Birth Summit



The Birth Summit

The Birth Summit is an online digital resource exploring the science of the infant microbiome during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.

Over 3 hours of video presentations allow you to learn from world-leading scientists behind the very latest research.

Watch now on Vimeo On Demand for $29

* $19 until end of Birth Summit Unleashed (28th February 2017)

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I was writhing in happiness only at 3 minutes into this video series. It is very well done, and easily understood.

This information is valuable for anyone who desires to understand more about optimal health. I am excited to bring this information into my work, straight to parents and professionals alike.

Barbara Riviera

Social Media Manager, Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH)

Fantastic!!! This has been an incredibly inspiring experience!!!

After Microbirth, and after the Birth Summit, birth professionals need to be aware of the great responsibility we have towards the future of our civilisation’s health!

WE need /have to spread the word URGENTLY!!. This is not about natural birth anymore, this is about sustainability of our health, about life quality, about the future of humanity. Thank you ever so much for such an amazing job. I hope our children will look back and realize how lucky they were to have people like you worring about real basic and important health issues.

Imma Sarries

Home birth independent midwife, Barcelona, Spain

Thank you for putting on the Birth Summit. It really reinforced my understanding of this emerging science.

Lynda Hills

Yoga teacher, Lynda Hills Yogabirth - Petts Wood Pregnancy Yoga Class


Introduction to the Birth Summit

Why is the science of birth so important?

What is the Human Microbiome?

The connection between human health and the microbiome

The microbiome and pregnancy

The microbiome and vaginal birth

The microbiome and breastfeeding

The microbiome and the developing immune system

The microbiome and C-section

Swab seeding and other solutions to C-section


The connection between C-section and long-term health problems

Tip of the iceberg

Association or Causation?

Concerns for the future


The personal feelings of the professors

Webinar: How to teach the microbiome to parents

Webinar: Frequently asked questions about the microbiome


Watch the videos


Expectant parents are hearing more and more about the seeding and feeding of the infant microbiome for improved chance of lifelong health.

This groundbreaking science is helping empower mothers in their birth choices, but it is also creating a certain level of anxiety due to an incomplete understanding of this complex research.


A gap exists between the science and what it means in real practical terms for parents.


The purpose of this Birth Summit is to bridge that gap by connecting the scientists behind the actual research with childbirth educators and professionals who endeavour to bring understanding and calm to expectant parents.

Seed and feed the infant microbiome


A key part of childbirth education is the creation of a birth plan and a key part of this Birth Summit is to explore how the infant microbiome should be incorporated into that plan.


Bring childbirth educators and other professionals up to speed with the very latest scientific research into the seeding of the infant microbiome.

Bring childbirth educators and other professionals together in conversation with the scientists behind the research to discuss the best way of teaching the microbiome to prospective parents.


The Birth Summit is an online digital resourse, combining interview-based video presentations from leading scientists with webinars for childbirth professionals and discussions with the scientists via social media platforms.

You can read the summaries of Q&A discussions with Professor Hannah Dahlen, Professor Anita Kozyrskyj, Professor Philip Steer, Professor Rodney Dietert, antenatal educator Bridget Supple and also the Birth Summit host, Toni Harman.

See the Q&A schedule



Increase your knowledge of the microbiome through video presentations featuring 12 world-leading professors from Microbirth.


Boost your confidence in teaching the science of the microbiome to expectant parents.


Become fully informed about what can be done during pregnancy, vaginal birth, C-section, infant feeding and early infancy for optimal lifelong health.


Aimed at childbirth educators and other maternity professionals (midwives, doulas, doctors and lactation consultants) engaged in educating parents .

Hosted by the makers of the award-winning documentary, Microbirth.

Featuring 12 world-leading scientists and clinicians featured in Microbirth.

Up-to-date information on the infant microbiome and its positive health implications for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early infancy.


Broadcast quality interview-based video presentations.


Educational webinars on how to teach the microbiome to expectant parents.


Discussions on social media platforms allowing you to put your own questions to the professors engaged in the actual research.


The BIRTH SUMMIT is a unique online resource where world-leading scientists and clinicians explain the critical importance of the infant microbiome. Professors from universities including: Cornell, Yale, NYU, Imperial and King’s College London. The summit is affordable, easy-to-undertand and accessible by a global audience on all your devices.


