The BirthKeeper Summit is offering a special opportunity for in-depth full-day workshops on Thursday, April 30 and a half day conference on  Monday, May 4

PRECONFERENCE--Supporting Infants and their Families after Difficulties

This day long pre conference workshop will develop strategies to help parents and their babies heal after a difficult birth. Myrna will outline the plasticity of the human brain and body and our ability to heal and grow after difficult experiences. Simple, direct hands on approaches will be taught for supporting breastfeeding and secure attachment, reading baby cues and supporting healthy developmental movement that may have been impacted by the birthing experience. A fun and experiential day.

Myrna Martin (Director at Kutenai Institute of Integral Therapies) Nelson, BC, Canada

Myrna is an RN, MN, Family Therapist and has worked with birthing families in different ways for 40 years. She teaches pre and perinatal health and psychology worldwide, and facilitates "Birthing Yourself" Process Workshops where 7 adults have an opportunity to explore and heal their own early developmental trauma in a safe,supportive, nurturing environment. She has developed a Pre and Perinatal Retreat Center in Nelson, BC, where she facilitates two week summer residential Intensives embodying both cognitive and deeply experiential personal work.

CEUs will be available

Register for Thursday, April30,  9 am -5 pm   Price range $125 to $25

Indigenous Birth Ways: A Convening to Nurture Community Locally & Globally

We will come together to co-create afield of relatedness and connection among BirthKeepers in the Bay Area, the US and globally. We will nurture new friendships bridging cultural, ethnic,professional, and economic boundaries, and will explore opportunities andissues that arise around birth.

The conversation will be deeply informed by two plenary speakers, Ibu Robin Lim and Katsi Cook . They will each participate on a panel of five speakers focusing on the Global South(Asia, Africa, South America) or US/Canada. All who believe in “voice and choice” in the birth experience for women worldwide are wholeheartedly welcome to the conversation!

CEUs will be available

Register for Thursday, April30,  9 am -5 pm   Price range $125 to $25

Kay Sandberg (President and Founder at Global Force for Healing) United States

Kay Sandberg, MA (Convener) is Founding President of Global Force for Healing, a visionary nonprofit convening the Healthy, Compassionate Birthing Network. This is an association of grassroots projects working with underserved global communities in remote and indigenous areas, based on a woman-centered model of care ( ). Kay believes passionately that “The way we are with birth is the way we are with Mother Earth”. Now is the time to consciously imprint love in the birth experience for the wellbeing of mothers&babies everywhere, and to return Mother Earth to balance and wholeness. She is the ecstatic grandmother of Laleh Joon, and mother of Emika and Takumi Abe. Kay’s work as an organizational capacity builder and healer is dedicated to them and all future generations.

Prior to founding the Global Force for Healing, Kay's transformational work in organizational and human development spans more than three decades in nonprofit & for-profit organizational and academic settings. She was an active volunteer with Jungle Mamas in the Ecuadorian Amazon (a program of the Pachamama Alliance) for five years. Kay has also worked five or more years each as Director of the Soul of Money Institute, CEO and Co-Founder of an integrative medicine center in the Bay Area, Senior Training Consultant at SRI International, and at a K-12 global education & diversity project at Stanford University after getting her Master's degree in cultural anthropology.

Kay is a lifelong learner with a passion for healing (return to wholeness) and indigenous ways of being. She is fluent in Japanese and conversant in Spanish. Kay lives in Ashland, Oregon where she is active in community activities, including Southern Oregon Birth Connections.

    Arlene Samen (President and Executive Director at One Heart World-Wide) San Francisco

    Arlene Samen, APRN: Founder, President and Executive Director of One Heart World-Wide, based in San Francisco ( ). After working for 10 years in nomadic regions of Tibet and establishing a highly effective “Network of Safety” model, Arlene and her team extended their services to Copper Canyon, Mexico, working with the Taruhumara people, and to advising the Jungle Mamas program in the southern Amazon of Ecuador. One Heart has had amazing results the last few years in partnership with remote communities in Nepal where there are no medical services, a common denominator of One Heart’s partner locations. One Heart World-Wide is an implementing partner with the Family and Child Health Division of Nepal. Arlene was a CNN Hero of the Month and a Rainer Arnhold Fellow under the Mulago Foundation.

