Here's what some of our attendees had to say about past DONA International conferences:

"Excellent conference and speakers. It was great to be able to interact with the Founders and BOD all were approachable and friendly. ... This convention has made me very enthusiastic about going home and promoting DONA especially knowing that DONA is standing behind me. Thank you for this great opportunity."

"Enjoyed the slide show and the entire conference. Quality of speakers were excellent!"

"This was my first doula conference. Already I can't wait until next year. It was so exciting to meet and hear from the Drs/ authors of the books I have read and continue to refer to. ... There were some speakers that I felt the clock played tricks on us. The time went by too, too fast."

"Great conference, learned a lot."

"Loved everything overall such a warmth and feel of community – nutritious food."

"I am so impressed with how this conference has been organized! It's the friendliest, most informative conference I have ever been to, and I can tell that the organizers worked incredibly hard and were very dedicated to making it run smoothly. THANK YOU!"

"My first conference, I will be back!!"

© 2012 DONA International

Registration for the full conference includes attendance at six (6) general sessions and your four (4) choices from twenty (20) concurrent sessions. (All general sessions, plus concurrent sessions 104, 202, 305 and 401, will be translated to Spanish.) Please see the Conference Brochure for Concurrent Session speakers' biographies.

Friday, July 20, 2012

10:10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions (Choose one)

101 The Mayan Midwife: Rescuing Traditions for the New Millennium (Part I)

Presented by
Elena Carrillo, LCCE, FACCE, CLC, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA)
Mexico D.F., Mexico

Guadalupe Trueba, LCCE, FACCE, CLC, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), Midwife
Mexico City, Mexico

This session will explore the ancestral wisdom of traditional Mayan midwifery. With the participation of native Mayan midwives, session participants will observe traditional health practices and navigate through time exploring ancient traditions, beliefs and cultural practices, which they will be able to incorporate into their professional practice. These new skills will give doulas, childbirth educators, doctors, nurses and midwives a new perspective of the traditional wisdom of one of the most admired cultures in the world. Hopefully, they will be able to carry it on in this new millennium.

102 Balancing Your Energy Bank Account

Presented by
Sandra Marie Smith, M.A. Spiritual Counseling
Aventura, FL

Ms. Smith holds a Masterís Degree in Spiritual Counseling. She was the recipient of the Woman and Wisdom Award for the first edition of The Child and Family Spirit Workbook. The author of Balancing Your Energy Bank Account and other published titles, Ms. Smith offers individual consulting services worldwide via e-mail and phone and lectures for group and keynote presentations.

Balancing a checking account is a universally accepted and successful process. This unique approach to energy provides those in service to others with a straightforward step-by-step process and practical tools that, when applied, lead to a more balanced and joyful life.

103 Get to the Need: Moving through Resistance and Fears

Presented by
Kyndal May, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE
Eagle, ID

Through this highly interactive session, participants will explore communication tools that will help them efficiently discover the underlying needs that come up for their clients during interviews and throughout their pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Tools examined and practiced in this session can be used to move through resistance and fears, de-escalate tensions, clarify expectations and empower clients (and doulas) toward a more satisfying experience.

104 Being a Doula for Women Living in Conditions of Risk: Understanding,

Solidarity and Boundaries Presented by
Eva Bild, MA, CD(DONA),BDT(DONA) LCCE
Victoria, BC

Jacquelin Green, BA, MD
Victoria, BC

In this session we will discuss social determinants of health and basic needs for pregnant women. We will examine how the lack of basic resources affects physical and emotional health during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Participants will be invited to examine how the doula's own assumptions about women living with conditions of risk affect their ability to be in solidarity with the client and to examine their own boundaries in that solidarity. This session is for doulas who are new to outreach work with women living in conditions of risk.

105 Sleepless Nights: What's All the Fuss about Sleep Training?

Presented by
Teresa Pitman, B.Sc., LLL Leader
Guelph, ON


Sleep and sleep training are hot topics among doulas and new parents, with strong feelings on all sides. In this session, we will cover research, biology, breastfeeding and the realities of infant sleep.