By attending the BIRTH SUMMIT, the key benefit for childbirth educators is that they will come away with a greater understanding of the science of the infant microbiome. Equipped with this knowledge, childbirth educators will feel more confident teaching this science to expectant parents, helping them draw up the best possible microbiome-friendly plan for pregnancy, vaginal birth or C-section, infant feeding and early infancy.


The science of the infant microbiome is complex and it’s a rapidly developing field. However, more and more expectant parents are hearing about the microbiome and have questions relating to it, so childbirth educators are under increasing pressure to provide up-to-date answers. These answers need to be accurate, safe and to be evidence-based.

This BIRTH SUMMIT will separate fact from fiction with the scientists themselves explaining the science, including their own particular research. For instance, Dr Maria Gloria Dominguez Bello explains in detail her “swab-seeding” research to partially restore the microbiome of babies born by C-section. In this way, childbirth educators can be reassured they are being presented with the highest-quality, evidence-based information which can then be relayed to expectant parents so that they can be fully informed in their pregnancy, birth and infant feeding choices.


The in-depth interviews with scientists and clinicians are sub-divided into different topics and broken down into bite-size interview “chunks”. With a purchase of a 90 DAY DIGITAL ACCESS PASS, attendees can take their time to watch all the video clips and be walked through the science, ranging from a description of the microbiome, to what happens during pregnancy, vaginal birth, C-section, breastfeeding, formula feeding and early infancy.

On top of this, there are educational webinars exploring ways in teaching this science to parents.


The Birth Summit is available via Vimeo On Demand for $29 (other currencies are available).

This low cost one-off fee gives you a 90 DAY DIGITAL ACCESS PASS, allowing you to take your time viewing all the video clips. Be walked through the science at your leisure, ranging from a description of the microbiome, to what happens during pregnancy, vaginal birth, C-section, the difference between breastfeeding and formula feeding, and early infancy.

On top of this, there are webinars to explain how to teach this science to parents, making it fun and easily accessible.


Check out our FAQ at the bottom of the page.



Martin Blaser

Martin Blaser

Director of the Human Microbiome Program & Professor of Translational Medicine, New York University

World-leading microbiome expert, author of MISSING MICROBES

“We have to alert the public about what's going on so that they understand what the stakes are and where this is coming from”.

Rodney Dietert

Rodney Dietert

Professor of Immunotoxicology, Cornell University

World-leading expert in human immune system, author of THE HUMAN SUPERORGANISM

“This should be on every birth plan. Every health professional tending to pregnant women should be aware of the importance of the microbiome and supporting a healthy microbiome because that is what is going to influence health across a life-span. The solution starts with birth.”

Maria Gloria Dominguez Bello

Maria Gloria Dominguez Bello

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, New York University

Expert in infant microbiome research.

“Our Westernised lifestyle (and our technology) has given us many good things, but it comes with collateral damage. We have to understand its impact and try to correct it before it's too late, both at the level of the planet, of our environment, of our macro ecosystems, and of our own microbial ecosystems that live with us.”

Anita Kozyrskyj

Anita Kozyrskyj

Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta and Co-Principal Investigator, Synergy in Microbiota Research (SyMBIOTA)

Expert in infant microbiome research and immune development

“There are certain patterns that occur following vaginal birth and breastfeeding that could be altered with different kind of feeding, with antibiotic use and with Caesarean delivery.”

Sue Carter

Sue Carter

Professor, Behavioral Neurobiologist, Director of The Kinsey Institute and Rudy Professor of Biology at Indiana University

World-leading expert in synthetic oxytocin.

“We are in the midst of the largest experiment in human history. My concerns for the future are that we're going to look back on this time period and say 'I can't believe we did that to our children.'”

Jacqueline Taylor

Jacqueline Taylor

Associate Professor of Nursing, University of Yale

Expert in genetics.

“During childbirth we know that there are a lot of changes that occur in the genome and in the epigenome based on things that can happen in the environment - anything from things occurring in the actual environment of the mother giving birth to interventions that can occur during the birth process. All of these interventions, we believe, may have an implication or may cause changes in the epigenome that can have later impacts on health outcomes.”

