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Christian Midwives International and Midwifery Today 2008

In 2008 I was ready for the full conference experience.  I was able to attend Midwifery Today because of a program that accepted students to work as room stewards. I wouldn’t be able to select what sessions I attended, but my expenses were much less.  I don’t have any photos because my husband convinced me I was going to work, not hang out with friends. But hang out with friends I did.  This conference solidified some friendships that began the year prior.

I was smarter for the Christian Midwives International Conference – I brought my camera despite his suggestion I leave it at home. I’m glad I did.  Another case of ‘celebrity’ shock as I met Betty Peckman, author of Christian Midwifery.  Her book was one of the first Christian childbirth books I bought, and I love her wisdom.

 

Both Midwifery Today and Christian Midwives International tried to balance skills with speaking sessions.  Here are some friends practicing cardiac assessment and placenta assessment at one of the CMI sessions.

 

 

 

I expected to learn, but I didn’t realize how important the encouragement I received would be.  So many of the women I met at CMI were wiser, more experienced than me, and I instantly loved them because they were so willing to share that wisdom and experience. There was also a good bit of fun.  Here I am learning to make placenta prints.  Not a clinical skill, just something fun to share with families.

I think this was the first year I spoke at CMI – I am in the photos of the speakers.  I believe I spoke on how to speak to women so they will listen (you know, talking to women about changing their diet, exercise or other very personal habits without them feeling judged and belittled).

Needless to say, this introvert was hooked.  I had started to build some solid friendships and enjoyed the different learning activities.  When the conference ended, I was already looking forward to the next year.

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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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