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions (Choose one)

201 The Mayan Midwife: Rescuing Traditions for the New Millennium (Part II)

Presented by
Elena Carrillo, LCCE, FACCE, CLC, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA)
Mexico D.F., Mexico

Guadalupe Trueba, LCCE, FACCE, CLC, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), Midwife
Mexico City, Mexico

This session will continue to explore the ancestral wisdom of traditional Mayan midwifery. With the participation of native Mayan midwives, session participants will observe traditional health practices and navigate through time exploring ancient traditions, beliefs and cultural practices, which they will be able to incorporate into their professional practice. These new skills will give doulas, childbirth educators, doctors, nurses and midwives a new perspective of the traditional wisdom of one of the most admired cultures in the world. Hopefully, they will be able to carry it on in this new millennium.

202 Traumatic Birth: a Therapist's Perspective

Presented by
Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LMSW
Palo Alto, CA

Caregivers working with women and their families in vulnerable situations must have some sensitivity to their emotional needs. The levels of stress in experiencing a traumatic or negative birth can have a serious impact on the parents' relationship to the baby and to each other, and affect long-term their emotional and physical health. One does not have to be a therapist in order to be therapeutic. A therapist's view can give some insight into the skills needed by doulas and other maternity caregivers during this sensitive time.

203 Pregnancy, Babies and Birth, OH MY! Working with Anxious Clients

Presented by
Patti Treubert, BS, ICCE-CPE, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), CLC
Venice, FL

In this session, we will discuss how the different anxiety disorders from the DSM-IV-TR criteria may manifest itself in the perinatal period as well as help doulas identify strategies to assist their clients in coping with the transition from pregnant to parent while caring for themselves as a doula. We will further discuss areas that may be of concern and would require a referral to a professional who can assist the family in the transition.

204 Birth Class on a Yoga Mat: Doulas in the New Birth Frontier

Presented by
Sarah Longacre, BS, RYT
Edina, MN

Gail Tully, BS, CPM, CD(DONA)
Bloomington, MN


Yoga studios are on every block and where are the doulas? In this session, we will share the success of pre- and postnatal yoga, wellness and education, inversions for fetal positioning and the benefits of a doula/yoga collaboration. Experience a fun yoga sequence building birthing skills and the doula/mother relationship. Bring a mat if you can.

205 Ways Doulas Can Help Dads to be Powerful Birth Partners

Presented by
Joe Valley, MA
Fort Wayne, IN

Dads are being called to show up for their birth partners today, but the problem is that there hasn't been a clear history of their role or how to support their role. Doulas are at the leading edge of daddy support, and it's doulas who make contact with the dads to make the greatest impact. This session reviews the daddy perspective of birth and how best to align with their needs and desires.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Concurrent Sessions (Choose one)

301 Developing Empathy for the Careproviders

Presented by
Cynthia Gabriel, Ph.D.
Ann Arbor, MI


Doulas do "emotional" work with clients, often helping them overcome fears. Hospital staff is often afraid, too. The better we understand how medical education shapes professionals, the more empathy we can feel toward them. This small shift can change the culture of birth.

302 The Paperless Doula: Virtual Paperwork Tips and Tricks

Presented by
Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE
Seattle, WA


Drowning in the paperwork associated with being a doula? Would you like to move easily between your home office, client meetings and births with ALL your resources and files at your fingertips? This session will teach you the tips and tricks of using common technology and applications to run your business paper–free! Exceed client expectations with immediate resources. Learn skills to function more confidently and efficiently anywhere and be paper-free, saving time and money!

303 Effects of Postnatal Human and Maternal Placentophagy: Mothers'
Experiences with Placentophagy

Presented by
Jodi Selander, B.S. Psychology
North Las Vegas, NV

This session will present the most current research on human maternal placentophagy, which will include the experiences of women who have practiced placentophagy, changes in nutrient content of placentas prepared via Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques, the prevalence of human maternal placentophagy across cultures, and a peer-reviewed hypothesis as to why the practice is not currently widely practiced.

