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The State of Birth

Online symposium 2022

15th & 16th October 9-1.30pm BST

Join us for this online weekend retreat to learn from key figures in the pregnancy, birth and postnatal world.

Full price £90

Subsidised places available for student midwives (£30), concessions (£45) and those experiencing financial hardship (please email here)

Payment plans also available.


Receive life time access to all sessions and support material will be available to you after the event.

Symposium Programme

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Dr Rachel Reed

Midwife, Author, Birth Educator, Speaker, Researcher and Consultant

Keynote talk ~ Re-thinking how we support women and their partners to prepare for childbirth


Rachel Reed's book Reclaiming childbirth as a rite of passage has been avid reading for many.  For some the content has caused them to see maternity care in a new light, for others to be validated in how they feel working as birth professionals.  Her other book Why Induction Matters has been a staple for years, including in the organiser's lending library to expectant parents.

She co-hosts the Midwives' Cauldron podcast and is vocal on many topics around womanhood.

In this talk, your thoughts are very likely to be challenged and your world rocked, in a good way!


Saturday  0900 BST

In this session with Dr Rachel Reed, you will

  • consider how the interactions of care providers and childbirth educators influence how a woman approaches her birth.

  • learn about a rites of passage framework to explore antenatal communication with parents

  • explore how we can shift from grooming compliance towards nurturing self-trust

  • reflect on how to take this into your interactions with expectant parents.

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Nadia Raafat

Senior yoga & meditation teacher, perinatal specialist and doula 

Understanding and supporting liminal space

in pregnancy and birth

Saturday  1005 BST

In this session with Nadia Raafat, we will explore:

  •   The spiritual dimension of pregnancy in a secular culture

  •    Transcendence in childbirth

  •    Birth as a rite of passage

  •    Rituals at birth





Dr Tessa Venuti Sanderson

Senior yoga teacher & trainer, founder of Practical Birth Preparation Workshop training & author 

The evidence for and application of biomechanics for birth:  A call for perinatal professionals to support the practice of embodiment

Saturday  1045 BST

In this session with Dr Tessa Venuti Sanderson, we will explore:

  •   The evidence so far for biomechanics in birth and 'sacrum flexible positions'

  •   The quality of evidence for pregnancy yoga and mindfulness on childbirth outcomes

  •   How perinatal professionals can support body sovereignty and bodily autonomy in expectant parents

  •    How parents being familiar with biomechanics movements before labour may encourage their use and results.


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Dr Uma Dinsmore-Tulie

Yoga therapist, trainer and author

Yoga nidra

Saturday  1130 BST

In this session with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, she will deliver a yoga nidra based on the teachings in her two books Yoga Nidrā Made Easy and Nidra Shakti, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Yoga Nidra.



Mandy Rees

Founder of Mother for Life


Saturday  1205 BST

At the symposium in 2021, creating community and circles for the perinatal period was a recurring theme.

In this session with Mandy Rees, you will

  • discover how to recreate the lost villages for mothers/parents

  • learn about the power of shared spaces

  • understanding the transformations possbile as a result of Mother Circles

  • experience a closing meditation

The power of sharing experience through talking circles

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Maya Louisa

EmbodyBirth Teacher 


Saturday  1305 BST

In this session with Maya Louisa, you will:   

  • experience bellydancing as taught to those wishing to conceive

  • enjoy an interactive practice similar to one you would experience in the EmbodyBirth programme

  • get your endorphins flowing

  •  finish Saturday morning on a high

IG @maya_louisa




Dance time the EmbodyBirth way!

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Dr Kirsten Small

Specialist Obstetrician, Feminist Researcher, Educator and Writer


Sunday 0900 BST

In this session with Dr Kirsten Small, you will

  • learn what evidence does and doesn't exist for fetal monitoring

  • consider what perpetuates the use of CTG in practice

  • explore why relying on central fetal monitoring leads to ineffective care worldwide

  • reflect on how telling expectant parents to "Just say no" to CTG or asking professionals to present the evidence, especially during labour, is ineffective

  • consider that this is a systemic issue and how speaking out as a health professional is difficult



Twitter @birthsmalltalk




Myths of cardiotocography:

Why does CTG use persist even when evidence is lacking?

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Deepa Santhosh

Childbirth Educator, Doula, Hypnobirthing practitioner & Midwife Trainee


Sunday, 1005 BST

In this session with Deepa Santhosh, you will

  • learn about her projects such as the Upright Birthing Quality Improvement project, Induction Pathway, Enjoy at Work project and water bottle crusade!

