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The State of Birth

Online symposium 2021

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

Recordings of the talks will be available after the event for 1 year - book now to have access

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

Take a look at the speakers...


Liz Koch

International Somatic Practitioner,

Author of The Psoas Book

Keynote talk ~ Wild Psoas: Awakening Our Innate Knowing

Psoas is a complex and primal tissue located at the very core of our being. Within traditional medical models and standard anatomical paradigms, the Iliopsoas is simply classified as a “flexor muscle.” Psoas, however, is so much more. This fluid tissue is a powerful agent of self-actualization that plays a vital role in a woman’s reproductive life throughout every stage of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.

Psoas is a primal messenger located within the center of our being that communicates our deepest fears and our wildest longings. Growing out of the embryonic axis, psoas messages vital information providing our felt sense of safety and danger. Dynamic, juicy, and expressive, healthy psoas plays not only a vital role in our fear responses but also our full-body orgasmic delight. Influencing our capacity to survive and thrive, a healthy psoas has a positive effect on every aspect of pregnancy and plays an intimate role in natural birth outcomes.

In this session with Liz Koch, you will

  • Learn from her 45 years' experience of supporting the psoas in pregnancy, birth and postnatally
  • Consider how our animal body doesn't know about hospital policies and how to create the environment that your labouring body will respond to
  • Understand how to teach that vulnerability is our strength and how to regain agency through community
  • Discover how birth professionals can regulate their own nervous system in order to co-regulate those in their care
  • Learn from a case study of whether to teach the lunge position during pregnancy

  • 'Feeling very inspired thank you Liz.' AB

    'So many gems 💎 I’m going to keep reconnecting back to earth, grounding bones.' LL

    'What an incredibly talk, I will definitely betaking away this idea coming back to earth. Thank you so much.' AFF

    'Thanks Liz, very interesting. The importance of back to basics and the animal body.' RB

    'Thank you so much Liz, looking forward to rewatching this a couple of times. so much soul medicine.' CE

    'The state of birth: we are in dire need of a huge change.'

    'It's in our power to change the paradigm.'

    'Birth isn't a marathon it's a shape-shifting event.'

    'The best thing you can do is awaken the wild in yourself.'


    Jenny Burrell

    Head of Burrell Education, one of UK's leading-edge educators in modern Pregnancy & Post Baby trainings

    In this session with Jenny Burrell, you will

  • consider why it's important to bring exercise to your pregnant clients with heart, soul and mind
  • how creating space for your client to befriend her body sets her up for motherhood
  • explore how Adverse Childhood Event scores predict maternal outcomes
  • consider the tension between collecting information about your client (eg through a registration form) and being fully present

  • 'What you are saying is so so so true - regarding work/ life balance.' EB

    'How honest and powerful everything she's saying.' EGR

    'Thanks Jenny, that was really interesting, particularly the statistics and research you've shown.' JE

    'Thank you so much!' RB

    Preparation for the Fourth Trimester Starts in Pregnancy

    'There are three major holy moments in a woman's lifespan - menarche, matrescence, menopause.'

    'The exercise industry is male-dominated. We definitely need trauma-informed perinatal education.Education created by women to serve women.'


    Tessa Sanderson PhD

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

    Incorporating Biomechanics for Birth with a

    Trauma-Sensitive Approach

    In this session with Tessa Sanderson, PhD, you will

  • Learn a 'Preparation for labour' yoga sequence based on biomechanics for birth and pelvis balancing
  • Discover how to teach two types of squats for different stages of labour considering nutation and counter nutation of the pelvis to support engagement and crowning
  • Explore how to share labour and birth positions with a trauma-sensitive approach
  • Consider how to bring choice and agency into your teaching for those with previous birth trauma

  • 'Thanks for a great session Tessa.' JM

    'Loved the rethinking of language used x thank you so much x' TA

    'So clever too. Instinct is amazing.' RB

    '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.'


    Kemi Johnson

    Birth keeper & activist, Clubhouse room host on Physiological birth

    The State of Birth Exposed ~

    Sharing Circle on Physiological Birth

    In this session with Kemi Johnson you will

  • Hear facts about how maternity care is currently functioning
  • Learn how to support physiological birth
  • Have opportunity to ask questions of an experienced midwife
  • Share your thoughts and build networks with likeminded pregnancy and birth professionals


    'Parents want honesty so I share honesty.'