304 Overcoming White Coat Syndrome: Helping Women Find Their Voices

Presented by
Giuditta Tornetta, CD(DONA), CLE, CCH
Los Angeles, CA

This session will explore the psychological, emotional and practical influences that perceived "white coat" authority figures can have on doulas and their clients. We will discuss how doulas may reduce their clients' emotional stressors related to this syndrome. Participants will learn practical tools for recognizing white coat syndrome and an organized approach to assisting both doulas and their clients in making their voices heard.

305 Developing a Volunteer Doula Program That Supports Women
from Low Income Families.

Presented by
Susan M. Gottschall, M.Ed. in Child Development, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), CLC
Chicago, IL

This session will explore supporting and empowering mothers from families with low incomes, mentoring new doulas and creating a community of support that meets the needs of both mothers and doulas and collaboration with health care providers.

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Concurrent Sessions (Choose one)

401 Third and Fourth Stages of Labor: Current Management Practices
under Heavy Criticism

Presented by
Penny Simkin, PT, CD(DONA)
Seattle, WA

Many routines are harmful or of no benefit to mother/baby. This presentation is a call to action to replace routines with evidence-based best practices (and some heart-warming ones).

402 Supporting LGBTQ Families: Cultural Competencies for Doulas

Presented by
Joy MacTavish, MA, CD(DONA), CD(PALS), PCD(NAPS), ICCE, CHBE
Shoreline, WA


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and families are giving birth to and raising children and, therefore, doulas benefit from having cultural competency when working with these groups. This session seeks to increase the professionalism and cultural competence of doulas through background information about LGBTQ families, an overview of the challenges faced by this population, as well as specific cultural competency strategies and how to apply them when supporting LBGTQ families.

403 The Sneetches: Models of Collaboration

Presented by
Barbara Hotelling, BSN, MSN, WHNP, LCCE, CD(DONA)
Chapel Hill, NC


Nurses and doulas struggle to share the hospital turf when they are working with mothers. Why? What good does it do? Learn how a nurse and a doula are currently collaborating to solve those issues at UNC Women's Hospital in North Carolina. And it's working!

404 The Hero's Journey: Using Storytelling to Empower Pregnant Mothers

Presented by
Karen Brody
Washington, DC


Activist and author of the critically acclaimed play, Birth, performed in communities around the world since 2006 as part of BOLD, a global movement to make maternity care mother-friendly. Ms. Brody is artistic director of BOLD and creator of the FEAR to FREEDOM birth facilitators training certification program.

This session will describe a set of concepts drawn from Carl G. Jung and Joseph Campbell and known as "The Hero's Journey." Storytelling, which can grab your gut and tighten your throat, can spark pregnant mothers to take action. We will explore Sandy's stories from the play, Birth, and discuss how Sandy's story can empower pregnant mothers who have an unsatisfactory birth to rewrite their upcoming birth into a "hero's journey" and how Vasalisa's story can help pregnant mothers find their intuition.

405 Global Models of Care

Presented by
Debra Pascali-Bonaro, B.Ed, LCCE, BDT/PDT(DONA)
River Vale, NJ

Ana Paula Markel, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA)
Toluca Lake, CA

Join this session for a journey around the world to explore the history, principles and 10 Steps of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative (IMBCI). The IMBCI is being put to work in eight demonstration projects and by numerous MotherBaby networks (MBnets). A critical component of the IMBCI is that it highlights the fact that "women's and children's rights are human rights" and that "access to humane and effective healthcare is a basic human right." Be inspired to bring elements of MotherBaby care to your doula practice and community.

7:30 p.m. – Saturday Evening Social Activity

Enjoy an informal evening socializing with new acquaintances, long-time friends or special family at designated areas in the resort. The details will be available onsite.

For specific questions about the conference or registration, call the DONA International Home Office at 888.788.DONA (3662) or email Registrar@DONA.org.

*Subject to change without notice.