reBIRTH 2019 Conference Speakers

Dot Parry is a midwife and National Childbirth Trust (NCT) tutor from the United Kingdom. She has worked as a midwife serving women in a high tech obstetric unit, a hospital birth centre and at home. Since 1991 Dot has been running a variety of antenatal classes through the NCT, and has been a tutor (teaching future NCT antenatal practitioners) since 2008. She has also completed training in Natal Hypnotherapy (TM).


Erika Spirić  is a retired midwife who spent her career working at the maternity ward of Varaždin Hospital. She graduated from the Secondary School for Nurse-Midwives in Zagreb (1974) and the College for Gynaecological-Obstetric Nurses at the Zagreb Health Sciences Academy (1983). From then until retirement she worked as Head Midwife in the maternity unit.

Erika has continually been active in the field of midwifery education, as a practicum leader and mentor. She is co-author of the curriculum draft for the bachelor in midwifery programs in Zagreb and Split, and was a member of the working group at the Croatian Midwives’ Association for the establishment of university midwifery programs in Zagreb, Rijeka and Split. She worked on drafting the Midwifery Act and was a founding member of the Croatian Chamber of Midwives and served as steering committee president for five years.

Erika founded the antenatal education program at Varaždin Hospital where she was also a lecturer. SHe is active in activities related to midwifery and education and advocates for high-quality midwifery and women’s choice during birth.



Jela Ravnjak began her career as an economist but is now working as a professional birth and postpartum doula and a childbirth educator-in-training. She is co-founder of the Lele Collective, dedicated to conveying evidence-based information to women and empowering them for a positive childbirth experience. Jela is passionate about femininity and a gentle fight for women's rights. Inspired by her grandmothers’ home births, she finds great inspiration in stories of undisturbed births and advocates for independent midwifery in Croatia. She has completed the DONA International and Paramana doula trainings, currently completing the Childbirth Educator Program organized by the 3P+ project.


Hannie Oor has been working with mothers and babies for over 30 years. Originally a psychiatric nurse, she and her husband worked for many years in their own psychiatric care practice. In addition to preparing parents for childbirth, she has also been trained in baby massage, adult massage and was a teacher at the training-school of the Samen Bevallen Association, which she also chaired for 11 years. She was board member for the first Doula School in the Netherlands.

In 2000, together with fellow childbirth educator Thea van Tuyl and midwife Mary Zwart, she founded ENCA-Nederland, an umbrella organisation for all organisations involved in preparing pregnant families for childbirth and breastfeeding, committed to promoting and maintaining natural and respectful care for mothers and babies. Through her involvement with ENCA in Europe, she has delivered trainings and education on childbirth education and doula skills. She also promotes and delivers trainings on Rebozo use.


Gertrud Simmert-Genedy is a GfG doula from Germany and has been working as a doula since 2007. She lived in Cairo, Egypt, from 2001 to 2011, where she founded Cairo Birth House in 2008 and established the first Childbirth Education Centre in Egypt as a role model for other Arab countries, esp. the United Arab Emirates. In order to become a GfG doula, she travelled from Cairo to Munich ten times within 15 months and completed her training in 2010. She is also full of verve as a networker with international childbirth organizations around the world.

Through her experience living in an Arab country, where Caesarean is almost standard and spontaneous birth is the exception, she became aware of the need of pregnant women to strengthen their confidence into their capability to give birth naturally and thus offered them knowledge about physiological birth as well as joining birthing women as doula.

In 2011 she and her family had to evacuate from Egypt due to the Arab Spring turmoil and went back to Munich, Germany. Gertrud started to work as GfG doula and birth education trainer and became a GfG doula trainer in 2015. Based on her international background (she speaks English, Arabic and holds a M.A. degree in Japanese studies) and her commitment to physiological birth, Gertrud is looking forward to joining the ENCA circle and to dedicating her power and knowledge to the ENCA issues from now on.


Beverley Ann Lawrence Beech is a childbirth activist, who has campaigned for improvements in maternity care since the birth of her two sons in the 1970s. Formerly, the Honourable Chair of the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS - an advocacy organisation formed in the 1950s in the UK), author, international speaker, researcher and member of the Birth Practice and Politics Forum


Dulce Morgado Neves is a board member of the Portuguese Association for Women's Rights in Pregnancy and Childbirth (APDMGP) and researcher at the Centre for Research and Sociology Studies at the University Institute of Lisbon (CIES-IUL).

She completed her PhD in Sociology from ISCTE-IUL (2013), and her research areas focus on gender, social movements, parenting and childbirth. She is currently developing a research that explores the relationship between maternity healthcare models and the experiences of childbirth activism in Europe. She is a member of the Portuguese team conducting the Babies Born Better - International Survey ( and the co-coordinator of – the Laboratory of Social Studies on Childbirth, hosted by CIES-IUL.


Catarina Barata is an anthropologist and video artist based in Portugal. She is a member of the Portuguese Association for Women's Rights in Pregnancy and Childbirth (APDMGP) and a researcher at the Social Sciences Institute at the University of Lisbon (ICS-UL).

She has been working as a researcher on local heritage projects and as a director, camera operator and editor in documentary, feature film and stage production with several artists and directors in Portugal and abroad (Brazil, USA and Guinea-Bissau).

She is currently pursuing her PhD in Anthropology, specialization in Anthropology of Health, with a research about obstetric violence, focusing on perceptions, discourses and representations related to experiences of OV, women’s reproductive rights activism and the transformative power of the arts.


Patricia Pineda and Maider Maraña are representatives of the Spanish childbirth organization El Parto es Nuestro. At first, they were women who needed support, and now they support to others in their childbirth journeys. Patricia was a Board member and currently coordinates the website. Maider coordinates international collaborations and and the Donostia support group.

El Parto es Nuestro (Childbirth is ours) is a non-profit volunteer association composed by users who aim to improve the conditions of mothers and children during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. Founded in Spain in 2003, it currently has more than 900 members, based in 3 countries (Spain, Ecuador and Argentina) and with 37 local women-to-women support groups. We develop research, advocacy to authorities and online campaigns to denounce obstetric violence.


Amira Ćerimagić is a physician and doula, childbirth educator, Evidence Based Birth® instructor and mother of three. She has been a maternity care activist since 2013. Amira is promotes the birthing rights amongst women of Bosnia and Herzegovina and works on building communications and collaboration with the medical community by offering them up-to-date continuous education through a non-profit organization.


Liz Kelly has a background in counselling and has been working with women who have experienced birth trauma for over 12 years. She has been teaching antenatal and birth preparation classes, including hypnobirthing, since 2008 and works primarily on a one-to one basis with women who have experienced severe levels of birth-related trauma who need extra support in a subsequent pregnancy and who are often referred by other health professionals from all over Ireland and occasionally from further afield.

She is a qualified Trainer and Educator, training antenatal teachers and providing workshops, and is currently involved in developing standards for antenatal education.

She is also a certified Mediator and is the Director of the Irish Maternity Support Network, a non-profit organisation which provides independent information and support to all using and involved in the Irish Maternity services and is currently studying for a MSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy.


Mila Kramná has been interested in childbirth for more than 18 years. She is the co-founder of the Czech Doula Association, a member of the Childbirth Working Group at the Czech Women’s Lobby and project manager at Aperio - Healthy Parenting Association. She is responsible for the Aperio Maternity Hospitals Guide.