Body and Soul: Reintegrating the Spiritual, Emotional, Physical and Psychological Dimensions of Birth

Date : Friday, November 16, 2001

Date : Harry Crowe Room, 109 Atkinson, York University, Toronto, Ontario

As we continue to birth our children in the western model of predominantly medical care, questions are raised about how to care for the whole health needs of the women and her family. We wonder: Has the alternative childbirth movement stalled? Have we come to believe that evidence-based practice will solve all the problems we are experiencing in birth today? Have we lost sight of the individual’s needs? What do you envision as an ideal future? How should we assist birthing women? How could the cultural, spiritual, emotional and psychological dimensions of birthing be better balanced with the bio-mechanical and physical components? What supports, and what hinders, a more holistic balance?

Open to care providers, birthing women and those concerned about their care, the conference will be an opportunity to hear and discuss a selection of papers presented by a truly multidisciplinary group of experts involved with the care of pregnant and birthing women. Questions and comments will be taken from the audience at the end of each panel and in the breakout groups and together we will create a new vision of the future of birth in Canada. The presenters will further develop the vision begun in this public forum in a closed thinktank the following day, working on envisioning a more holistic approach to birthing in Canada, and strategizing the ways to realize it. Presenters are leaders in their fields and include the perspectives of doulas, childbirth educators, midwives, nurses, researchers, physicians, activists, and academics. This will be the first Canadian multidisciplinary conference on childbirth in a long time and it promises to be provocative and rich.


8:00-9:00am        Registration
9:00-9:30am        Welcome
9:30-10:45am       Session 1 – Beverley Chalmers, Anne Biringer, Bonnie Annis
10:45-11:00am     Break
11:00-12:15pm     Session 2 – Sarah Cressman, Jennifer Elliott, Joyce Barrett
12:15-1:30pm       Lunch
1:30-2:45pm        Session 3 – Gail Lindsay & Faith Smith, Shawn Gallagher
2:45-4:00pm        Breakout groups
4:00-5:00pm        Wrap-up – questions and reporting
5:00-5:30pm         Break
5:30-8:00pm        Reception, Book launch and journal launch