Register for the June 2021 conference now, and receive the 2020 virtual conference for $100!

This year, in response to COVID-19, DONA International has moved our conference originally scheduled for Calgary, Canada to a virtual experience.  The online conference will be held over a three day period October 15 - 16, 2020.  The core conference will offer at least 11 DONA International contact hours. We are planning for some interactive live sessions in addition to our recorded presentations.  There will also be an opportunity to connect with doulas from all over the world with our live welcome virtual cocktail hour, and member meeting.   All sessions will be available on-demand until 12/31/20 post live events.

For those wanting to join us for the virtual conference AND the conference in Calgary next year, we have a great special price for you. 

Are you a DONA Intl member?  Make sure to use your member "customer" ID# when registering to get member pricing.  

Your member customer ID# can be found on  DONA.org > login > manage personal profile > customer ID at the bottom of the page.

Sessions



Announcement and Information Slides

 


Welcome & In the Time of COVID, Babies Are Still Being Born, and Doulas Are More Valuable Than Ever!

Penny Simkin
The COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States suddenly in early 2020 and quickly spread all over the country. As is true all over the world, the pandemic has caused deaths, damage, and despair in every aspect of American Life.

In this presentation for birth and postpartum doulas and other maternity workers, we will examine how the pandemic has caused severe illness, profound loss of life, and, in the United States particularly, has been impossible to contain. We will discuss adjustments in maternity care to maintain safety, and the impact these changes have had on maternity care workers and their clients and families.

The non-clinical support role that doulas play at births and post partum is well-suited to meet the needs of childbearing people. The challenge is to adapt the role to meet the requirements for safety and containment of the virus, and, as much as possible, to preserve normalcy and parent-infant contact as much as is possible during the very special beginning of the family. Playing that role requires much adjustment and caution on the parts of the doulas, and a high degree of professionalism.

Penny Simkin suggests that the doula, who does not have clinical responsibilities, is well qualified and in an excellent position to address and offer support during the profound emotional reactions experienced by expectant and new parents before, during, and after birth. This may require some modification of the role of the doula, which we will explore during the presentation.


Q/A Session Talk Back

Penny Simkin, PT
 


Intro - Silent Suffering

 


Beyond the Rainbow: How to Support LGBTQIA+ Clients & Create an Inclusive Practice for All Families

Andrea Hewitt, MA, CD(DONA), LCCE

As a doula, how are you welcoming and supporting LGBTQIA+ clients in your practice? Are you sometimes confused by the acronyms and new terms you see? This session will give you a foundational understanding of what all the letters mean (and why is that "plus sign" there?). We will discuss how to create a safe space from the initial contact to the birth and beyond. You will leave with a better understanding of how inclusive your practice currently is, along with tips you can implement immediately to let clients know that you are truly ready to serve all families.


Intro - Birth in Bangkok

 


Birth in Bangkok

Rasee Govindani, CD(DONA) PCD(CBI)
Rasee Govindani, a DONA doula in Bangkok, Thailand, will share her experience supporting families who birth away from their home countries and will touch on the pandemic's affect on Thailand and birth. She aims to give a different perspective on birth work outside of North America and how a doula's role shifts when navigating cultural and linguistic differences plays an important part in birth support.


Silent Suffering - Epilepsy: Pregnancy & Postpartum

Chavon Mayer
In this session, DONA International trained birth doula, Chavon Mayer uses her research and experience as a person with epilepsy to deliver evidence based, best practices to support clients who experience seizure or seizure like events. If you think you have never witnessed a person having a seizure, this session may change your outlook. In addition to providing valuable information such as seizure first aid, you will also have the opportunity to understand some of the milder symptoms of an epileptic patient.


DONA Member Meeting

 
 


Intro - Cultural Humility

Brandynicole Brooks, PhD, LICSW


Cultural Humility as an Anti-Racist Approach

Brandynicole Brooks, PhD, LICSW
Rick
Cultural humility is centered on life-long learning and critical self-reflection, recognition and challenging of power imbalance that are inherent, and upholding institutional accountability. This session will provide foundational information to birth workers on cultural humility, while also focusing on the impact of oppression in the lives of the families served and the ways in which birth workers can work to transform their practice individually, interpersonally, and institutionally.


Day 1 Closing

 


Day 2 Welcome

 
 


And Then She Was Goneā€¦ with Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson
 


Q/A Session Talk Back

 
 


Intro - Resiliency for Birth Workers

 


Behind The Mask: Structural Racism Revealed in Maternal Outcomes Since COVID 19

Kelli Brien, CD(DONA) LCCE, SpBCPE, CLS
This session addresses the structural racism and implicit bias killing Black mothers and infants at an alarming rate, and the implications of COVID-19 on birth outcomes. Participants will receive historical education on the processes by which hospital systems and policies hold fast to practices that are toxic and deadly to Black bodies. This session will provide evidence based data on mortality rates, as well as practical and strategic methods that doulas and families can utilize to identify and neutralize obstetric violence and reduce the risks resulting from toxic policies. Participants will be given strategies to ensure the safety and satisfaction of clients, as well as information on protocols for evaluation and grievance issues within hospital systems.


Intro - Powerful Prenatal Relationships

 


Resiliency for Birth Workers: Facing Trauma and Retaining our Essence

Nicole Heidbreder, MA, BSN, RN, LCCE, CLC
 


Powerful Prenatal Relationships During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amy Gilliland, PhD. AdvCD/BDT(DONA), CSES (AASECT)
This session is designed to increase participant’s confidence initiating professional prenatal relationships with clients that create value, empowerment and positive change in their own and their clients' lives. We will cover the deeper purpose of prenatal relationships, connecting with partners, how the pandemic has changed health care leaving a huge doorway for doulas to expand their practices, and an exercise in reflection and cultivating wisdom. We will spend time turning the seven principles of Powerful Prenatal Relationships into personal actions.


Why Not to Ask: Trauma Disclosure in the Era of #MeToo

Selena Shelley, MA, LMHC, CD(DONA), LCCE
It can be helpful for doulas to find out whether their client is a sexual abuse or assault survivor. How we find out that information impacts the doula-client relationship, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Join Selena in exploring whether to ask your clients about a history of trauma, and how especially in the era of #MeToo you can build a trusting relationship that will support disclosure.


Intro - Bits, Bytes, and Birth

 


Bits, Bytes, and Birth: Technology and Your Doula Business

Lindsey Bowns, CD(DONA), B.B.Admin
Millennials are the new generation of moms. As a doula, are you equipped to attract Millennial families and fulfill their needs? This session will show you why today’s consumers value technology when making a purchase decision, how tech can create time savings for your busy doula life, and what kind of digital solutions will enhance your hands-on, heart-centric doula business.


Presidents Closing

 


DONA 2020 Virtual Summit

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
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