      Neelam Bhardwaj (Maternal & Infant Health Manager at Unicef Uganda) Kampala, Uganda

      Neelam Bhardwaj, MD has a passion for healthy birthing and the wellbeing of mamas&babies. She has participated in Global Force for Healing’s Healthy Birthing network since 2013. Neelam has been a Health and Nutrition specialist with UNICEF Uganda for two years, where she leads maternal, newborn, HIV and AIDS programs. She has worked for over 15 years for different International development agencies, including the United Nations. She has worked in South Asia, Pacific, the MENA Region and East Africa to create various models that contribute to decreasing maternal mortality.

      Dr. Bhardwaj has also worked on reproductive health initiatives in Sudan, set up emergency obstetric care in Sierra Leone, supported post-Tsunami development in Aceh, Indonesia, and contributed to maternal and child health programs in various states of India, where she was born. She has had the honor of presenting her work at various national and international conferences in all these countries. Neelam is an award-winning innovator to create appropriate technology solutions to support healthy birthing, including the Birth Cushion and indigenous partogram. She is the proud mother of two adults sons.

        Numfor Munteh (Founder and CEO at Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development) Bamenda, Cameroon

        Numfor Alenwi Munteh is a contemporary social entrepreneur who has led many maternal and child health innovations in Africa. He is the Founder and CEO of Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development (CASD) located in Bamenda, Cameroon. Over nine years, Numfor Munteh has made great strides in community health development and public advocacy, winning six national and international awards. His latest award was for "Best Innovation on Making Quality Matter in Family Planning" awarded by organizers of the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning, 2013 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia).

          Rachel Zaslow (Co-Founder and Executive Director at Mother Health International) Virginia and northern Uganda

          Rachel Zaslow is a midwife and Executive Director of Mother Health International, an NGO that supports high volume midwifery model of care centers. She co-founded Earth Birth: International Women’s Health Collective to promote local practice, the sharing of skills across culture and protect the role of the traditional midwife. Rachel has a PhD in feminist theory and teaches courses in Women’s Health and International Development, War and Trauma, as well as the intersections between Narrative and Medicine.

            Carla Perez (Co-founder; lead of MG'sResiliency and Permaculture work at Movement Generation; Healing Clinic Collective) Oakland, CA

            Carla is a dedicated mother and community organizer of Native Mezo American and Spanish heritage residing in Oakland, California. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Conservation & Resource Studies with an emphasis on Environmental Racism. She has worked on issues of environmental justice and sustainable agriculture with community groups from Yucatán, Mexico to Bay Area environmental justice communities such as Richmond, East Oakland and Bay View Hunters Point in San Francisco.

            Today, Carla is a co-founding member of the Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project (MG) and leads MG’s Resiliency and Permaculture work, including the Earth Skills Training Program. She is also the founder of the Healing Clinic Collective, an autonomous project housed within MG that offers free traditional, non-industrial healing to some of the most traumatized populations in the Bay Area. Carla also organizes within her spiritual community, convening women’s circles and leading or participating in rites of passage and healing ceremonies. Carla’s hard work is done in dedication to her daughters and to the Spirit of Creation.

            Kristen Graser (Fruits of Labor Midwifery) Oakland, CA

            Kristen Graser, LM, CPM is a mother, wife, midwife, and member of a vibrant community that envisions and works towards a just world. The seeds of both midwifery and environmental justice were planted early in Kristen’s life through her own experiences of growing up in a working-class, industrial city with high concentrations of toxic chemicals and cancer. After witnessing her own mother’s 10- year journey with cancer and eventual passing, Kristen embarked on her own educational and healing journey. She received her B.A. in Spanish at the University of Oregon and travelled to Chiapas, Mexico, where she worked on indigenous and human rights issues and learned from traditional healers and midwives.

            In 1999 Kristen began an apprenticeship with Amish midwives in N.Y. state and completed her midwifery education at Maternidad la Luz. She moved to Oakland in 2001 and started Fruits of Labor Midwifery. Kristen has also worked at Northern New Mexico Midwifey Center as a midwife and clinical and academic preceptor, and at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland as a community health educator.

