Sydney based psychologist and psychotherapist with extensive experience working with individuals, couples and families, and teaching or facilitating groups. His articles on child development, parenting issues and family relationships have been widely published and translated. Robin has presented his seminars and courses for teachers, health professionals and parents around Australia, in New Zealand and in USA. He is the author of “Parenting for a Peaceful World” and “Heart to Heart Parenting”.
Robin’s latest article on ”Intuitive Parenting” has been published in Juno Magazine.
Dr Margot Sunderland is Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London, Honorary Visiting Fellow at London Metropolitan University and an Integrative Child Psychotherapist, Supervisor and Trainer.?She has written many books on child mental health, which collectively have been published in twenty countries. Her internationally acclaimed book, The Science of Parenting, endorsed by Professor Jaak Panksepp, won First Prize in the British Medical Association Medical Book Awards 2007, Popular Medicine category.
Naomi Aldort is the author of the acclaimed book, “Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves,” an internationally published parenting advice columnist and an engaging public speaker. She provides guidance to thousands of parents around the globe by phone, video classes and in person.
Naomi brings peace and clarity to difficult situations, as well as to ordinary parenting issues. She provides tools for understanding babies, toddlers and children and responding to them so they grow to do their best, not because they fear us or seek our approval, but because they want to, of their own free will. Aldort’s SALVE communication formula has been praised as providing the best of The Work of Byron Katie and Nonviolent communication combined, and more. Her advice columns, article and interviews appear in attachment parenting, homeschooling and other progressive parenting magazines worldwide. She is a mother of three thriving young adults and lives in western USA.
Video interview with Naomi Aldort “Well-behaved children without discipline”
Michel Odent has been in charge of the surgical unit and the maternity unit at the Pithiviers state hospital (1962–1985) and is the founder of the Primal Health Research Centre (London). In the 1970s he introduced the concepts of home-like birthing rooms and birthing pools in maternity hospitals.
He is the author of the first article in the medical literature about the use of birthing pools (Lancet 1983), of the first article about the initiation of lactation during the hour following birth, and of the first article applying the ‘Gate Control Theory of Pain’ to obstetrics. He created the Primal Health Research database (www.primalhealthresearch.com) and the website www.wombecology.com. He is the author of 12 books published in 22 languages and author (or co-author) of 92 articles listed in www.pubmed.com.
Suzanne Arms is an internationally acclaimed speaker-teacher, author, photojournalist, visionary and activist for birth and the “primal period. Considered a grandmother of the international birthing movement, she is an advocate for the mother-baby and father-family bonds, breastfeeding, full brain development, the midwifery model of care, and preventing & healing birth-related trauma. Co-founder of The Birth Place, an independent birth center and resource center for pregnancy, birth & early parenting. Arms blends ancient wisdom & modern science, biology & epigenetics, brain development, bonding & attachment, feminism, ecology, anthropology and psychology. Her 2nd of 7 books, Immaculate Deception, was named a “Best Book of the Year” by the New York Times. Founder & Director of Birthing The Future®, a USA-based charity and The Time Is Now global project.
Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as a world authority on oxytocin. Her research takes place at the famed Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, where she is Professor of Physiology. The author of more than 400 scientific papers and a previous book, She and He, Dr. Uvnäs Moberg lectures widely in Europe and the United States. Her work has been influential in a variety of fields, including obstetrics, psychology, animal husbandry, physical therapy, pediatrics, and child development. The mother of four children, she lives in Djursholm, Sweden.
Naomi is mother to three adult children and grandmother to two grandchildren. She runs two weekly discussion groups for mothers, Mothers Talking, at the Active Birth Centre and at Born. She is also a La Leche League leader in Central London. Her two books, based on her discussions with mothers, are What Mothers Do – especially when it looks like nothing (2004) and How Mothers Love and how relationships are born (2011). She and her husband both work as existential psychotherapists in north London. She teaches and supervises at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling. She has taught Tai Chi to mothers with their babies and toddlers.
Marcy is Author of Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers and a member of Mothering magazine’s online expert panel. Dr. Axness is a leading authority in the fields of early child development, adoption, prenatal and perinatal psychology and the neurobiology of attachment. She is a popular international speaker, has a private practice coaching parents-in-progress, and provides training for professionals about the latest human development research. She feels that one of her most important credentials is being mother to Ian, 24, and Eve, 21. Learn more at www.ParentingForPeace.com.
