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Presentation Information

2021 Presentations:

Every year, GOLD Midwifery Online Conference invites top researchers and clinicians in the field of labour & delivery to present on current and emerging evidence-based education. This year’s program offers a wide range of research, and clinical skills to assist in the advancement of your practice and optimal outcomes for the families in your care.

All talks are presented live during set times, with recordings of each session being available throughout the conference period. Conveniently access presentations at your own pace, enjoying all the benefits and features our online conference has to offer. New to GOLD Midwifery? Learn how the online conference works here.

GOLD Midwifery 2021 offers 12+ hours of education.for the main conference, with the option to extend your conference experience with 2 or more highly informative Add-on Lecture Packages.

2021 Main Presentations:

Preventing and Healing Trauma in the Perinatal Period Add-On Lecture Pack:

Trauma experienced in the perinatal period is a growing concern. Birth trauma can have long lasting effects, including increased rates of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders and the potential negative impact on maternal child bonding, the adjustment to parenthood and family dynamics. This package provides care providers with knowledge and tools to help prevent perinatal trauma and empower their clients in their healing if trauma occurs. Learn more about strategies to mitigate feelings of helplessness, the importance of reflective practice in providing trauma informed care, childbirth preparation for survivors, ways to help birth partners struggling with trauma, overcoming barriers in black maternal health, and the EMDR recent birth trauma protocol.

*Only those registering for the main conference, or have registered for the main conference will have the ability to purchase this lecture pack. You will have the opportunity to purchase this add-on at the time of conference registration, or anytime afterwards (during the time of the conference).

  • Beyond the Birth Plan: Trauma-Informed Childbirth Preparation for Survivors
    by Justine Leach, Ph.D., B.C.C.E 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Survivors of trauma are at an increased risk not only of experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms during their pregnancy, but also birth trauma and postpartum PTSD. Yet too often survivors’ needs are ignored and traditional childbirth preparation is neither trauma-informed nor supportive of survivors’ emotional experiences. This presentation envisions what childbirth preparation looks like from a trauma-informed perspective. It will explore how to create safety in our relationships with birth givers, how to help survivors feel their power, and how to hold space for their emotional journey to parenthood. I discuss the impact of previous trauma on birth givers in pregnancy and birth, and explore what can be done prenatally to prevent birth trauma. Participants will gain practical skills for supporting survivors’ emotional wellbeing and for helping them to plan for a safe birth experience. This involves rethinking the birth plan. Instead of merely articulating a birth givers’ preferences for or against interventions, a birth plan should be rethought as a Birth Support Plan: that is, it should communicate what a birth giver needs to feel safe, understood, and in control of the decisions they make around their care whether their birth goes to plan or not.

  • Helping Birth Partners Struggling With Trauma
    by Erin Bowe, PhD (Clin Psych) 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    "Birth trauma impacts at least 1 in 3 birthing people, but who is often left out of the picture? The partners. Vicarious trauma in birthing partners is very real, and yet there is little to no acknowledgment let alone resources to help.

    Witnessing birth trauma in one’s partner has the potential to: (1) create severe cognitive dissonance (“I know what happened to my partner was wrong, yet I did nothing to stop it”), (2) contribute to unresolved feelings of shame, guilt, helplessness and rage, and/or difficulties with bonding (3) contribute to heightened nervous system activity (e.g., oscillating between ‘fight’ mode and ‘freeze’ mode), and (4) contribute to unhelpful, negative birth storytelling culture which minimizes the role of partners.

    On the contrary, partners who are well supported (emotionally, cognitively and socially) have phenomenal potential for growth. In this presentation, we will explore what it means to work with partners through the lens of posttraumatic growth. How to validate and educate about trauma in a way that allows partners to step into self-compassion. We will explore how to inspire partners to see their own potential for growth, leadership and even advocacy.

