Andreia Gonçalves is a Community Midwife at the University College of London Hospitals. She holds a degree in Nursing from Viana do Castelo School of Health and Midwifery from City University of London. She is a Master in Research Methodologies and attends the PhD in Nursing Sciences at ICBAS.

For about 10 years working in a multicultural society, she has learned to celebrate difference and freedom of choice and to understand that in some contexts the right to choose is not yet a reality. This was one of the conclusions she drew from her research study “Predictors of artificial breastfeeding since birth and discontinuation of breastfeeding,” but mainly from day-to-day experience among women, to watch, to care, and especially to hear.

She advocates the promotion of the physiology of pregnancy and childbirth and the reduction of medicalization in this context, as well as the promotion of a culture without fears, that empowers women. She intends to develop a project of investigation that can produce scientific knowledge to support the creation of new paradigms of assistance in the pregnancy and the childbirth, so that this culture is available to all women.


Andreia Neves is a Cardiopneumologist Specialised in Sleep who has been practicing for 7 years in Laboratory of Sleep Medicine of Centro Hospitalar São João, EPE.

She is a Higher Education Professor at Escola Superior de Saúde do Porto in the Curricular Unit of Study of Sleep and directs curricular internships in the same area.

Andreia is also an science researcher in several projects of Centro Hospitalar São João and Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto.

She attended Level I and Level II of Sleep Medicine Course accredited by the European Sleep Research Society.

She is responsible for the consultation of (pediatric) sleep hygiene at Gimnográvida, Porto.

Anna Maria Rossetti​ is an independent midwife from Monfalcone (GO), Italy, co-founder of the Associazione Centro Benessere Maternità in Florence with Verena Schmid.

She is co-founder of the teaching project ‘SEAO Giovane’ in Florence, created with the purpose of teaching and training Italian midwifes. Midwife since 2004, she worked in obstetrics in a hospital in Milan. She was a humanitarian missionary with the position of ‘cheaf midwife’ in Afghanistan and she has been working as Coordinator Midwife at the P.H.H Hospital of Guernsey (UK).

She is a didactic director and project leader at Scuola ElementaLe di Arte Ostetrica in Florence (

She has been a member of the editorial committee of the midwives “Donna and Donna il giornale delle ostetriche” since 2009 and has participated in several international scientific meetings and congresses.


Diogo Ayres de Campos is Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon and Head of Labor Ward/Obstetrical Emergencies at the Santa Maria Hospital in Lisbon.

He published 120 articles in international journals indexed in Medline, edited 4 books, wrote 1 book and 16 chapters of international books, and presented 152 lectures by invitation at international scientific meetings.

He is Secretary-General of the Federation of Portuguese Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology and President-elect of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine.

Between 2010 and 2018 he joined the Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health Committee of the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology – FIGO. Participated in the WHO’s “Recommendations on antenatal care” and “Intrapartum care and reduction of unnecessary caesarean section” consensus panels.


Mark Harris is registered as midwife and nurse.

He always loved being around people. Having five sisters and three brothers afforded him plenty of practice and now, with 6 children and 6 grand children, he has the opportunity to indulge his passion for people.

The choices he made in his professional life were shaped by this gregarious inclination.

He trained and worked as Nurse, Midwife, Teacher, hypnotherapist and NLP trainer.

Mark still works as a Midwife offering birth education through the Birthing4Blokes programme.
Work and play often merge for him.

He’s the author of the award winning book “Men, Love and Birth”


Mary McNabb became a midwife in 1972 and practised for 10 years in London before becoming a midwife teacher. During this period, she collaborated with midwives to study the effects of regular exercise on labour outcomes. This study stimulated an enduring interest in the effects of maternal fitness on fetal growth and the process of labour and birth. Interest was deepened by an MSc in the at London University in 1992 and by preparing chapters on reproductive biology for the last four editions of Mayes’ Midwifery.

Between 1990 and 2006, Mary was a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery Education at London South Bank University and an occasional lecturer at St George’s & Kingston University until 2011. At South Bank she obtained funding to promote maternal-infant attachment and pursue research on possible analgesic, anxiolytic, relational and metabolic effects of endogenous oxytocin.

