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Webinar: Perspectives on Birth and Perinatal Care

Feb 5th - May 31st, 2021



View Online February 5th – May 31st 2021


This online conference brings together a faculty of leading experts from Australia and around the world to bring you the latest research and education in issues in birth and perinatal care.


Online conferences represent a cost effective and environmentally sustainable way of gaining education. We bring this learning experience right to your device – phone, tablet, laptop or computer. 


ACCREDITATION: CERPs Approval Number C202104

Total CERPS allocated: 5L CERPs, 7.5 R CERPs and 2.75 E CERPs – Total hours 15.25

ACM Endorsed program 15.25 CPDs


Early Bird, Student and Group discounts available. 

For any enquiries please email


Virtual Exhibitors:

Positions are available in our virtual exhibit hall for WHO Code Compliant exhibitors. Please email


Perinatal Care 2021 Online
09:00 AM Risk and safety in midwifery practice: Navigating the institutional paradox - Elizabeth Newnham
10:00 AM Midwives, mothers and machines (with Vanessa Scarf and Rebecca Coddington) - Dr Deborah Fox
11:00 AM The four factors and models of care that impact women planning a VBAC in Australia - Hazel Keedle
12:00 PM Building trustworthy systems for childbirth - Neel Shah
01:00 PM Improving the safety and accessibility of vaginal breech birth through research - Shawn Walker
02:00 PM Physiology before force – Applying a Spinning Babies® approach to birth - Claire Eccleston
03:00 PM Feminism and Birth
04:00 PM The importance of fathers’ mental health - Mark Williams
05:00 PM When, why and how to breathe for a baby at birth: More than neonatal resuscitation - Karen Strange
06:00 PM Supporting the golden hour: Fostering baby-parent communication and connection - Karen Strange
07:00 PM Birth from the baby’s perspective - Matthew Appleton
08:00 PM Hormones in play – Understanding the hormones of lactation - Nicki Hartney
09:00 PM The VBAC imperative: The intersection of reproductive rights and public health - Jen Kamel
10:00 PM Building on what came before: How birth impacts breastfeeding - Julie Brill
11:00 PM A student midwives’ perspective on coercion and consent in midwifery care - Kirsty Benson
SPEAKERS: Shawn Walker, Hazel Keedle, Matthew Appleton, Kirsty Benson, Julie Brill, Claire Eccleston, Dr Deborah Fox, Nicki Hartney, Jen Kamel, Elizabeth Newnham, Neel Shah, Karen Strange, Mark Williams, Hannah Tizard
Shawn Walker
Shawn Walker

Shawn Walker is a midwife who researches how to make vaginal breech birth safer, how to nurture competence and expertise and the philosophy of physiological breech birth methods.

She is a Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London and a Consultant Breech Specialist Midwife at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Hospitals Trust.



Hazel Keedle
Hazel Keedle
PhD candidate, RM, RN

Hazel Keedle is a lecturer of midwifery at Western Sydney University and a PhD candidate. Before midwifery, Hazel’s work as an RN brought her from the UK to Australia, via the remote Islands of Indonesia and the jungles of Borneo. Following her midwife grandmother’s advice she embraced midwifery and has worked in midwifery group practices, an Aboriginal medical service, a variety of hospital settings and as a privately practising midwife in both city and regional locations. Hazel’s passion for VBAC came from her own experience of having a VBAC with her daughter in 2008. Since then she has published research on women’s experience of having a homebirth after caesarean and undertaken work towards her PhD exploring women’s experiences of planning a VBAC in Australia.


Matthew Appleton
Matthew Appleton

Matthew Appleton is a Body Psychotherapist, Craniosacral Therapist and Integrative Baby Therapist living and working in Bristol, England.

In 2006 he founded Conscious Embodiment Trainings to facilitate experiential Prenatal and Birth Process Workshops for adults and teach Integrative Baby Therapy to health professionals throughout Europe.


Kirsty Benson
Kirsty Benson

Kristy Benson is a final year midwifery student from Queensland, Australia. Kristy has a strong woman-centred philosophy in which pregnancy, birth and the postpartum are viewed as elements of a rite of passage. Kristy has experienced coercion in midwifery care as a woman herself and now sees this in her practice as a student midwife.

These experiences have Kristy to speak up about this human rights injustice and shine light on a way of providing care to women that ushers them into.


Julie Brill
Julie Brill

Julie Brill is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. In addition to her holistic lactation practice, she also teaches childbirth classes, and mentors childbirth educators and labour doulas as a Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association (CAPPA) faculty member.

Julie is the author of the doula anthology Round the Circle: Doulas Share their Experiences and the mother of two grown daughters.


Claire Eccleston
Claire Eccleston

Claire is a registered midwife specialising in homebirth and a Spinning babies® approved trainer and educator with the New Zealand college of midwives.

