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Every year I attend multiple national conferences, virtual conferences, webinars and in-services to fulfill my certification requirements for continuing education and my own personal enrichment. At the end of the year, I’ve usually accumulated between 40-80 contact hours.
Not all of those contact hours are enjoyable, relevant or meet my expectations. I cast a wide net and grab the knowledge gems as they come up. Sometimes, it’s like panning for gold.
This last Northwest Doula Conference, sponsored by NAPS and PALS Doulas, filled my pan with gold knowledge nuggets. Focused on the Perinatal Body, I came away with these big take-aways from the general sessions:
• GREAT book and web resource recommendations:
o Women’s Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston
o How epigenetics works as a blueprint to express our DNA and why that matters to pregnant parents and their developing babies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujLppvMqUOI
o The Environmental Working Group’s excellent website for understanding what products and foods are dangerous to our epigenetics and DNA http://www.ewg.org/
• Our bodies are our cumulative, repetitive experiences (both emotional and physical). Our bodies always reflect what we’re feeling, thinking and doing. (April Bolding)
• Flexibility and stability are both important. Too much of one affects the other. (April Bolding)
• Pelvic floor patterning is important. Your cumulative, repetitive experiences determine pelvic floor symmetry, stability, tone and flexibility. (April Bolding)
• Pelvic floor muscles can be too weak in some layers and too toned in other layers (April Bolding)
• The first 6 weeks postpartum should be spent focusing on rest and repose rather than upright, strenuous activity in terms of allowing ligaments, tendons and muscles to regain their shortened tone after pregnancy and birth. (April Bolding)
• 75 – 90% of chronic disease (diabetes, hypertension, obesity, metabolic disease, etc..) is not genetic but is largely determined by environmental factors that turn on/off epigenetic blueprints at the DNA level. (Lorelei Walker)
• Recovery between exertion efforts is important. Using diaphragmatic breathing can help one recover faster from exertion, increasing the ability to relax between contractions or interval training. (Maura Shirey)
The Northwest Doula Conference was an enormously good return on my investment of continuing education dollars and time. I got the kind of content delivered by experts in their field for about 1/10 of what I would spend traveling to a national conference.
Thank you, NAPS and PALS Doulas for again organizing a fantastic conference that benefits us individually with improved knowledge and skillsets. Our community thrives because of your good work!
Guest post by:
Kim James, CD(PALS), BDT(DONA), ICCE, LCCE
Kim is the DONA International Washington State Representative as well as a birth doula, birth doula trainer, and childbirth educator in Seattle, Washington. Kim is also the owner and operator of www.DoulaMatch.net