  • Maternal Experience of Helplessness as a Precipitator for Traumatic Birth: Recognition & Strategies to Mitigate Helplessness and Avoid Trauma
    by Billie Harrigan, BA TBA CD CBC 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Throughout the world, about one-third of birthing women describe their births as “traumatic”. A significant number of these mothers will enter parenthood with symptoms of trauma, including intrusive memories, avoidance, hypervigilance, and health problems. Some will meet all the criteria for post-traumatic stress. This can impact bonding with the baby, breastfeeding, maternal mental health, physical health, dynamics within the family, and increases the potential for adverse experiences and future health concerns for the child. A traumatic experience also impacts her future birthing choices and experiences. Research identifies negative interactions with health care providers, particularly where the mother feels a sense of helplessness, as the most significant risk for a traumatic experience. This presentation examines the experiences of women to identify the key aspects of delivery-of-care that promotes a sense of helplessness. Understanding how routine elements of care can be perceived as disempowering will equip participants to implement significant changes in how care is delivered to reduce the potential for a traumatic experience for the mother.

  • Overcoming Barriers in Black Maternal Health: It Takes a Village
    by Saleemah J. McNeil, CLC, MS, MFT 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    The overarching goal of this presentation is to raise awareness and provide practical approaches to improving Black maternal health through a community-driven, culturally relevant, social-ecological approach to optimize perinatal health. There is a fundamental need for multilevel interventions emerging from the lived- experience and expertise of Black women that provide support from early pregnancy through the end of the first postpartum year - - interventions that utilize a reproductive justice framework to address individual lifestyle behaviors in the context of resilience, family and relationships, along with community-level factors and institutional and societal barriers, including structural racism. Yet, a paucity of evidence-based treatments exist. To remedy this treatment gap, we will discuss a multidisciplinary approach to interacting with birthing folks. Address the impact of structural racism and respectful maternity care as it contributes to adverse outcomes for birthing families.

  • The EMDR Recent Birth Trauma Protocol
    by Maria Caterina Cattaneo, PhD 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    After childbirth, between 3 and 9% of women develop trauma-related symptoms characterized by a constant state of alert as if the danger was still ongoing. This can include intrusive memories / intrusive images, sleeping disorders and signs of dissociation. Puerperal women may experience a sense of inadequacy and / or impotence. If untreated, these peri-traumatic issues can affect the mental and physical health of the mother. The follow-ups of a birth trauma can also lead to significant impairment in the construction of a secure prìmary relationship between the mother and the baby {the basis of the subsequent attachment bond). A secure attachment, on the other hand, is a protective factor against possible psychological and psychiatric problems in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. This presentation will will provide an introduction to the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as a treatment for birth trauma and how it may be clinically applied in the maternity ward.

  • “How You Are Is as Important as What You Do”: The Importance of Reflective Practice in Providing Trauma-Informed Care
    by Sarah McNamee, LCSW, MBA, IMH-E® Mentor (Clinical) 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    "Grounded in the concept that “how you are is as important in what you do"" (Pawl & St. John, 1998), this presentation will allow participants the chance to learn about and engage in reflective practice. Reflective practice is the discipline of regularly “stepping back” to consider the meaning of what has transpired in relationships, and to examine one’s professional and personal responses to these interactions for the purpose of determining further action. (Emde, et al., 2001) Best practice suggests that by consistently engaging in reflective practice, we are better equipped to do our work in a relationship-based, trauma-informed, culturally responsive way.

    Our time together will begin with the exploration of the possible ways in which stress and dysregulation (as well as regulation) show up in our bodies, our work, and in our lives. Through the use of didactic instruction and experiential exercises, we will then spend time learning about and utilizing reflective practice to better understand how to best support our regulation and strengthen the connections we build with others including the parents and babies we serve. "

Breastfeeding and Medically Complex Infants Add-On Lecture Pack:

Infants with complex medical issues can pose a unique challenge for the lactation care provider. Join our expert speakers for an in depth look at supporting human milk feeding in families where the infant requires extra care and expertise to establish and or maintain breastfeeding/chestfeeding. Learn more about breastfeeding through childhood cancer, breastfeeding and late preterm infants, neurological conditions, congenital heart disease and Down Syndrome, along with learning more about allergies, sensitivities and galactosemia. Our speakers include Lyndsay Hookway, Angela Lober, Ellen Lechtenberg, Heather Millar, Mariana Colmenares Castaño and Laurel Wilson.