Vivette Glover is Professor of Perinatal Psychobiology at Imperial College London. Her first degree was in Biochemistry at Oxford University, and she did her PhD in neurochemistry at University College London. She then moved to Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital, London. In more recent years she has applied her expertise in biological psychiatry to the problems of mothers and babies. In 1997 she set up the Fetal and Neonatal Stress Research Group. The aims are to study fetal and neonatal stress responses, methods to reduce them, and long term effects. The effects of the emotional state of the mother, both on the developing fetus and longer term on the child are being studied. Recent projects of interest include studies showing that maternal prenatal stress or anxiety increases the probability for a range of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes for the child. These include attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, and cognitive impairment. Her group are also studying the biological mechanisms that may underlie such fetal programming. She has published over 400 papers. She has been awarded the Marcé Society medal and is currently a special advisor to the Department of Health on the Family Nurse Partnership and Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond.
Emeritus Professor of Midwifery at Sheffield Hallam University and holds honorary professorial positions at the University of Huddersfield and the University of Technology Sydney. She has worked continuously as a midwife researcher and a clinical midwife for nearly forty years. She recently edited the second edition of The Midwife-Mother Relationship.
Mavis wrote an article for the current issue of Midwifery Matters (Winter 2011 no 131 p3-4) that ties in with the conference ‘Fear, Trust and Safety’.
Dr. Yousry is a Family and Systemic Psychotherapist and Psychologist. He has worked with tens of thousands of people worldwide, facilitating experiential self-development courses through the Essence Process which he has created – a simple, sensitive and unique approach to personal development, grounded in transferring intellectual and theoretical understanding to our day-to-day living experience. His ideas and concepts are derived from deep insight into the human consciousness and manifest in extraordinarily powerful interpersonal group work.
Dr Yousry is the author of “Discover Your Hidden Memory and Find the Real You”, published by Hay House.
Julie Gerland shares her passion for a peaceful thriving world as a co-author, international lecturer, workshop facilitator and professional trainer. With thirty years experience she is a pioneer in the field of prenatal life and the founder of the Holistic Parenting Programme: Preconception to Birth & Beyond… Julie works at national and international levels as the Chief United Nations Representative of the World Organization for Prenatal Education Associations, OMAEP, an NGO with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN. She currently heads the project which will bring the prenatal solution to the RIO+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012. Julie lives with her husband in the French Pyrenees where they co-founded Providence, a holistic retreat.
Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk currently holds the post of Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology, at the University of Dundee, where she has been based since 1993. Her research expertise focuses on the early communicative interactions of parents and infants. In recent years, this has extended to the study of interventions for communicative disorders such as autism, sensory impairment, and dementia.
In 2011, she set up an independent training enterprise to allow her to disseminate more widely the science of the early years. She now spends much of her time speaking to the public about the psychological and neuroscientific bases of communicative interaction. She works closely with organisations throughout the UK to increase awareness of the decisions we take about caring for children, showing how those decisions are integrally connected to our vision for the kind of society we wish to build.
The Founder and Director of Birthlight, Françoise Barbira Freedman is a medical anthropologist at the University of Cambridge, where she does research and teaches as an affiliated lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology.
After spending long periods of fieldwork in Peruvian Amazonia, including two pregnancies and stays with her young family, she was inspired to share the gentle approach to parenting of her Amazonian hosts among friends in the UK. As a trained yoga teacher and therapist, Françoise used the idiom of yoga to create an original programmer of movements and nurturing relaxation for mothers to be and new mothers with their babies.
Having a background of competition swimming and swimming instructor, she also developed Infant Aquatics and Aqua Yoga original programmes. All these activities took place informally in Cambridge around Françoise four children and friends of friends until demand grew and the time came to produce books and videos. Parents and professionals who used these products asked for training and the Birthlight training structure was put in place as a development to training courses offered to Yoga Therapists at the Yoga Biomedical Trust in London.
In 1998, ten years after the first informal Cambridge classes, Birthlight was set up as a registered charity with an adjunct company Birthlight Training Limited. Birthlight courses have grown exponentially from year to year since 2001 and now has over 1500 certified instructors in four major teaching areas, mainly in the UK but increasingly abroad. Françoise is a Board member and adviser of the European Yoga Federation Council.
An expert in her field, Françoise is a speaker at International Conferences. Françoise’s books have now been translated into 11 languages, she has also written articles for numerous yoga journals and pregnancy / baby magazines.