She is a practicing craniosacral therapist - integrating bodywork and birth work. She teaches and presents nationally, in New Zealand, and internationally.


Dr Deborah Fox
Dr Deborah Fox
PhD, MSc, B Mid, RM

Dr Deborah Fox is Senior Lecturer in Midwifery, Coordinator of the Bachelor of Midwifery degree and a core member of the Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health at University of Technology Sydney.

She is an Associate Editor of the Elsevier journal ‘Midwifery’ and supervises Masters and PhD research students in midwifery and public health.


Nicki Hartney
Nicki Hartney
RN, RM, MProf Ed & Trng

Nicki has been a midwife for over 30 years. She became a lactation consultant in 1997, maintaining this credential until 2016. At this time, her midwifery educator role in a large regional teaching hospital eventually led her to academia, when she began her role as a lecturer and course director in Midwifery at Deakin University.

She continues to draw on her lactation skills and knowledge inspiring the next generation of midwives in this current role.


Jen Kamel
Jen Kamel

Jen Kamel is the Founder & CEO of VBAC Facts® and an internationally recognized consumer advocate, her mission is to increase VBAC access through education, legislation, and amplifying the consumer voice.

She helps perinatal professionals, and caesarean parents, achieve clarity on the VBAC evidence through her educational courses, continuing education training programs, and consulting services.


Elizabeth Newnham
Elizabeth Newnham

Dr. Elizabeth Newnham is a midwife academic whose research interests centre on cultural and political analysis of birthing practice, and the role of midwives in promoting physiological and humanised birth. She has presented nationally and internationally.

Her doctoral research findings led to the implementation of new statewide perinatal practice guidelines on analgesia in labour and the publication of the book Towards the humanisation of birth: A study of epidural analgesia and hospital birth culture by Palgrave MacMillan.


Neel Shah
Neel Shah

Dr. Neel Shah is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, and founding Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Harvard’s Ariadne Labs.

He is an obstetrician-gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. As a scientist and social entrepreneur, he is a globally recognised expert in designing solutions that improve health care.


Karen Strange
Karen Strange

Karen Strange is a Certified Professional Midwife and Neonatal Resuscitation Program Instructor. Karen is creator and instructor of the Integrative Resuscitation of the Newborn workshop, which includes the physiology of newborn transition, evidence-based studies on neonatal resuscitation, and the “When, Why and How” to provide neonatal resuscitation in the least traumatic way.

Her specialty is in debriefing after resuscitation with birth professionals.


Mark Williams
Mark Williams

Mark Williams is a writer, speaker and international campaigner. After suffering in silence from depression after the birth of his child, he founded International Fathers Mental Health Day and #Howareyoudad campaign to advocate for support for all parents,. Mark was awarded Inspirational Father of the year and local hero at the Pride of Britain Awards and awarded the Point of Light Award in 2019 from the Prime Minister.






Hannah Tizard
Hannah Tizard

Hannah is a Registered Midwife, Midwifery Educator and master’s student at the University of Central Lancashire, she has previously worked with and was the Editor-In-Chief of the Student Midwife Journal in 2018-2019.

Hannah founded the BloodtoBaby campaign to raise global awareness about optimal cord clamping through dissemination of materials and education. She has had materials for Optimal Cord Clamping endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK and because of this work won the Royal College of Midwives Evidence into Practice Award in 2016.



Perinatal Care conference 2021


Claire Eccleston - Physiology before force, applying a Spinning Babies ® approach to birth
Human bodies are innately intelligent. Spinning Babies® seeks to optimise ease in birth by supporting physiology via anatomical understanding and simple hands on skills to support the birth process. This is particularly useful in regards to posterior positioned (OP) babies. Posterior births have higher maternity and neonatal morbidity rates. A baby who has experienced a posterior labour may have physical discomfort from birth that may affect breastfeeding. 

Dr Deborah Fox - Midwives, mothers and machines
Increasing rates of intervention during childbirth are drawing attention to the deficits in the way we currently care for women giving birth. Over emphasis and reliance on technology has reduced the humanistic aspects of maternity care, focusing on machines rather than mothers, to the detriment of their wellbeing. There is an urgent need to reflect on our relationship with technology, particularly electronic fetal monitoring, so that physiological processes and positive experiences for women remain paramount. 

Shawn Walker - Improving the safety and accessibility of vaginal breech birth through research
Qualitative research can give us insight into how professionals acquire vaginal breech birth skills. Detailed, systematic observation of breech birth videos can help us understand what is ‘normal for breech,’ and therefore help professionals know when intervention is indicated. This presentation will discuss how we can combine novel research findings in order to create an innovative care pathway that may improve outcomes and experiences for women and their babies.

