Experts

Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt – President and founder, Hypnobabies

I was a Bradley Method natural childbirth instructor for 10 years and received an invaluable education in natural childbirth before enrolling in the HypnoBirthing teacher certification course. After taking it and teaching a few HB classes, I soon realized that I needed to know much more about hypnosis in order to be able to help each woman with her personal issues and also her hypnotic depth. I then took a course in hypnosis and hypnotherapy and began writing my own scripts. I found and networked with hypnotherapists all over the USA, and even in the UK, who openly shared concepts, ideas, scripts and tips on how to improve my childbirth hypnosis course. My students definitely benefited from this and soon were having very nice births.

I then went on and became a certified Hypnotherapist, found Gerald Kein’s Painless Childbirth Program and became trained in that. I created the Hypnobabies method using these incredible hypnosis techniques and that is what I teach now in my local classes and home study course. Many of my moms have pain-free and fear-free births and it is very gratifying to me. Even the ones who do experience discomfort at times have wonderful birthing experiences, since the labors are shorter and much easier, and the find they can get back on track quickly with this program.

I have 2 children, and neither of them were Hypnobabies, however their births taught me a great deal about what I wanted for my students. I knew there had to be a way that women could actually look forward to, and enjoy their baby’s births. Indeed I have found it and it has made all the difference in the world to so many women, their Birth Partners, and their precious babies.

I love what I do, and I eat, drink and breathe my passion for helping more women have pain-free and easy birth experiences. All babies deserve to be born into the world in this gentle way; unmedicated, gently and happy!

Dr. Marsden Wagner – marsdenwagner.com

Marsden Wagner, born in San Francisco, his education at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) included an M.D., clinical specialty training in pediatrics, then in perinatology (neonatology and obstetrics) followed by two years post-graduate study with an advanced scientific degree in perinatal science. Following several years of full time clinical practice and some years as a full time faculty member at UCLA, he was a Director of Maternal and Child Health for the California State Health Department. After six years as Director of the University of Copenhagen-UCLA Health Research Center, he was for 15 years Director of Womens and Childrens Health for the World Health Organization. He is now an independent consultant.

With extensive experience in maternity care in industrialized countries, including midwifery and the appropriate use of technology during pregnancy and birth, he has consulted and lectured in over 50 countries and given testimony before the US Congress, British Parliament, French National Assembly, Italian Parliament, Russian Parliament and others. His publications, in 11 different languages, include 131 scientific papers, 20 book chapters and 14 books. His two latest books are Born in the USA published by University of California Press andCreating your Birth Plan published by Penguin.

Joseph Chilton Pearce – Author, Magical Child

Joseph Chilton Pearce is the author of The Death of Religion and the Rebirth of the Spirit, The Biology of Transcendence, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Magical Child, and Evolution’s End. For the past 35 years, he has lectured and led workshops teaching about the changing needs of children and the development of human society. He lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Ina May Gaskin – Midwife and Author of Spiritual Midwifery. inamay.com

Ina May Gaskin, MA, CPM, is founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Center, located near Summertown, Tennessee. Founded in 1971, by 1996, the Farm Midwifery Center had handled more than 2200 births, with remarkably good outcomes. Ms. Gaskin herself has attended more than 1200 births. She is author of Spiritual Midwifery, now in its fourth edition. For twenty-two years she published Birth Gazette, a quarterly covering health care, childbirth and midwifery issues. Her new book, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth was released 4 March 2003 by Bantam/Dell, a division of Random House. She has lectured all over the world at midwifery conferences and at medical schools, both to students and to faculty. She was President of Midwives’ Alliance of North America from 1996 to 2002. In 1997, she received the ASPO/Lamaze Irwin Chabon Award and the Tennessee Perinatal Association Recognition Award. In 2003 she was chosen as Visiting Fellow of Morse College, Yale University.

Ms. Gaskin has lectured widely to midwives and physicians throughout the world. Her promotion of a low-intervention but extremely effective method for dealing with one of the most-feared birth complications, shoulder dystocia, has resulted in that method being adopted by a growing number of practitioners. The Gaskin maneuver is the first obstetrical procedure to be named for a midwife. Her statistics for breech deliveries and her teaching video on the subject have helped to spark a reappraisal of the policy of automatically performing cesarean section for all breech babies. As the occurrence of vaginal breech births has declined over the last 25 years, the knowledge and skill required for such births have come close to extinction.

Ms. Gaskin’s center is noted for its low rates of intervention, morbidity and mortality despite the inclusion of many vaginally delivered breeches, twin and grand multiparas. Their statistics were published in “The Safety of Home Birth: The Farm Study,” authored by A. Mark Durand, American Journal of Public Health, March, 1992, Vol. 82, 450-452. She was featured in Salon magazine’s feature “Brilliant Careers” in the June 1, 1999 edition

Barbara Harper, RN – President, World Gentle Birth Congress. waterbirth.org

Barbara Harper’s passion for natural birth led to the founding in 1988 of Global Maternal/Child Health Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and research about natural childbirth. She lectures worldwide on maternity care reform and water birth and is the author of “Gentle Birth Choices.” She lives outside of Portland, Oregon.

Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD – Anthropologist, University of Texas. davis-floyd.com

Robbie Davis-Floyd PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Texas Austin and Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology, is a medical anthropologist specializing in the anthropology of reproduction. An international speaker and researcher, she is author of over 80 articles and of Birth as an American Rite of Passage (1992, 2004); coauthor of From Doctor to Healer: The Transformative Journey (1998); and coeditor of eight collections, including Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge: Cross-Cultural Perspectives(1997); Cyborg Babies: From Techno-Sex to Techno-Tots (1998); and Mainstreaming Midwives: The Politics of Change (2006). Birth Models That Work, an edited collection that highlights excellent models of birth care around the world, is in press. Her research on global trends and transformations in childbirth, obstetrics, and midwifery is ongoing. Robbie speaks regularly at national and international childbirth, obstetrical, and midwifery conferences around the world. She currently serves as Program Chair for the Society of Medical Anthropology, Senior Advisor to the Council on Anthropology and Reproduction, and Editor for the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative (IMBCI): 10 Steps to Optimal Maternity Care.

Barbara Katz Rothman, PhD – Professor of Sociology

Barbara Katz Rothman’s work is both interdisciplinary and international in scope, focusing on issues in Medical Sociology, Bioethics, Gender and the Sociology of Knowledge.

Her professional honors and awards include the Lee Founders Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Jesse Bernard Award of the American Sociological Association, the mentoring award of Sociologists for Women in Society, the Award for the Promotion of Human Welfare of the Southern Sociological Society.

She has been a participant in the Scholars-in-Residence Program of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where she conducted research for her book Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption, a Marie Goepert Mayer Professor at the Universitat Osnabrueck in Germany, a Leverhulme Professorship at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and currently continues to serve as a Visiting Professor both at Plymouth University and at the Charite Hospital and Medical School in Berlin.

Her PhD in Sociology became her first book, IN LABOR: WOMEN AND POWER IN THE BIRTHPLACE, and that book is now updated and rewritten to include hte current state of childbirth and midwifery, as LABORING ON: BIRTH IN TRANSITION IN THE UNITED STATES, coauthored with Wendy Simonds.

Bruce Lipton, PHD – Cellular Biologist. brucelipton.com

Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., scientist, lecturer and bestselling author, formerly served as Associate Professor of Anatomy in the School of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, 1973-1982), participating in the medical curriculum as a lecturer in Cell Biology, Histology and Embryology. His laboratory research on muscular dystrophy focused on the behavior and cell biology of cloned human stem cells. Subsequently, Dr. Lipton served as a Research Fellow in the Departments of Pathology and Dermatology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine (1987-1 992). Stanford research on the human immune system yielded insight into the molecular basis of how perceptions (beliefs) control biological expression. Bruce left formal academia in 1992 and has since become an internationally recognized authority in bridging science and spirit. His book, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness Matter and Miracles, an LA Times Bestseller won Best Science Book of the Year by USA Book News in 2006. He has been a guest speaker on numerous radio and television programs, and a sought after keynote presenter for national organizations.

Dr. Joel Evans – Founder and Director, Women’s Health Center

Joel M. Evans, M.D., a board certified OB/GYN, is the Founder and Director of The Center for Women’s Health in Stamford, CT, where he practices Integrative Obstetrics and Gynecology. A frequent lecturer on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), Dr. Evans is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. In January of 2001 he was honored as a Founding Diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Medicine, and is recogn ized as the first physician in Connecticut to be Board Certified in both Holistic Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Evans’ book, The Whole Pregnancy Handbook, published by Gotham Books in April 2005, has been critically acclaimed by Publishers Weekly and Bookpage.com. He has been featured in American Baby, US Weekly and Parents magazine as well as interviewed on television and radio shows across the country.

Michel Odent – French Obstetrician, “Father of Waterbirth.” michelodent.com

For several decades Michel Odent has been instrumental in influencing the history of childbirth and health research. As a practitioner he developed the maternity unit at Pithiviers Hospital in France in the 1960s and ’70s. He is familiarly known as the obstetrician who introduced the concept of birthing pools and home-like birthing rooms. His approach has been featured in eminent medical journals such as Lancet, and in TV documentaries such as the BBC film Birth Reborn. With six midwives he was in charge of about one thousand births a year and could achieve ideal statistics with low rates of intervention. After his hospital career he practiced home birth. As a researcher he founded the Primal Health Research Center in London (UK), which focuses upon the long term consequences of early experiences. An overview of the Primal Health Research Data Bank clearly indicates that health is shaped during the primal period (from conception until the first birthday). It also suggests that the way we are born has long term consequences in terms of sociability, aggressiveness or, otherwise speaking, capacity to love.

Michel Odent has developed a preconceptional program, the “accordion method” in order to minimize the effects of intrauterine and milk pollution by synthetic fat soluble chemicals such as dioxins, PCBs, etc. His other research interests are non specific long term effects on health of early multiple vaccinations. Author of approximately 50 scientific papers, he has 11 books published in 21 languages to his name. In his books he developed the art of turning traditional questions around: “How to develop good health?”, instead of “how to prevent disease?”, or “How does the capacity to love develop?”, instead of “how to prevent violence?”.

Tom Kreuning – partnersinverloskunde.nl(In Dutch only)

Tom Kreuning has delivered over 2000 homebirths throughout this career. He is passionate about bringing babies into the world in a way that is not only safe but creates an empowering moment for each family. He is a loving husband to Joan Harmsen, MD and the proud father of his son Jippe. They live in a windmill out in the country, in Holland.