Who Attends the Birth?

Who Attends the Birth?

‘Exploring the Basic Needs of the Labouring Woman

and the Needs of the Person who Attends her’

 This series of workshops with the South African midwife, doula, author, mother and teacher is designed to meet the needs of those attending births by teaching, exploring and emphasising self-care skills so we can better guard the basic needs of the woman in labour as well as provide support for one another. This is necessary for attending births in general but is essential when we deal with births which do not go according to plan. We will also be learning the skills of Helping Babies Breathe and Helping Mothers Survive whilst ensuring that we know how to take care of ourselves and maintaining the basic needs of the mothers we serve. We will also dedicate a day to learning about Sexual Abuse Triggers in Pregnancy and Childbirth.



 Sep 29th


Opening the workshop

Self Care and Listening Skills

The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour

The Role of the Birth Attendant

 The first day of this course focuses on the stress and workload that those attending births carry and how we can best support ourselves and one another in this work

Introductions and Orientation for the course

Compassionate Care for midwives and other birth attendants:

– We will learn listening and self-care skills – ways to take care of ourselves and each other in this work

The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour, Oxytocin (The Love Hormone) and the environmental factors that affect it

The role of the birth attendant

 As birth attendants, we attend births in many different settings and we hold space for women and their families as they birth. It is not often that we get to reconnect to ourselves and with others as birth keepers and to give ourselves time to process and discuss the births we have attended and what being a birth keeper truly means to us.


Sep 30th

Morning and Afternoon: Helping Babies Breathe

 Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is an evidence-based educational program to teach basic neonatal resuscitation techniques. It is an initiative of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).

A key concept of HBB is The Golden Minute. Within one minute of birth, a baby should be breathing well or should be ventilated with a bag and mask. The Golden Minute identifies the steps that a birth attendant must take immediately after birth to evaluate the baby and stimulate breathing.

Learners will spend the day learning step by step hands-on practical skills and will leave with a Helping Babies Breathe certificate.

Taking care of ourselves, debriefing and maintaining the basic needs of woman and baby at birth are emphasised during this training.


Oct 1st

Morning and Afternoon: Helping Mothers Survive (Bleeding After Birth) and other Obstetric Emergencies for out of hospital settings

To improve quality of care for women and families, Jhpiego, in collaboration with global partners, developed Helping Mothers Survive (HMS). HMS is a suite of hands-on, simulation-based learning modules designed to be delivered at the job site to build the capacity of the health workforce.  The goal of HMS is to improve and sustain the critical skills of midwives, nurses, doctors, and those who assist them to care for women during pregnancy, labour, and delivery.

HMS uses the latest clinical standards and evidence coupled with proven learning strategies to build the capacity of providers to deliver high-quality services. The first module in the series, Bleeding after Birth (BAB), addresses postpartum haemorrhage, the leading cause of maternal death worldwide. 

Other skills covered will be shoulder dystocia, cord prolapse and grief and loss.

Learners will spend the day learning step by step hands-on practical skills and will leave with a Helping Mothers Survive certificate.

Taking care of ourselves, debriefing and maintaining the basic needs of woman and baby at birth are emphasised during this training.


Oct 2nd

Morning: Sexual Abuse Triggers in Pregnancy/Labour/Childbirth

Pregnancy, labour and birth, and the care pregnant women receive can be major triggers of previous sexual abuse and by making caregivers aware of these, as well as arming them with skills, they can be part of the healing process. Trust and a feeling of safety are essential when pregnant and in a birthing environment, and even more so when a woman has a previous experience of rape or sexual abuse. An uncaring or unaware caregiver, could cause more damage, be part of the trigger, or perpetuate the sexual abuse.

This workshop offers a vital skill set for any birth attendant. The workshop will cover deep listening skills, sexual abuse triggers that may come up, and how to care for a birthing woman who has experienced sexual trauma.


Afternoon: Shiatsu

Activating empathy through the compassionate touch


Oct 3rd

Michel Odent

30 years of primal health research; what future for our species?

Questions and answers


Ruth Ehrhardt


Closing circle, sharing, grounding and commitment to implement what has been learned into daily life for the following three months and to reach out to the group to seek support to do so.


This series of workshops will be given in English and Italian. The cost for the 4 days is 300 Euro. For more information or to book your place please contact Hannah.