Interest in oxytocin continued through research with Linda Kimber and colleagues from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit Oxford, to test the analgesic and anxiolytic effects of the first phase of the LK Massage Programme®.

Collaboration with Linda Kimber continued and the Programme has evolved with new research evidence and feedback from midwives’ practice in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, where Linda has taught the Programme every year since 2009. Since then trained midwives have used the Programme to teach couples to practice massage, breathing and visualisation in the evening, from late pregnancy, during active labour and birth. The intervention has increased spontaneous onset of nocturnal labour and decreased exposure to pharmacological analgesia, and synthetic oxytocin. These positive birth experiences have brought pleasure and joy to parents and midwives alike.

Mary has researched the evidence base for the Programme, to complement maternal circadian physiology and neuronal, neuroendocrine and emotional adaptations from 30-36 weeks’ gestation, until the initiation of suckling-lactation. She works as scientific advisor to Childbirth Essentials® (


Olga Gouni is a Prenatal Psychologist.

She is the Head of the Educational Board of Cosmoanelixis, a Faculty she founded 25 years ago, External Educator at the Kapodistrian University (Athens) and Member of the COST Action Research Group.

She listens to people regressing to their primal experience and discover the root causes of their present health quality or relationships.

She started her carreer by learning with pioneer professionals and has been amazed by the results since early on. More recently, Olga started to share her learnings with professionals that have a found interest in this field.

Today, after more that 25 years of clinical work, research and teaching, Olga’s wish is to create a link between the Academic world and the professionals and people who actually need their services.

Olga is constantly creating and designing (Primordial) Health Advancement Programs to work with pregnant couples, children and families. She also writes, teaches and creates online educational modules in Prenatal Psychology in English and Greek.

She is continuously inspired by Nature and Life.


Soo Downe is a midwife and University Teacher at UCLan, UK (BA(hons), RM, MSc, PhD, OBE).

Soo spent 15 years working as a midwife. In 2001 she joined UCLan where she is now the Professor of Midwifery Studies, and coordinator of the Research in Childbirth and Health group.

Her main research focus is the nature of, and cultures around, normal birth. She is currently the Chair of EU COST Action (IS1405) which is working to maximise positive effects of childbirth for women, babies, families and communities into the longer term. This includes 33 countries and over 120 scientists, policy makers, services users and social activists from a wide range of disciplines.

She is a member of the Board of Directors of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Organisation, and of the Global Respectful Maternity Care Council of the White Ribbon Alliance, a member of the Steering Group for the recent Lancet Midwifery Series, and of the Advisory Group for the latest Lancet Stillbirth Series, and is a co-author on papers in these Series and the forthcoming Lancet Series on Caesarean Section. She has been a member of the Technical Working Groups for several World Health Organization guidelines.

She set up the Northwest clinical midwives research group in 2001, and is now coordinator of the group. She has a seat on the NHS England Better Births Stakeholder Council. She has published over 120 peer reviewed papers, and has undertaken research using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods, in the northwest region, nationally, and internationally.

Thea van Tuyl is a childbirth educator for more than 30 years in the Netherlands.

She joined ENCA (European Network of Childbirth Associations) in 2000 and since then she was invite, together with Hannie Oor, in several European countries to give workshops and lectures about childbirth education.

From 2006 – 2013 she was a trainer of Doula’s and for this training she got interested in rebozo massage. As a yearly visitor of the Midwifery Today congresses she learned about the rebozo from Naoli Vinaver from Mexico. She started to give workshops about this technique in the Netherlands and other European countries.

In 2009 she published a book about rebozo massage, with co-writers Mirjam de Keijzer and Naoli Vinaver This book is also translated in Portuguese by Naoli Vinaver. In English it’s called “The Rebozo Technique Unfolded”.



Alexandrina Mendes is a doctor, attending the last year of training as an obstetrician.

In 2011 she attended the first year of the specialty of Public Health and in 2012 began her journey in the world of the assistance to the birth through the specialty of Obstetrics.

In 2013, motivated by the desire for a more comprehensive and inclusive assistance, she took a Doulas course and is now a member of the Doulas Portuguese Network.

In 2016 she did Mindfulness training for pregnancy and in 2017 started training for Rebirthing.



This page is currently being updated. To know all the speakers please check the programme of the event.