Sally Lomas qualified as an Active birth teacher in 1997 after training at the Active Birth centre in London. She continued her training with Dr Françoise Freedman in Cambridge and qualified as a Birthlight teacher in Antenatal yoga and postnatal mother and baby yoga.
Her Birthlight classes have been running successfully for many years. Sally is now a director of Birthlight Teaching Ltd, Joyful Babies and Dolphin Baby Swimming School. She has been involved in the development of teacher training courses. These courses are offered in many locations and have gained international recognition.
Profession connections include training teachers for Sure start, Touch learn and Kids unlimited. Sally is also a qualified Montessori teacher and councillor and has many years experience working with parents and babies.
She has four children and lives with her partner in Cambridge.
Ingrid Lewis took initiation into Kriya Yoga in 1989. This was followed by Birthlight Yoga and Sivananda Yoga teacher trainings. Ingrid has worked in Germany, the UK and Central Africa in both, allopathic and complementary medicine for over 18 years. She is also a trained Physiotherapist, Public Health Professional, Reflexologist, Reiki-Teacher, Bach Flower Remedies Practitioner & Teacher and Doula. Ingrid works in public health in developing countries and complementary medicine specialising in women’s health.
While living in Congo (Central Africa) she was initiated by Aka hunter-gatherer women into their secret knowledge and ancestral rites. It is vital to reconsider ancient knowledge about the unique female power of reproduction & birth if we are to change the current trend towards intervention during pregnancy, labour and birth. The Aka women have allowed Ingrid to share their wisdom with women in the West to help them birth well. Ingrid’s aim is to enable women to be in charge of their own bodies, birth in dignity and rejoice in their femininity.
David’s practise draws on his years of study and practice in prenatal and birth therapies, working with babies, young children and their families. He also works with parents-to-be and adults. Within a safe setting, he supports each of his clients to develop their inner relationship with themselves and also with those around them. He is based in the UK, working both locally and internationally as a therapist and trainer within First Expression. His journey as a therapist began 20 years ago and has encompassed training in Polarity, Craniosacral, and Prenatal & Birth therapies.
Mary Nolan trained as a nurse in Gloucester in the 1980s and subsequently as an Antenatal Teacher with the NCT (formerly known as the National Childbirth Trust). She started her career as a childbirth and parenting educator in rural Wiltshire and then worked for 16 years in Birmingham with parents from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Her writing career began in the 1990s when she published ‘Being Pregnant, Giving Birth’. This was followed by books on teenage pregnancy, decision making in relation to antenatal testing, and a series on childbirth and parenting education. She has published many papers on birth and parenting education in professional and academic journals. In 2007, she was appointed Professor of Perinatal Education at the University of Worcester where she has undertaken research on women’s and men’s experience of early labour, effective teaching and learning strategies for antenatal parenting education, friendship formation during the transition to motherhood and health visitors’ engagement with fathers in new families. In 2009, she was invited to be a member of the Expert Reference Group convened by the Department of Health in the UK to devise an innovative antenatal parenting education programme based on new evidence pointing to the critical importance of the foundation years (- 9 months to 2 years) in the physical, emotional, social and spiritual development of babies. Since the launch of the Preparation for Birth and Beyond programme last year, she has been training midwives, parent workers and health visitors to deliver it. Mary has presented at conferences in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and advised on the Australian competency standards for childbirth and early parenting educators. She has three daughters and feels very fortunate to have them all living close to where she now lives in the north of England.
We are very fortunate that Desmond Morris who, having given up all his public engagements in person at the age of 84, has kindly agreed to provide us with a video talk.
This larger than life creative scientist and artist, whose explorations of previously untrodden ground between ethology and anthropology are fascinating and inspiring for everyone interested in human communication, has followed up his ‘Baby Watching’ series (1991) with a wonderful book on the foundations of parenting in the first 12 months of life, ‘Baby’. First published in 2008, this book is coming out as a paperback to be released by Octopus on 5th May 2012, in time for our conference!
Desmond Morris will contribute a DVD to the conference, followed by a presentation/debate about how we can best avoid adult-centred bias and adopt ways of parenting that better correspond to the wonderful and highly responsive manners in which babies communicate in their environments.
Since Desmond nearly died of exposure from the known Victorian practice of daily pram time in all weathers, which can be invigorating for some babies but detrimental to others, he feels passionately about the subject and he shows in so many ways that the more we try to think like a baby and learn to look at the world from babies’ points of view, the more we increase our chances of becoming effective parents.