*Only those registering for the main conference, or have registered for the main conference will have the ability to purchase this lecture pack. You will have the opportunity to purchase this add-on at the time of conference registration, or anytime afterwards (during the time of the conference).

  • Assisting Late Preterm Dyads Achieve Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding Success
    by Angela Lober, PhD, RNC, IBCLC 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Late preterm infants struggle with feeding challenges. Due to the oscillating nature of breastfeeding progress in the late preterm population coupled with the innate issues of prematurity, families need support to navigate waters toward breastfeeding success. A model for evidence-based education and breastfeeding assessment will be presented to support infant development and empower mothers to achieve their breastfeeding goals.

  • Breastfeeding Children with Cancer
    by Lyndsey Hookway, BSc, RNC, HV, IBCLC 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Most children, happily, encounter no significant illness during childhood. Of those who do, some will be breastfed. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, as well as continued breastfeeding alongside appropriate introduction of solid foods until the age of two years and beyond is recommended by the World Health Organisation. Breastfeeding is known to confer multiple well-documented protective properties, and the risks of not being breastfed are profound, even in well-developed countries.
    Although breastfeeding reduces the overall risk of many serious childhood illnesses and malignancies, it is not a panacea. Many children who are breastfed optimally will still develop a serious health condition. This small group of children, and their families are an important population, with specific needs that are under-represented in policy, literature and professional training.
    This presentation will identify specific childhood cancers, their prevalence and common treatments. It will also introduce some of the challenges experienced by parents breastfeeding their child through cancer, and some practical ways to support families facing this ordeal.

  • Breastfeeding The Baby With Congenital Heart Disease
    by Maria Colmenares Castaño, MD, IBCLC 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Breastfeeding can sometimes be challenging for some families even when baby and mother are healthy. The Inmunological and nutritional benefits provided by breast milk must be considered when feeding any baby, it is by far the best start for babies that have any other disease where they can tend to suffer from multiple respiratory infections and other medical complications putting babies health, wellbeing and lives at risk. When there is a baby with a congenital cardiac disease we can face a lack of evidence and homogenous practices regarding breastfeeding. Many mothers feel helpless and many surgeons and cardiologists are not convinced that breastfeeding is better and easier for the infant with congenital heart disease. They are uncomfortable with not knowing the volume baby consumes and are not use to observing oxygen saturation an heart rate when the baby Is feeding at the breast. Current challenges in treating patients with chronic conditions include the prioritization of breastfeeding, identification of the most effective nutritional interventions, and the prevention or recovery of acquired growth failure.
    Children with congenital heart disease who breastfeed have better growth, shorter hospital stays, and higher oxygen saturations than children with congenital heart disease who receive formula. It is necessary to support this families with evidenced based information to promote and support of breastfeeding to all mothers and babies. Create programs to meet the needs of this vulnerable babies and train surgical and pediatric staff of the neonatal surgery unit so they can support and facilitate a multidisciplinary work.

  • Can a Baby Be Allergic to Breastmilk? Sensitivities, Allergies, Galactosemia, and Lactose Intolerance
    by Laurel Wilson, IBCLC, RLC, BSc, CLE, CCCE, CLD 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Lactation professionals often hear from their clients that their breastfed babies have been diagnosed as lactose intolerance. This lack of understanding regarding types of lactose intolerance and potential issues with breastfeeding involving the newborn gut often lead to a cessation of breastfeeding. This session will cover the three main types of lactose intolerance, as well as galactosemia. Maternal gut damage and protein sensitivity and how that can impact the breastfed baby will also be addressed. Attendees will also learn about the most common foods that cause food sensitivity and allergy and what referrals are best made with these issues.