Hazel Keedle - The four factors and models of care that impact women planning a VBAC in Australia
The majority of women who have had a caesarean go on to have a repeat caesarean, however vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) can be a safe and healing experience. A mixed methods study explored women’s experiences of planning a VBAC in Australia, the results of the qualitative and quantitative parts of the survey will be discussed. Findings indicate that those who have had a caesarean go on a journey during their next pregnancy with both positive and negative experiences.

Milli Hill – Feminism and birth
Birth is the feminist issue nobody’s talking about. For too long women have been told, ‘a healthy baby is all that matters’. Milli Hill dares to say women matter too. Finally blasting the feminist spotlight into the labour ward, she encourages women everywhere to stand and deliver, insisting that birth is no longer left off the list in discussions about female power, control and agency. From the importance of birth plans to human rights in childbirth, women are urged to reclaim their bodily autonomy in birth in line with the #metoo movement.

Mark Williams - The importance of fathers mental health
As an international campaigner for fathers' mental health, Mark Williams shares his story of coming through depression following the birth of his son, and how this experience inspired his fight to raise awareness and bring about change. Supporting all parents has far better outcomes for the whole family and the development of the child. 

Julie Brill - Building on What Came Before: How Birth Impacts Breastfeeding
Many parents are often unaware of how their decisions during pregnancy and labour might impact breastfeeding. Common interventions can impact when mature milk transitions, milk production even beyond the postpartum period, how well babies can latch and transfer in the early days, newborn weight loss, and even the composition of human milk. We will explore how birth interventions effect breastfeeding and techniques that can help mitigate these impacts.

Jen Kamel - The VBAC Imperative: The Intersection of Reproductive Rights and Public Health
The desire to plan a VBAC is sometimes dismissed as simply a “birth preference” whose end goal is reduced to a “birth experience,” - a very narrow perspective of a complex issue. The truth is, VBAC access is interwoven with public health outcomes. Research is clear that the risks significantly increase with each prior caesarean. In this session, we will compare and contrast the most serious complications of VBAC and repeat caesarean: uterine rupture and placenta accreta. Informed consent, the obstacles of hospital policy and provider preference will also be examined. 

Neel Shah - Building Trustworthy Systems for Childbirth
People who are starting or growing their families are uniquely vulnerable during humanitarian disasters, and history indicates that their wellbeing is an important bellwether for the wellbeing of us all. During the period spanning pregnancy through parenthood, daily life is disrupted by shifting biological and social circumstances. Without attention, care, and support, these disruptions lead to multiple forms of suffering: undertreated illnesses, economic disempowerment, isolation. People of colour, immigrants and those living in underserved settings suffer most.

Nicky Hartney – Breastfeeding; the physiology that underpins the support.
When offering support and advice to women who are breast feeding, it’s vital to have a sound understanding of breastfeeding physiology. This presentation will draw on the instructional animation, “Breastfeeding hormones in Play” as a foundation to explore how breastfeeding physiology translates to clinical practice when supporting women to breastfeed.

Elizabeth Newnham - Risk and safety in midwifery practice: navigating the institutional paradox
This presentation will focus on the nuances of risk and safety discourses within contemporary maternity care settings. After presenting a broad outline of historical and socio-political contexts, I discuss ways in which particular practices and technologies are represented as either safe or risky, and how knowledge around these is constructed, arguing that this knowledge impacts on the writing of policy documents, which in turn affects practice. These are important considerations for midwifery, given that the professional philosophy is based on central tenets of woman-centred care, the midwife-woman relationship and informed consent.

Matthew Appleton – Birth from the baby’s perspective
Babies reveal a lot about their experience of birth and prenatal life through their body language (Baby Body Language). This is an introduction to baby body language and is of interest to anyone who works with babies and their parents. This enables a greater empathy for babies and insight into how they show their ‘birth stories’ and can also support parents to understand behaviours and emotional expressions that may otherwise leave them bewildered. Drawing from more than 20 years of working therapeutically with babies and their families, this talk is supported by film clips of working with babies.

Karen Strange – Supporting the golden hour and fostering baby-parent communication and connection 
In reviewing the education surrounding birth, there seems to be a lack of understanding of the emotional/psychological needs of the dyad. Currently, all dialogue is from the mother’s perspective of prenatal, labour, birth and immediate postpartum. Very little attention is paid to the growing body of evidence regarding the psychological dynamics of the baby’s journey and experience. Karen explores the importance of the breast crawl and discusses healing methods for babies who have had complications, interruptions or interventions in their birth journey. 

Karen Strange – Integrative neonatal resuscitation 
Karen sheds light on the most common failures and misconceptions that come up for midwives and birth professionals around neonatal resuscitation. She focuses on what gets missed, what is misunderstood and the role of fear and panic. In this lecture, she’ll explain the key failures as well as the key components to successfully breathing for a newborn.



CERPs Approval Number C202104 Total CERPS allocated: 5L CERPs, 7.5 R CERPs and 2.75 E CERPs Total hours 15.25 ACM Endorsed program 15.25 CPDs

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