Our Spring Hui and Conference was held in Auckland in October 2017. Hosted by the Auckland Homebirth Community the Conference was held at the Jetpark Motel in Mangere. The speakers there covered a broad range of topics. With a strong focus on midwifery and maternity the conference was a rich with conversation on a collaborative way forward for homebirth in Aotearoa .
A highlight of the conference was Annabel Farry and her talk on the NZ Place of Birth Study. She spoke from the heart, her conversation cutting right to the core of birth and birth choice. Her study validates, homebirth, primary maternity and physiological birth as a clear gold standard for maternity care. Her findings validating the continuity of care midwife led model that Aotearoa Maternity is founded on.
Annabel Farry talking about how place of birth makes a difference to the outcomes for mother and baby.
Other highlights included the concurrent sessions on trauma with Janet Redmond exploring how trauma affects midwives and Carla Sargent talking about acknowledging birth trauma at a consumer level. Being able to address trauma and have the difficult conversations about how we deal with trauma is an essential part of ensuring basic needs are met, both at a consumer level and within our midwifery community.
The first session was Annabel’s discussion about the place of birth study. Annabel spoke eloquently about safety, not just from a physiological perspective, but also emotional and cultural safety.
Catherine Greenwood, a speaker of NZSL, gave her perspectives on experiencing our maternity services as a deaf person. She argued eloquently for more accessible interpreting services and better standards of care for women and whanau who have barriers to communication.
Catherines talk highlighted how HBA as an organised can do better at being accessible.
Carla Sargent from A Voice for Parents talking about acknowledging trauma in birth.
Ban Abdul talked with great passion about New Zealand’s Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.
Ban’s talk was valuable for both consumers and midwives. Her discussion inspired thought, reflection, connection, and discussion with a view to planting the seeds of change.
Catherine Greenwood and her excellent assistant
The beautiful Homebirth selfie backdrop was great fun and an excellent chance to connect with friends from afar. A creche was provided which you can see behind.
Connecting with colleagues and friends in the homebirth community is one of the best parts of Hui and Conference
Sandy McGivern-Butler (pictured left) one of the key organisers of the conference and Hui