Birth and Beyond 2013

Why do I love this conference and the women who work so hard to make it a success every year?

Because it's fun! We get to play!

And for so many other reasons. We get to stretch our boundaries: just like the perineum stretches so nicely when a baby's head moves past it, so we have to stretch our ideas and preconceptions when we meet the motley crew of professionals, activists, birthing women, and others, who make this conference the best of the year.

We also have to think. The speakers and movers and shakers at this conference are really good at pushing us to look outside the box: Jodi Hall has a superb intellect, and her grasp of complicated ideas is truly stunning. She manages to light up those ideas for us lesser mortals, and challenge us to use our brain power while we take pleasure in the exercises she prepares for us.  James McKenna and Diane Weissinger speak science: let's start thinking about "what would mammals do?" Gloria Lemay does not suffer complacency lightly - she will always challenge you to a duel. Robbie Davis-Floyd can always be relied upon to: 1. present complicated papers on birth from an anthropologists viewpoint; 2. tell hilarious stories about the rock stars in the birth world and 3. be the amazing woman who starts everyone singing.

We have to compromise: the intactivists breathed the same air as those participants who choose circumcision. The registered midwives discussed their work with the not-so-registered.

And, best of all, the participants at Birth and Beyond are truly lovely: from different walks of life and different places, with stories and paths that sometimes converge and sometimes not. And, somehow, we  all manage to get along just fine. Well, most of us. And that's because, at Birth and Beyond, everyone doesn't necessarily share the exact same viewpoint.

We get to talk about interesting concepts like LOVE, like VOLUNTEERING, like CO-SLEEPING,  like ENTITLEMENT, like FEAR IN BIRTH, like WHAT TO DO, like LOSS?

We learn and go on learning, we open our minds and our hearts, we meet people we would not expect to meet.

This is above all a conference that is dynamic and alive. It is not political, it doesn't seem to subscribe to a certain political line, and that is the beauty of it. Melanie and Shawn have managed to get all of the ingredients together for an event that is going to keep on moving, year after year …. don't you want to be part of it?

Get involved! Birth and Beyond 2014


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