.



Jela Ravnjak

Antenatal Courses in Croatia - Quality and Quantity

How diverse are antenatal courses in Croatia and what is the quality of their programs, who teaches them and what information is being delivered to pregnant women? This is precisely what this lecture will examine, through a systematic review of pregnancy courses in Zagreb and Croatia. We will investigate whether there is a link between the courses and what the quality benchmarks are. Are the courses regulated in any way and which qualifications give you the "authorization" to teach the course. The speaker will share her story from an economist to a doula who started teaching pregnancy courses in Zagreb, and is now in the second generation of Roda’s Childbirth educator program. Because of her path and experience she is the ideal candidate for an insider view on this topic. Get ready for birth, set, go!


12:15-13:30 LUNCH BREAK



Hannie Oor

Childbirth Education in the Netherlands - Online or In-Person?

Childbirth education in booming in the Netherlands! Different than in most other country’s this was not a job for midwives, but for special schooled educators. As the ‘marketing concept’ around healthcare is only since 10 years starting in the Netherlands, everybody who works with- or likes ‘pregnancy and birth’ is starting a course, training, or program. Some with high-tea’s or beer and snacks to make it men-proof. The last years online-courses are becoming more and more popular. This influences participation in the other courses. Why chooses women online-courses, or go to ‘life-groups? What does it for the mother-baby care? And who is responsible for quality?



Mila Kramna

Aperio Maternity Hospitals Guide

Aperio has been publishing its Maternity Hospitals Guide since 2002. In last months the website was updated and nowadays it allows the online browsing through the maternity hospital profiles, searching the maternity unit by the chosen criteria or comparing three profiles of maternity units. Expectant parents can also fill the questionnaire connected with certain maternity hospital so other parents can see the results and compare it with two other hospitals. This talk will present this innovative, user-friendly digital tool for parents.



Beverley Lawrence Beech

The Role of Antenatal Education Empowering Women to Make Autonomous Choices

Antenatal classes are supposedly designed to prepare women for the progression of their pregnancy, the birth and postnatally. In reality the majority of antenatal classes prepare women to accept whatever care is on offer and not think about either their rights or the relevance of the interventions that the women may be offered. Beverley Beech discusses the issues, the barriers, and what issues antenatal teachers can face when preparing women for pregnancy, birth, and postnatally.



Dot Parry

Antenatal Education for Men

The needs of men can be overlooked in antenatal education, although there are many benefits of reaching men. How can we reach and support men, and what do they need from antenatal education?


15:05-15:35 COFFEE BREAK



Dulce Morgado Neves and Catarina Barata

The “Positive Birth Movement” in Portugal: building an alternative perinatal education

The Positive Birth Movement is a “global network of free-to-attend antenatal groups, linked up by social media”. Its aim is to connect pregnant women together to share stories, expertise and positivity about childbirth. Started in the UK, PBM grew exponentially in its 7 years of existence and it’s already present in 38 countries. Since the creation of the first group in Portugal, in 2017, the phenomenon has been spreading across the country, counting already 9 groups.

Its philosophy of peer-to-peer discussions contrasts with the conventional perinatal education led by experts and, as a consequence, the community building around childbirth is developing, supported both by a strong online presence and regular face-to-face meetings.

Based on documental analysis and on preliminary field work, this presentation focus in the Portuguese experience of PBM to show the innovative character of this project as well as the main motivations and achievements reported by its attendants.



Maider Maraña and Patricia Pineda

Mother to Mother Support: El Parto es Nuestro groups as non-formal childbirth education

Childbirth education usually focuses on a teacher, who is a professional in the field, and a future mother, who gets the information and learns, generating some kind of hierarchy between them. El Parto es Nuestro Association is a group of “users” of health systems, who are not professionals and who started their work by giving support one to each other. During 15 years, we have seen how our tools for support among women (mainly mothers and future mothers) generate an empowerment of women and therefore a “learning among equals” system, which we do consider is another clear form of (non-formal) childbirth education. Work formulas at local group meetings will be presented, as well as the differences with the on-line support systems (social networks and mailing lists).



Amira Ćerimagić

The Gap Between Medical Professionals and Pregnant Women - A question of terminology or perception

As a childibirth educator who happens to be a physician as well, I started noticing that the main issue in childbirth classes is not the barrier in language itself, as in, making the class too or less complex in terms of the amount of use of the medical terminology and the need to literally translate the meaning of a word.

 Rather, the main barrier is that behind understanding a medical terminology and the context in which it arose, one realizes that everything is open for critique and change. That is a mindset hard to achieve, even amongst many in the medical community. Understanding and using a medical term properly, we begin to own that word and through it, we begin to question it and become brave enough to shape it to our own high standards of what we consider respectful childbirth.



Liz Kelly

The Role of Antenatal Education in the Prevention of Birth Trauma

Antenatal and birth preparation education has an invaluable, although not yet fully acknowledged, role to play in the prevention of birth trauma.

Independent, easily accessible, comprehensive, evidence-based information and antenatal education can have a significant effect in reducing the high levels of birth-related trauma experienced and reported by women internationally and the consequent impact it can have on every aspect of their lives.

By providing accurate and comprehensive information and - equally importantly - the skills useful for self-advocacy, women can feel supported and gain the confidence to make informed decisions regarding their care and engage in informed discussions with their care providers to achieve this.

The potential of good quality antenatal education in helping to prevent birth-related trauma needs to be more widely highlighted and developed and women everywhere should have the opportunity to access this education.



Daniela Drandić (Roda), Eliška Kodyšová (Aperio), Špela Urbanc (Indo Anai)

Opportunity to develop partnerships in pregnancy education - our experience through project implementation - 3P+ Project


17:15 - 17:30

Discussion about the project results



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