Controversies in Childbirth Conference

A reader reminded me about this upcoming conference, which will be held in Dallas/Fort Worth from March 27-29. If you register before March 1, you will get a discount on the cost of the conference. From the conference website’s home page:

The Only Conference Bringing Together:

Obstetricians, Pediatricians, Family Physicians, Certified Nurse Midwives,  Certified Professional Midwives, Certified Midwives, Nurses, Doulas, Educators, Lactation Professionals, Hospital Administrators, Health Insurers, Regulators, Advocates, Legislators and Insurers to address the major contemporary controversies in childbirth.

The Only Conference that Discusses the Real Issues:
Obstetricians stop delivering babies
Hospitals close their L&D units
Midwifery schools are unable to fill their slots
Malpractice premiums continue to rise
Patients are losing jobs and health insurance
Number of Medicaid patients will explode
Patients are seeking more options
The press runs stories on the surge in homebirth
Patients are hiring doulas to be advocates

This conference will examine whether it is feasable to continue to deliver babies and under what circumstances.

We will examine, debate and discuss: Evidence, Economics, Perception and Politics.

The Birth Conference Where Real Solutions are Discussed!

A debate and discussion of the issues is half the job.  We will also look at various solutions that have been successful, or, could be successful with modifications, or may be possible to implement in the near future.  Solutions must work for patient, provider and payor to be viable.
This Birth Conference is Neutral Territory!

This birth conference is not produced by any organization beholden to its membership or other group. Many seminars will be debate format or panels with opposing viewpoints.  No predetermined outcomes or hidden agendas.

The Conference Where the Speakers are as Diverse as the Audience

Our speakers include: obstetricians, nurse-midwives,  family physicians, neonatologists, hospital administrators and executives, nurses, doulas, birth advocates, insurance executives, risk managers, home birth midwives, lawyers, and other disciplines to assure that various viewpoints are fairly represented.

No preaching to the choir!

An ideal setting for intelligent progress!


10 Responses

  1. Consumers? Who will speak for the consumers? I don’t see ICAN on the list either.

  2. I would think that consumers and ICAN could be included in “birth advocates” — not given an official and separate title, but I think they’ll be there. I would consider myself both a consumer and a birth advocate, and I would assume that most doulas and ICAN leaders would think of themselves the same way.

    But you’re right — there should be a separate category for those who bear the brunt of the decisions made by these people — if for no other reason than to acknowledge their existence and importance — especially since they are the ones paying for the “service” (or lack thereof) that they receive at birth.

  3. I was looking at the list of speakers and the president of ICAN is among them.

  4. Yes, the president of ICAN, Pam Udy, is on the panel about low c-section rates. It should be a very interesting panel. There’s a pro C-section OB, anti-C-section OB, Pam as well the editor of

  5. Wow, that would be amazing to hear that c-section panel. I’m within driving distance, but $485?? OUCH! I’m not able to swing that.

    • Yeah — OUCH is right!! Sometimes I wonder about the costs attached to these things — is it to keep out the “riffraff”? birth junkies like you and me who would love to attend but don’t make OB wages so can’t? or is it an accurate assessment of how much cost is associated with such a conference (paying speakers, etc.)?

  6. LOL at “riffraff”. It’s probably a little of both. Even if I could spare $500 I would have to bring my nursing baby. He’s usually content for hours on end in the sling but I’m pretty sure this isn’t a place where babies are welcome.

    I sent an anonymous invite to my OB. I wonder if he will go. I’m still contemplating whether or not I should bother with an invite to my former OB.

    I was clicking around the website and it said something like, “do doulas actually help women have a better birth experience or do they just make women feel better about their bad birth experience?”

    What do you think they mean by “their bad birth experience”?

    Here’s the link:

  7. I think that doulas in large part do actually help women have a better birth experience — every study that I’m aware of that looks at this question shows that women with doulas have lower rates of interventions including C-sections, higher satisfaction with their births, higher rates of breastfeeding, better feelings about their birth and motherhood, etc.

    But, there is no doubt that many birth experiences are bad.

    Some doulas provide a narrative to the woman of her birth from the doula’s perspective, and often when a doula has seen something take place that would cause her to classify the birth as “bad” [an unnecessary C-section, episiotomy, medical personnel belittling the mother or making her afraid for her baby’s life unnecessarily, etc.], she will try to soften that negative experience by framing it in a positive light. I remember one doula saying that when she was in this situation, instead of writing it from her own perspective (which would undoubtedly be full of anger and/or harshness directed at the doctor, nurses, or whoever caused the birth to be “bad” in her opinion), she would write it from the baby’s perspective, in order to try to make the woman feel better about her bad birth experience.

    It is a difficult line to walk — trying to decide whether you should “look for the silver lining” or just be extremely honest, perhaps to the point of being “brutally honest.”

    So, I think that for the most part, doulas do help women have better birth experiences, and sometimes they do make women feel better about bad birth experiences.

  8. Hmmmm, interesting. Thanks for clearing that up. Fo

  9. My palm accidentally hit the submit button while I was in the middle of typing. 🙂 Probably because it is 1 am and I should be in bed.

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