Upcoming Christian Midwives Conference

Upcoming Christian Midwives Conference



In case you haven’t heard, next week is the 2013 conference for Christian Midwives International. This year it is conveniently located for me in Savannah Georgia, just down the road a bit from Atlanta. I’ll be there, and ready to see friends old and new.  I’ll even be helping other midwives update their skills with a clinical update on menopause.  I can’t wait.

If you have been on the fence about going, or if you think this conference isn’t for you I might be able to change your mind.

First, even though this is a conference for Christian Midwives International, it isn’t just for midwives.  In fact, this is the first time I’ll go since beginning school to train as a midwife. Every other time I went I was “just a doula” or “just a childbirth educator.”  One year I was “just a student nurse.” But that didn’t actually matter because the conference is so well run I was able to learn things and make great connections that benefited me and the families I served.

Secondly, the learning and sessions are only part of the value.  Think of this conference more like a “retreat” than a conference.  Even if I skipped every session (I have to guess here because it is not in my nature to ever skip a session), the time to talk with other Christian women who work in the birth world is tremendously uplifting.  The friendships made through CMI are the ones that keep me going.  These are the friends I call when I’m considering career options, the friends I call when I have tough research decisions, and the friends I want to call first to celebrate great things. I cannot stress enough the benefit of having a community of women in birth to pray with me and for me.

Finally, because this conference is for all christian midwives I am able to be around a mix of women from many backgrounds.  There are CNMs, there are CPMs and DEMs, there are midwives who work at hospitals, birth centers and home. There are midwives from places where midwives are persecuted, and midwives from communities who respect and cherish midwives.  There are midwives who have worked around the world for long or short term mission work.  Honestly, it is the widest variety of midwives I every get the chance to work with.  And the best part is the respect they show each other.  The lectures are equally likely to be given by a direct entry midwife as a nurse-midwife; actually they even let non-midwives teach (like me – I did a session on educating clients one year as a childbirth educator)!  Midwives from different backgrounds feel comfortable asking and answering questions to all types of midwives – and non-midwives.

My point is, if you think a CMI conference is something for you in the future, it is very likely something for you now!

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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