    'Maternity services are not about the health of parents and babies.'



    Weleda prize draw ~ £250 hamper of their 'hero' products

    The lucky winner was Rebekah Bradley.


    Molly O'Brien

    Midwife & associate university lecturer

    Biomechanics in Birth teacher

    Empowering Parents in the Birth Room with Biomechanics

    In this session with Molly O'Brien, you will

  • Discover how you can give women and birthing people strategies to avoid being immobilised by CTG and keep moving
  • Understanding how the Valsalva technique and directed pushing impacts on the pelvic floor and find out how to support spontaneous, instinctive pushing
  • Explore how the instruction to open the legs to make space for the baby can be changed to be aligned with cutting edge biomechanics knowledge
  • Feel confident with the Side Lying Release technique and how to teach this to your clients for labour

  • 'Awesome Molly. Always learn when you speak.' AH

    'Always amazing, thank you Molly!!!' CE

    'That was very informative.'SK

    'NHS Birth Preparation classes are designed for compliance.'

    'CTG is expensive and there is no evidence it improves outcomes. Peanut balls are cheap and improve outcomes but are not readily available in antenatal wards.'


    Stephanie Larson

    Stephanie Larson is the visionary Founder and Master Trainer of Dancing For Birth™

    Get moving with 'Dancing for Birth'

    In this session with Stephanie Larson, you will

  • Be inspired by the origin story of how this unique fusion of dancing and antenatal education came about
  • Have fun trying out different dance moves that are taught to pregnant women
  • Discover the benefits of dancing during labour and hear stories of how women were able to 'stand up for birth'
  • Ask questions about incorporating dance into classes

  • 'You are amazing!' SC

    'Endorphins definitely flowing.' TS

    'Absolutely loved that.' SK

    'Love it, thanks so much Stephanie. You radiate joy!' RB


    Rehana Jawadwala PhD

    Founder of MummyYoga & Author of Why Pregnancy & Postnatal Exercise Matter

    Using Sound, Breath and Movement for Postnatal Mental Health

    In this session with Rehana Jawadwala, you will

  • Learn about the subtle physiological changes that occur in both parent and baby when they spend time in close proximity.
  • Learn how you can help a new parent feel calm and relaxed when it’s all chaotic around them.
  • Learn some cool techniques on how new parents can use all their senses to make a powerful stack that creates deep bonds between them and their babies.
  • You will be able to implement the tips you pick in this session straight away within your interactions with new parents. 

  • 'Babies come into the world knowing rhythm.'

    'It's the rituals that bind people together, creating empathy.'


    Rachelle Garcia Seliga

    Traditional midwife and founder of Innate Traditions - Postpartum care training

    Closing talk: MOTHERS: The Portals of Thriving Human Life

    In this session with Rachelle Garcia Seliga, you will learn

  • Why Maternal Health is Foundational to Humanity's Health
  • Revillaging as THE Medicine of our Times
  • The importance of centering Mothers as we REVILLAGE
  • The Paradox of Interdependence and Independence

  • 'That was AMAZING,' AB

    'You have blown my mind!' TA

    'I wish I had know this when I was pregnant - so important and makes so much sense.' JD

    'Lots to think about and digest.' UB

    'Familiarity and predictability are metaphors for safety.'

    'What envelopes mothers in a place of safety is the physical presence of other humans that she feels safety with on a daily basis.'

    'Community is a biological imperative for humans, especially in the postpartum time.'

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


    Charity Partner



    Sound bath

    To help prepare us for the afternoon topics, Nick Stolerman will immerse us in the sound waves of the Gong! 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.



    Stephanie Larson, Founder of Dancing for Birth, will take us through some moves from her fusion of dance and antenatal education classes.

    Stephanie is an international trainer with global graduates of her courses, including in China.


    Yoga nidra

    Susie Ro will take you through one of her wonderful yoga nidra relaxations with improvised song. Susie is a song leader, vocal coach and yoga nidra workshop facilitator.

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



    On the Saturday afternoon, Kemi Johnson will host a circle where we you can ask questions and share your anxieties about the state of birth AND your hopes for the future.

    Missed out on the live event?

    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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