  • Neurologic Conditions and The Breastfed Infant
    by Ellen Lechtenberg, MPH, RD, IBCLC 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Neurologic conditions often have a significant impact on the breastfeeding/chestfeeding dyad. The majority of these conditions are congenital, however some may be acquired during the first year of life. Breastfeeding/chestfeeding management of the hypotonic and hypertonic infant will be discussed. Hypotonic neurologic conditions that will be reviewed include floppy infant syndrome, infantile botulism, medullary lesions, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 21. The hypertonic neurologic conditions cerebral palsy and drug exposed infant will be discussed along with neural tube defects and Congenital Zika Syndrome. Case studies of special needs babies with these neurologic conditions will be presented.

  • Yes You Can! Breastfeeding A Baby With Down Syndrome
    by Heather Miller, RN (Disability), Cert IV in Breastfeeding Education (Community) 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    As a health professional you may find yourself supporting a mother who is breastfeeding or requires support to breastfeed her baby with Down syndrome. Babies with Down syndrome can often have additional health needs, which may affect how successful they are with breastfeeding. Down syndrome or trisomy 21 is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability for around 1 in 700 births worldwide. People with Down syndrome are not all the same but may have similar characteristic physical features, health and developmental challenges and some level of intellectual disability. Research has shown many benefits associated with breastfeeding a baby with Down syndrome. It contributes to establishing long term skill development, particularly with speech and feeding skills, as well as aiding brain growth. It also provides an opportunity for mother baby bonding during stressful periods after learning of their baby’s diagnosis. Regardless of these known benefits, some mothers may nevertheless be told their baby will not be able breastfeed. This presentation will explore some of the common challenges mothers may face when breastfeeding a baby with Down syndrome and tips on how to address these for the mother and baby. The material presented will also assist health professionals to support mothers with babies who may have similar health/developmental needs.

Infant Sleep: Science and Social Factors Add-On Lecture Pack:

Getting enough sleep is one of the most common concerns for new parents, and questions about sleep are common for all health care professionals working with new families. This package will help you stay up to date with the latest research and recommendations. Gain the knowledge you need to be able to provide evidence based support to the families in your care. Learn more about Collaborative approaches to educating new families, the hype, reality and evidence for baby boxes, evidence and recommendations for bedsharing and breastfeeding, nighttime parenting with multiple infants and how to improve sleep by tapping into calm.

*Only those registering for the main conference, or have registered for the main conference will have the ability to purchase this lecture pack. You will have the opportunity to purchase this add-on at the time of conference registration, or anytime afterwards (during the time of the conference).

  • Babies In Boxes: The Hype, The Reality And The Evidence
    by Helen Ball, PhD, MA, BSc (Hons) 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Many assumptions exist about the origins and purpose of baby-boxes and their use as a safe infant sleep space; this misinformation needs correcting, especially as it relates to SIDS-reduction. Baby-box schemes take multiple forms from those motivated by social welfare to those motivated by commercial profit. Programmes offering carboard baby boxes to parents in England began in some NHS Trusts in 2016. We examined the pros and cons of English baby-box schemes via an independent evaluation conducted using telephone interviews and online surveys with healthcare providers and parents in all 7/9 NHS regions of England where baby-box schemes were established 2017-2019. The objectives were to produce recommendations for organisations considering involvement in future schemes. We found baby-box schemes changed over time, and were complex to run and monitor. Both parents and practitioners were misinformed about their purpose and origins. The English experience of partnership schemes between healthcare facilities and commercial box-providers reveals some success stories, along with multiple points of ambiguity, unanticipated difficulty, and concerns for infant safety. Sixteen recommendations are proposed for healthcare providers and organisations considering commercial - health-provider baby-box partnerships in future.