Hannah Dahlen

Hannah Dahlen

Professor of Midwifery, University of Western Sydney

Expert in epigenetic impact in childbirth and midwifery.

“The worse-case scenario if we don't change is that humanity is heading for a huge health crisis which will impact on us economically, it will impact on our quality of lives, but more significantly, it's going to impact on the next generation.”

Aleeca Bell

Aleeca Bell

Assistant Professor, Dept of Women, Children and Family Health Science, University of Illinois at Chicago

Expert in epigenetic research in childbirth.

“If we don't take the bigger perspective and fund research that asks the smart questions, the big questions, the developmental questions, intergenerational questions, epigenetic questions - how do we know that we're not altering the course of humanity?”

Neena Modi

Neena Modi

Professor of Neonatal Medicine, Imperial College, London. President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Medical and scientific expert on newborn babies.

“We have a great opportunity before us now. Surely together we should be seizing this.”

Phillip Steer

Phillip Steer

Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics, Imperial College, London

Medical / obstetric expert on C-Sections.

“There are some aspects of normal, natural birth through the vagina which are missing when you do a Caesarean section. And it's turning out that that may lead to some problems for the baby in the long term.”

Lesley Page

Lesley Page

Professor of Midwifery, King’s College London. President of The Royal College of Midwives

Expert on midwifery and physiological birth.

“We are not just concerned with a live healthy baby at birth, but we are also now beginning to see that we can have an impact on the future health of that baby.”

Stefan Elbe

Stefan Elbe

Professor of International Relations, University of Sussex and Director of Centre for Global Health Policy

Expert in how this cutting-edge science translates in the real world.

“I don't think we are too late but we are definitely not too early either. This is a really big challenge, something we need to confront urgently.”


Some of the Summit speakers joined us in Q&A sessions on Twitter and Facebook during the launch weekend. See their answers to the questions put before them.

Hannah Dahlen

Professor of Midwifery, Western Sydney University

TWITTER: Search #BirthSummit @BirthSummit

Go to Q&A summary

Philip Steer

Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics, Imperial College London

TWITTER: Search #BirthSummit @BirthSummit

Go to Q&A summary

Anita Kozyrskyj

Professor, Dept of Pediatrics, University of Alberta

TWITTER: Search #BirthSummit @BirthSummit

Go to Q&A summary

Rodney Dietert

Professor, Immunotoxicology, Cornell University

Author of The Human Superorganism

FACEBOOK: search @BirthSummit

Go to Q&A summary

Bridget Supple

Childbirth Educator, Founder of Seeding Baby’s Microbiome

FACEBOOK: search @BirthSummit

Go to Q&A summary

Toni Harman

Co-director of Microbirth, Co-founder of One World Birth

FACEBOOK: search @BirthSummit

Go to Q&A summary

Follow the Birth Summit on our dedicated Facebook page.


What is the Birth Summit?

The BIRTH SUMMIT is a low-cost online digital conference bringing trusted science about the infant microbiome to childbirth educators.

With over 3+ hours of high-quality video content featuring 12 world-leading professors, plus summaries of Q&A’s with scientists and clinicians, the BIRTH SUMMIT aims to give birth educators a better understanding of this cutting-edge science, so that in turn birth educators can feel more confident teaching this science to expectant parents.

Who is behind the BIRTH SUMMIT?

The BIRTH SUMMIT has been created by Toni Harman, co-director of the award-winning documentary MICROBIRTH and co-author of the book, THE MICROBIOME EFFECT. Together with her partner Alex Wakeford, over the past four years Toni has travelled over 50,000 miles interviewing over 30 world-leading professors about the human microbiome. Her goal is to help spread awareness of their latest research to massively improve the health of the next generation!

When is the BIRTH SUMMIT?

The BIRTH SUMMIT is live now.
By paying to "Rent All" Birth Summit videos on Vimeo On Demand, you have 90 days to watch all the videos. All the videos are accessible 24/7 across all devices including smart phones, ipads, tablets and computers by anyone from anywhere in the world.


What content does the BIRTH SUMMIT include?

