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Physiological birth: promoting normality conference, October 2014.

physiological birth

This recently held conference at St George’s was dedicated to supporting and encouraging normal birth. Over 300 delegates and renowned professionals came together to talk about contemporary research and clinical practice in support of physiological birth.

It was a day of laughter, discussion and debate. Where people that really cared about women’s experiences of birth came together to explore how best to support and empower them. Renowned speakers from all over the world attended this amazing day organised by a community midwife at St George’s, Jodette Holly.

Miles Scott CEO of St Georges, welcomed delegates and speakers, and applauded midwife Jodette for organising the event. Professor Hannah Dahlen who travelled all the way from Australia to present at this day, was the first speaker. She explored how fear affects birth in her thought provoking speech and this inspirational Professor, who still works in a homebirth team catching babies, certainly got the day off to a fantastic start.

Obstetric Consultant Dr Amali Lokumage “we all have to be born, so the risk is unavoidable” gave a stimulating talk on ‘evidence, risk and autonomy in obstetrics’.   This was followed by Denis Walsh who shared his expertise on ‘optimising birth physiology”.  Birte Harlev-Lam’s talk focused on ‘influencing maternity commissioners to normalise birth’.  Post lunch and lively chats, Denise Tiran shared her thoughts and the evidence on ‘complementary therapies to normalise birth.  Marion Louki, a Consultant Midwife from a local trust, then gave the delegates food for thought by discussing the controversial topic of ‘the ethics of maternal request caesarean section’.  Next, Jenny Geyer, a former student from Kingston University, gave an overview of the ‘Birth Talk’ service which she set up and runs, and is where women are seen if they request caesarean sections for non-medical reasons.  Breech specialist Shawn Walker, a lecturer from City University, spoke of using tacit expert knowledge to revolutionize management of physiological breech birth.  The final speaker on this superb line up was Louise Simpson who spoke about ‘facilitating and supporting unusual birth requests, particularly using telemetry’.

To view the presentations and twitter participation during the event, search on hashtag PBPN.