  • Bedsharing and Breastfeeding: Evidence and Recommendations
    by Melissa Bartick, MD, MSc, FABM 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Bedsharing promotes breastfeeding, but many authorities recommend against bedsharing for all mothers, citing safety concerns, particularly risk of sudden infant death syndrome or suffocation risks. Here we will review the normal physiology of mother-infant sleep, and the historical context in which such recommendations evolved. In addition, many populations have high rates of bedsharing with low rates of death. In this context, we will review the evidence around bedsharing and the most current evidence-based recommendations. Some risk factors for SIDS are more powerful than others, and we will review the best ways to minimize such risks, including a social-determinants of health approach. In some circumstances, bedsharing may carry particular risks and it is important to be able to discuss these issues with parents without stigma. We will discuss counseling of all parents in the “risk-minimization” approach, which would also allow for promotion of breastfeeding.

  • Collaborative Approaches To Educating New Families On Prenatal Sleep Expectations
    by Erin Shaheen, BsocSc R.S.S.W (Registered Social Service Worker) 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Parents experience a lack of formal and informal education on normal newborn sleep patterns. This absence of information through group prenatal classes or perinatal appointments with healthcare providers results in unrealistic expectations of life with their newborn. Coupled with geographic isolation from extended family support systems or extended family members who have different recollections of newborn sleep patterns, parents turn to crowdsourcing information on social media. The prolific advertising of sleep training on social media platforms increases parental fear, leaving parents overwhelmed with the increasingly contradictory information on sleep and strategies for coping.

    This presentation will address the situations that lead to unsafe bed sharing and social pressure to sleep train. Participants will have an understanding of the concerns that parents bring to sleep classes for both infants and toddlers. Collaborative strategies for responsive nighttime parenting that respects brain development; attachment theory, nighttime feeds, and balanced with parents need for sleep and self-care will be the focus. Opportunities for education that include online, individual and group opportunities will be offered including a collaborative effort between parents, family, community and healthcare providers.

  • Is Sleep Really A Necessity? Nighttime Parenting With Multiple Infants
    by Karen Kerkhoff Gromada, MSN, RN, IBCLC, FILCA 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Sleep deprivation and disruption of an individual’s circadian patterns in the postnatal period are frequently cited as contributing factors in the development of postpartum depression, anxiety (PPD&A) or postpartum post-traumatic stress symptoms (P-PTSS). These factors are increased for the birthing parent of twins, triplets or more, who is more likely to bring two or more newborns home after experiencing perinatal complications and related interventions, and infants’ preterm birth, low birth weight and other complications, often resulting in neonatal intensive care unit stays. Even for a relatively ideal multiple pregnancy and birth, caring for two or more newborns – each having as many needs as any single-birth newborn – round-the-clock parenting generally leads to profound and often long-term sleep deprivation. When significant sleep deprivation affects a parent’s daytime behavior, all family members are affected. Yet current “safe sleep” recommendations or nighttime strategies promoting better sleep for parents and a single infant, including safer bedsharing techniques, are more difficult logistically to implement. These recommendations and strategies may also be less safe to implement with multiple infants. This session will examine the factors contributing to disruptive sleep for parents of multiples and develop strategies that meet both infants and parents needs for adequate sleep.

  • You Can't Sleep With Your Foot On The Gas Pedal: How To Improve Sleep By Tapping Into Calm
    by Lyndsey Hookway, BSc, RNC, HV, IBCLC 1 CERP, 1 MidPLUS Points, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU - 60 mins

    Many parents become frustrated by their child's sleeping patterns. They may try to implement sleep schedules, or sleep training in an effort to try to manage their fatigue. However, understanding how sleep fundamentally works can not only optimise sleep, but also reduce parental frustration, improve connection, and increase confidence. Sleep occurs best in a non-stress state - therefore utilising strategies that increase child stress levels is likely to be counter-productive. Equally, experiencing stress for any reason may reduce the ease with which we can support sleep. This presentation discusses a holistic approach to supporting optimal regulation, attachment, emotional connectivity and naturally optimised sleep.