It is nearly May so conference season is starting, have you made the commitment to attend one or more? I often hear from midwives that they would like to attend conferences, but they cost too much in terms of time and money.  I agree, they can be expensive. But I see the time and money as an investment in my midwifery practice. That may seem a bit strange for readers who know I am not now, and probably will never be, in a clinical midwifery practice.  If I were, conferences would be a natural place for continuing education. My midwifery practice is public health, soRead More →

Here are some updates from around the birth world… Advocacy The National Partnership for Women and Families released its report: Expecting Better: A State by State Analysis of Laws that Help New Parents. Midwives Alliance of North America released the I am a Midwife Education Campaign. Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan wrote a piece on Global Motherhood titled Delivering Joy: Midwives are the Key to a Future With Healthy Mothers and Babies. Be sure to support the “Improving Access to Maternity Care Act of 2014” Upcoming Conferences and Webinars: Check the Birth Professional Conferences Calendar for upcoming events including the Midwives AllianceRead More →

ACNM sent out the call for Abstracts for the 60th Annual Meeting yesterday. If you are a member you should have received the email. Full details can be found at the ACNM site. If not, look for updates at the ACNM website.Read More →

Spring is conference season for me, and every year I have to make decisions about which conferences I will attend.  How do I make those decisions?  I rank them on their ability to meet my priorities. When I first started working in the world of birth, conferences were about learning as much as possible.  Attending them energized me (and every other newbie) and refreshed the excitement for working in the birth world.  But that aspect of conferences quickly fades.  I don’t learn very much at conferences anymore – I pretty much have the basics down, and speakers must turn in their outlines months in advance,Read More →

This will be the last in our series on attending midwifery conferences.  Today I want to share my to-do list for conferences – the things I do before and during the conference to make sure I am ready. 1.  Know the dates and plan to spend as much time as possible I find it works best to accept that the time allotted for a conference is conference time.  This means I don’t try to sneak in on the last possible flight and miss the last few sessions to get out early.  Sometimes this is unavoidable, but the opportunities at a conference make every minute I spend there valuable. PlanRead More →

Remember I told you there were a few things that were not on the list of networking basics.  Here they are, and the reasons why I don’t consider them necessary. Adding everyone you meet to Facebook (or other social marketing tool) As I’ve said, I’m more of an introvert to begin with.  But even if I was not, adding potential business contacts I just met to my personal Facebook account is a bad idea.  In the first place, Facebook isn’t a very good contact storage solution.  Finding people again in a year or two might be difficult if you can not remember the exact name and needRead More →

I will be the first to admit that outgoing and extrovert are not words anyone might use to describe me.  Even so, there are times when I need to find the energy to connect with more people, have more conversations and invite strangers to lunch.  Midwifery Conferences are one of those times. It isn’t that I think this is the time to make friends.  In fact, sort of the opposite.  This is the time to network.  I don’t know how you define networking, but I think of it as building a web of information.  I find out who is doing what and when, keep trackRead More →

I have a couple conferences come up in the next few months.  It made me think about how nervous I was about attending my first conference.  I was not sure what to expect, or how to make the best use of the time. I understood the value of the sessions.  I was eager to learn.  At that point, I underestimated the rest of the value of a conference. As I progressed in my knowledge, the value of the sessions decreased.  If I hadn’t had other reasons for attending conferences, I might have stopped.  It would have been a mistake, because conferences have value above andRead More →