            Robin Lim (Founder and Director at Yayasan Bumi Sehat) Indonesia and the Philippines

            Robin Lim ("Mother Robin," or "Ibu Robin") is a midwife and founder of Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation) health clinics, which offer free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid to anyone who needs it. She and her team have been working since 2003 to combat Indonesia's high maternal and infant mortality rates, and the Bumi Sehat birth centers serve many at-risk mothers.[1] She was awarded the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year award by the CNN news network[2][3][4] for helping thousands of low-income women in Indonesia with healthy pregnancy and birth services.

            Katsi Cook (Executive Director at Woman is the First Environment Collaborative) Canada and Washington, DC

            Sherrill Elizabeth Tekatsitsiakwa "Katsi" (pronounced Gudji) Cook is a member of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk tribe.

            Woman is the first environment. In pregnancy, our bodies sustain life. At the breast of women, the generations are nourished. From the bodies of women flows the relationship of those generations both to society and the natural world. In this way the earth is our mother, the old people said. In this way, we are women are earth.’ ~Katsi Cook~

            Amanda Coslor (Women's Wellbeing Fund) San Francisco

            Amanda Coslor is a midwife, community health educator, and funder. She became interested in women's health and empowerment after working with women and girls suffering from the traumas of sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and drug addiction at the S.A.G.E. project in San Francisco. Amanda is interested in community based people's health movements, and works through the Groundswell Fund to create a larger frame around reproductive justice that includes information about the midwifery model of care. She deeply cares about health care approaches that see people as whole and recognizes each community's ability and capacity to heal themselves when they have the support and resources available to them. Amanda has also been involved in collaborative philanthropy and is committed to the health and wellbeing of indigenous communities. She founded the A.E.P.O.C.H. fund, The Regeneration Fund, and the Community Midwifery Fund. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys creative projects of all kinds, dancing with her children, and hiking with friends.

                Sherri Norris (Executive Director at California Indian Environmental Alliance)

                Sherri is the Executive Director of the California Indian Environmental Alliance – a California Indian environmental health organization that provides California tribes and tribal members with decision making tools and information to avoid mercury and PCBs in fish while continuing to practice subsistence traditions and to address mining toxins. Sherri has eleven years of experience working as a tribal health and environmental advocate at the local level and at international foras and has given hundreds of presentations and trainings on the cycle and health effects of mercury on environmental health, risk-reduction strategies, solution development and opportunities for advocacy related to mining issues in California. Sherri is a member of the Sierra Fund’s Blue Ribbon Panel of mercury experts, a recipient of the Sierra Crest Award, the Davis-Putter Scholarship Award and of the Mills College Brave Hearted Women Award.

                Awakening Feminine Birth Wisdom - Bellydance For Birth - Level 1 - with Maha Al Musa

                About Level 1 Workshop (leading to Level 2 and 3)
                This one day workshop will give an insight into the essence and practice of BellydanceBirth®. Presented by Maha Al Musa, it will be an experiential,intimate, nurturing and self reflective exploration of ourselves as birth caregivers as well as learning the fundamental movements and how we can share them with our women. Be inspired to participate and surrender your heart, head and hands……..
                BellydanceBirth® is both a beneficial and nurturing mode of birth preparation as well as a supportive and intuitive guide for use in the first stage of labour. It requires no dance experience as it is an internal expression, a therapeutic medicine that feeds the Soul in this most sacred rite of passage and is accessible to every woman and baby.

                Thursday,April 30,  9 am -5 pm $180 


                Maha Al Musa is a mother of three, doula, writer, dancer, was voted for the One World Birth Hero National Award in 2011 and founder of Bellydance For Birth® since 1997. She has released two resources - a world first award winning book Dance Of The Womb endorsed by Sheila Kitzinger, Dr Michel Odent, Dr Sarah Buckley and NACE (Aust) as well as an award winning DVD voted Best Pregnancy Fitness Product 2013 in the readers choice award.
                Maha is passionate about sharing her love to free women to birth their babies in the way they choose with a deep trust in their inherent birth wisdom and their baby’s journey. She shares bellydancebirth® as a path toward a sacred birth experience and now teaches workshops and presents at Conferences both nationally and internationally. She is also a passionate advocate of the right for choices in breastfeeding for both mother and baby. At 52 she is still breastfeeding her daughter Aminah, 6, and they have both been featured on National TV and Magazines in Australia and internationally. They will both be featured in a 2015 documentary on Breastfeeding for The Discovery Channel.

