BIRTH – MICROBIOME
Childbirth Educators Are The New Superheroes!
Toni Harman, Co-founder of One World Birth
16 September 2016
Our new One World Birth tagline is:
TOWARDS A NEW BIRTH PLAN
Everything we do from now on will be about bringing trusted science to birth educators.
By trusted science we mean evidence-based research.
By birth educators we don’t just mean those wonderful caring communicators with the job title “childbirth educators”, we also mean the many other amazing birth professionals engaged in educating parents from pregnancy to early infancy – including midwives, doulas, doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, breastfeeding counsellors, alternative health practioners, health visitors and so on.
Most expectant parents make a birth plan. But many of these birth plans are missing something, something so critical it could help determine a child’s lifelong health. What’s missing is an awareness of, and a plan for, the optimal “seeding and feeding” of the infant microbiome.
Dr Rodney Dietert, Professor of Immuntoxicology at Cornell University and author of The Human Superorganism, told us in his interview:
“The single most important thing we can do for a healthy baby across a lifecourse is to ensure the microbial seeding occurs completely at birth through vaginal delivery when possible, that skin-to-skin contact occurs and that the microbes are supported through breastfeeding of a significant duration. This should be on every birth plan.”
We agree with Professor Dietert. And that’s why our goal is to bring scientists, clinicians and childbirth educators together to update the birth plan.
This updated birth plan needs to work for home, hospital and birth centre births.
The plan needs to work for vaginal birth and C-section, and to include infant feeding.
The plan needs to be empowering and to work within maternity systems.
The science is still at an early stage, but it’s all pointing in the same direction – that what happens with the “seeding and feeding” of the infant microbiome could make a massive difference to the lifelong health of a child.
This is critical information that can impact pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early infancy. It is information that can have a huge impact on the health of the next generation. This is knowledge that has to be disseminated. This information has to reach expectant parents. And we believe the best way to reach expectant parents is via the world’s network of brilliant information disseminators: the childbirth educators.
Childbirth educators truly are the new super-heroes!
If childbirth educators can explain the science simply to parents, making it easy-to-understand and accessible, then expectant parents can “get it” – they can take this information and work it into their own personal birth plan, so that it works for them and their own unique set of circumstances.
We’re not talking about a “one size fits all” birth plan. Every parent is unique. Every birth is unique. Every “seeding and feeding” of the microbial communities will be unique. And every birth plan will be unique. But armed with an understanding about the infant microbiome, expectant parents can choose to write a birth plan that incorporates this science. Of course, they might choose not to, but at least they have been presented with the latest evidence-based research available.
The childbirth educator superhero!
Image by Nomad_Soul – Fotolia
And that’s why we are launching our first ever OWB BIRTH SUMMIT on October 1st.
The topic is MICROBIOME & BIRTH.
The BIRTH SUMMIT is aimed specifically at childbirth educators and those birth professionals that help inform and support parents in the critical period from pregnancy to early infancy.
The goal is to give childbirth educators the knowledge they may need to teach the infant microbiome to expectant parents with confidence.
The summit features in-depth video interview presentations with the 12 professors from MICROBIRTH. These are broadcast-quality professionally shot videos – immersing a childbirth educator in the science about the microbiome in pregnancy, vaginal birth, C-section, breastfeeding and early infancy.
And through a series of LIVE Q&A’s (on Oct 1st & 2nd), birth educators can put their questions direct to professors themselves.
Plus the summit features webinars on how to teach this complex science to expectant parents in a way that is easy-to-understand.
We believe this is critical information that needs to reach all expectant parents, but first it needs to reach the birth educators.
With this in mind, we’ve made attending the summit accessible across mobile devices and at a low-cost.
If you’re one of the superhero birth educators, please take a look at what the summit has to offer at http://birthsummit.com. And please, if you like what we’re doing, then do share this link with your network!
We look forward to you making a massive difference to the lifelong health of the next generation.