2 x Educational Webinars on how birth educators can teach the microbiome to expectant parents. Dur: 30 mins each

16 x Video Interview Presentations featuring 12 professors from Microbirth covering topics including about the microbiome, pregnancy, vaginal birth, infant feeding, immune system development, C-section and solutions for the future. Dur: 4-15 mins each

6 x Summaries of Q&As with scientists, clinicians & experts

How much does it cost?

The Q&A's with professors, clinicians and scientists are free.

But to access the 3+ hours of amazing video content, you’ll need to "Rent All" videos from Vimeo On Demand for the one-off price of $29. (Other currencies are available)

What about educational / institutional / commercial use?

We would love to license the Birth Summit videos for educational / institutional / commercial use. Please contact us via the contact form giving details of your intended usage so that we can provide a quote:

Social media links?

On Twitter, you can join in discussions using the hashtag #BirthSummit

Our Twitter name is @BirthSummit

On Facebook, you can join in discussions on our Birth Summit Facebook page

Continuing Education credits?

We are currently seeking accreditation for Continuing Education credits for attending the BIRTH SUMMIT. In the meantime, yes, we would be happy to provide a Certificate of Attendance which your institution/organization might accept as credits, contact hours or accreditation. You just need to email us with Proof of Purchase from Vimeo On Demand and we'll send you a personalised certificate. Contact us here


What topics does the BIRTH SUMMIT cover?


How to teach the microbiome to parents Dur: 30 mins

By Bridget Supple, Birth Educator& Founder SEEDING BABY’s MICROBIOME

Frequently Asked Questions about the microbiome Dur: 35 mins



Why is the science of childbirth so important? Dur: 6 mins

Professors: Sue Carter, Lesley Page, Aleeca Bell, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Neena Modi, Rodney Dietert

What is the human microbiome? Dur: 5’30

Professors: Martin Blaser, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Rodney Dietert, Anita Kozyrskyj, Lesley Page

Connection between the microbiome and human health? Dur: 8’30

Professors: Martin Blaser, Rodney Dietert, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Neena Modi

Microbiome and pregnancy? Dur: 5’00

Professors: Rodney Dietert, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello

Microbiome and vaginal birth? Dir: 4’30

Professors: Martin Blaser, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Hannah Dahlen

Microbiome and breastfeeding? Dur: 6’05

Professors: Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Rodney Dietert, Neena Modi, Anita Kozyrskyj

Microbiome and the developing of the infant immune system? Dur: 5’10

Professors: Martin Blaser, Anita Kozyrskyj, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Rodney Dietert

Microbiome and C-section? Dur: 10’30

Professors: Hannah Dahlen, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Philip Steer, Rodney Dietert, Anita Kozyrskyj

‘Swab-seeding’ and other suggestions for babies born by C-section? Dur: 9’00

Professors: Philip Steer, Rodney Dietert, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello

Epigenetics? Dur: 10’20

Professors: Rodney Dietert, Aleeca Bell, Hannah Dahlen, Jacquelyn Taylor

Connection between C-section and long-term health problems? Dur: 8’20

Professors: Neena Modi, Martin Blaser, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Rodney Dietert

Tip of the iceberg? Dur: 10’00

Professors: Rodney Dietert, Hannah Dahlen, Stefan Elbe

Association or causation? Dur: 7’20

Professors: Martin Blaser, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Rodney Dietert, Neena Modi, Hannah Dahlen

Concerns For The Future? Dur: 7’50

Professors: Sue Carter, Hannah Dahlen, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Rodney Dietert, Martin Blaser, Aleeca Bell

Solutions? Dur: 11’40

Professors: Rodney Dietert, Aleeca Bell, Philip Steer, Hannah Dahlen, Martin Blaser, Jacquelyn Taylor, Neena Modi, Lesley Page, Maria Gloria Domginez-Bello, Stefan Elbe

Personal Feelings of the Professors? Dur: 6’15

Professors: Martin Blaser, Neena Modi, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Anita Kozyrskyj, Rodney Dietert, Lesley Page, Jacquelyn Taylor, Hannah Dahlen, Aleeca Bell

How can you contact us?

By using the One World Birth contact page

On Facebook

On Twitter: @BirthSummit or use hashtag #BirthSummit

We look forward to hearing from you!


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