                POSTCONFERENCE--Impacting Maternal Child Health Disparities – The JJ Way® Educate, Navigate, Celebrate 

                  This workshop helps health navigators, community health workers, outreach personnel, care coordinators, home visitors, doulas, childbirth educators, lactation educators, nurses, midwives, and physicians to understand their local and regional statistics and to identify the reasons for the disparities in birth outcomes. This training provides ways to negotiate and navigate through the systems that provide perinatal health care for women and babies who are at particular risk by encouraging collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and resources.

                During the session, topics covered will include each level of the perinatal hierarchy; from the grass roots right through to the specialist regional perinatology teams, as well as methods of access and approaches to increase linkages.

                We will discuss using The JJ Way®, a maternal child health care system which promotes the four tenets of access, connections, knowledge and empowerment as an advocacy tool to decrease health disparities, improve birth outcomes, and reduce costs.

                Tags: post conference

                Jennie Joseph (Executive Director at Commonsense Childbirth Inc.)

                Jennie Joseph is a British-trained midwife, a women’s health advocate, the founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. and the creator of The JJ Way®. She moved to the United States in 1989 and began a journey that has culminated in the formation of an innovative maternal child healthcare system, markedly improving birth outcomes for women in Central Florida.

                Jennie has worked extensively in European hospitals, American birth centers, clinics and homebirth environments. She has been instrumental in the regulation of Florida midwives since the 1990′s and has been involved in midwifery education since 1995. She is the chair of Florida’s State Council of Licensed Midwives. Currently she owns a Florida licensed midwifery school attached to The Birth Place, her nationally renowned birth center and maternity medical home in Winter Garden, Florida.

                Due to the high prematurity rates experienced by low income and uninsured women she established an outreach clinic for pregnant women who are at risk of not receiving prenatal care. Her ‘Easy Access’ Prenatal Care Clinics offer quality maternity care for all, regardless of their choice of delivery-site or ability to pay, and have successfully reduced both maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in Central Florida. The Birth Place offers a unique opportunity for pregnant women to choose the site, setting and type of provider for their prenatal care and the delivery of their baby. Working in partnership with women by raising their status from patient to client, Jennie has empowered them to be proactive about their treatment and care. Fathers, family members, and friends are brought in as part of the mother’s team and engaged in the goal of helping her achieve a healthy, full-term pregnancy.

                Jennie has pressed for linkages and collaboration with other public and private agencies in an effort to maintain continuity of care for the safety of her clients but also in order to bridge the gap between America’s maternity care practitioners. She has developed and administers perinatal professional training and certification programs to address the health care provider shortage, diversify the maternal child health (MCH) workforce and address persistent racial and class disparities in birth outcomes. There are both quantitative and qualitative studies underway regarding Jennie’s work as well as continuous reviews of the impact of her clinical and educational programs. Jennie’s model of health care, The JJ Way®, provides an evidence-based system to deliver MCH services which improve health, reduce costs and produce better outcomes all round.

                Jennie Joseph has built up a reputation across the United States and has given numerous presentations, including a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, in order to discuss the statistical data as well as describe practical solutions to improving birth outcomes. Jennie is a regular presenter at maternal child health conferences and organizations; she has a leadership position amongst US and international midwives movements and is a subject matter expert on racial and perinatal disparities in the USA.

                Jennie firmly believes in patient-centered, woman-centered care and works tirelessly to support the systems, providers and agencies charged with delivering that type of care. “Until women and their loved ones feel that they have enough knowledge and agency to be part of the decisions around their care and until they have access to the education and support that they are lacking, they will continue to be at risk.”-Jennie Joseph

                Register Here for Monday, May 4, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM  $50