  • explore how to involve other colleagues to increase buy-in and impact

  • reflect on how to choose your battle and focus your efforts

  • utilise existing structures such as obstetrician's training need to be part of Quality Improvement (QI) projects, Listening Forums, Maternity Voices Partnerships

  • have the opportunity to ask questions and reflect on your own experiences of pushing for change


IG @the_desi_midwifetobe

Twitter @deepasanthosh




Pushing for Change

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Amy Fergus-Fuller

Perinatal Yoga Teacher & C-Section Recovery Expert


Sunday, 1055 BST

In this session with Amy Fergus-Fuller, you will

  • Discover the significant challenges of immediate post c-section recovery

  • Explore the different C-Section experiences - elective and emergency

  • Learn what birth educators, postnatal doulas, yoga, pilates & fitness professionals can do to support those recovering from c-section in the immediate post birth period

  • Learn how to overcome the specific challenges faced by post c-section parents and their babies

This will be a practical session where you can learn specifics that you can take into your work.


IG @atozyoga




C-Section Recovery: The First 6 Weeks

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Lorena Rodrigo

Pregnancy yoga teacher, sound therapist and Reiki Master


Sunday, 1135 BST

Time to relax!  Get comfy and enjoy the different therapeutic sounds.  The session will be a gentle sound bath including going, crystal bowls, chimes, rain stick and many other sacred instruments that will create a beautiful relaxing and mindful experience.

Sound bath


Lolly Stirk

Birth Education Pioneer, Founding Member of YogaBirth, Hypnobirther & Doula

Closing talk ~

Learning from 35 years as an active birth educator

Sunday, Midday

In this session with Lolly Stirk, you will

• Consider the longevity of the active birth movement and the increase in anxiety around childbirth, and its current significance

• Learn about the power of moving towards sensation rather than resisting

• Reflect on the need for softening during pregnancy

• Experience how to guide someone towards embodiment and staying with sensation

• Discover the importance of practising embodiment before labour



Tessa Venuti Sanderson PhD

Yoga Teachers Forum Pregnancy Trainer and author of Pearls of Birth Wisdom

Your host for the symposium


Tessa spoke last year on how to take a trauma-informed approach in maternity care.  In 2021 she won two awards for her pregnancy and birth preparation classes: the national Luxlife Parent & Baby Award and the local Small Business Award for 'Well-being & Activities' created by MP Matt Rodda.

She specialises in body-based support for people with birth trauma and creating safe spaces through circle-holding.

'Think of your voice as a verbal hand hold.'

'Be present to your own needs if you want someone to safely relate to you.'

'If we can attend to the external safety, they can focus on their internal experience.'

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FEDANT National Registration Number (13398)

Discounted places available for student midwives and charity workers (please email here)


Charity Partner



Sound bath

To relax after the first talks, we will enjoy a special sound bath with Lorena Rodrigo.


If you haven’t heard the Gong played before, it can be quite mesmerising, quickly relaxing both body and mind, taking you to a place of calm while leaving you mentally clear and focused. There’s nothing for you to do, just sit or lay down and close your eyes.

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Maya Louisa is an EmbodyBirth practitioner and Bellydance birth teacher.  She will take us through some sensual moves so that we end the day full of endorphins.

EmbodyBirth was founded by Maha Al Musa.


Yoga nidra

You will be led through one a wonderful yoga nidra relaxation to soothe your nervous system.

Recharge by taking your eyes from the screen and experiencing how the voice can take you deeper into the yoga nidra state.

Ready to join us?

6 CPD hours - certificate available


Supporting pregnant women who have fled violence or traffickers

A percentage of the profits from the symposium will be donated to this wonderful charity.


When you book your place, we commit to donate one tree

“When women gather, something else becomes possible. Ours is a different kind of power, a different kind of responsiveness, receptivity, subtlety and co-creativity.

We need to gather, to inspire and encourage each other, because it's time for a different relationship with life on this planet of ours.” ~ Clare Dubois, Founder & CEO, TreeSisters

Why join us?

* Inspiring speakers to recharge your passion and bring fresh enthusiasm and knowledge to your clients and patients

* Life-time access to all the sessions
* Watch the symposium at your own pace again and again
* Be part of a community of pregnancy, birth and postnatal professionals that want to make a difference
* Support The Happy Baby Community Charity - a percentage of profits from this event will go to the charity

* Have a tree planted on your behalf through the TreeSisters charity when you book your place.

* Recharge the enthusiasm and passion for what you bring to your pregnancy and postpartum communities.

For enquiries please contact Tessa at or Julia at

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