Alexandrina Mendes

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Alexandrina Mendes is an Obstetrician working both in public and private hospitals (Centro Hospital Póvoa do Varzim – Vila do Conde, Hospital de Faro e Hospital de Portimão) as well as in a private health center for women’s integrative health (UTERUS – Saúde Integrativa da Mulher).

She believes that each woman has within her the potential for healing. Her clinical practice is in partnership with women. She has an integrative and respectful approach, promoting informed decisions and freedom of choice.

She attended a Doula course, motivated by the willing of a more comprehensive assistance, and is now a member of the Portuguese Network of Doulas. She also highlights the Mindfulness for Pregnancy and Rebirthing courses as important formative contributions to her integrative perspective of caring.



Andreia Antunes

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Andreia Antunes is a Physiotherapist, with a Post-Graduate Course in Physiotherapy in Women’s Health from the Escola Superior do Alcoitão and in Sexology by the Portuguese Society of Clinical Sexology. She obtained the title of Specialist in Physiotherapy in 2015 by the Escola Superior de Saúde do Alcoitão and Polytechnic Institute of Porto.

From a very early stage, her clinical practice focused exclusively on Women’s Health, more specifically in Pelvic Floor Health. In recent years, her area of focus is sexuality, its relationship with the function and dysfunction of the pelvic floor. She works in a multidisciplinary team, in the treatment of Sexual Dysfunctions.

Additionally, she collaborates as an educator with several entities in the area of the Pelvic Floor and Women’s Health. She shares digital content about pelvic health at @lets_be_pelvic_serious. Andreia has a private practice in Porto and Lisboa.

Andreia Gonçalves

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Andreia Gonçalves is a PhD Fellow from the Foundation of Science and Technology at the University of Porto, Portugal, and a Community Midwife at the University College of London Hospitals, United Kingdom (UK). She holds a degree in Nursing, from Escola Superior de Saúde de Viana do Castelo, a degree in Midwifery from City, university of London and a MSc in Social Research Methods from the University of Surrey, UK.

Working for over 10 years in a multicultural society, she has learned to celebrate the difference and freedom of choice and to understand that in some contexts “choice” 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 also from her day-to-day experience with women, observing, caring and hearing what they have to say.

She advocates for the promotion of “normality” in pregnancy and birth, and a culture that empowers women to make the right choices for them. She is undertaking a research study aiming to produce scientific evidence to support the creation of new paradigms of antenatal care for women in Portugal.

Catarina Marcelino
Ex-Secretary of State of Citizenship and Equality

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Catarina Parente
Coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Conscious Parenting Facilitator

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Catarina Parente has a license degree in Speech Therapy and Language Therapy and Master’s degree in the social area. She loves to connect with people. In her personal and professional path, she had the opportunity to connect with people and families with whom she learned and overcame challenges.

Over the years, she felt the need to acquire tools to facilitate/ enable her to live her life in an authentic and balanced way. As such, she is a certified Conscious Parenting Facilitator, Coaching, a Master in Neurolinguistic Programming and, recently, an Official LASEr Trainer.

Currently, she is dedicated to professional projects related to Education/Conscious Parenting in the private sector and in schools. She holds workshops / training sessions, coaching sessions for individuals, parents and/or family members.
She also works as an Assistant in the certification of Neurolinguistic Programming Coach and Practitioner with Coach Pedro Vieira. Her main goal is to inspire and positively influence people and herself.

Cristina Rodrigues
Member of the Portuguese Parliament

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Cristina Rodrigues is a Member of the Portuguese Parliament since October 2019 and a member of the parliamentary commissions on Agriculture and Sea and on Culture and Communication. Among other topics, she brought to the Portuguese Parliament the debate about the rights of women, including the initiative for the creation of “birth centers” in Portugal.

She has a degree in Law and a certified Lawyer although she has suspended her membership of the Portuguese Lawyers representative Council to exercise her political mandate in exclusivity. She has a master’s degree in Legal and Business Sciences and two postgraduate degrees, in Animal Law and in Territory Management with a specialization in Environment and Natural Resources.

She has also experience as a victim support technician and a pro-bono lawyer for victims of domestic violence and animal activism associations.

Cátia Oliveira
Clinical Psychologist and Sexual Therapist: UTERUS®

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Cátia Oliveira graduated in Psychology at the University of Coimbra with a very clear objective: to develop herself, scientifically and humanely, as a Clinical Psychologist. She wished to intervene as efficiently as possible in the different psychological difficulties that so often contribute to low levels of health, and quality of life.

She had her first contact with the area of Human Sexuality when she joined the Clinical Psychology Master’s Degree programme, and that kicked off her path as a researcher. She is a member of the Human Sexuality Research Laboratory (Sexlab), founded in 2008 and the first of its kind in Portugal and where different experimental and clinical studies in this research area are developed. She wrote a PhD thesis in Female Sexual Pain and in parallel became a Sex Therapist for the Portuguese Society of Clinical Sexology. Around this time, she also started her practice and training in 3rd Generation Mindfulness and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies.

Over the years, her clinical practice and research has developed in different aspects of Clinical Psychology and Sexology. By accompanying women, men and couples, it became clear how much pregnancy, the birth of a baby and parenting are central and determining events in different biopsychosocial processes of the individual, the couple and the family, namely in mental health and sexuality.

Eluned Gold
Director of Training: Mindful Birthing and Parenting Foundation
(United Kingdom)

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Eluned Gold has been working in the field of health and well-being for
more than 40 years, as a therapist and mindfulness teacher. She
considers herself very fortunate to have trained to teach Mindfulness-
Based Stress Reduction with Ferris Urbanowski and other teachers
from the Center for Mindfulness in Massachusetts in 2001, and later in
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy with Mark Williams.

Eluned subsequently worked as a Mindfulness teacher and trainer for
the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice Bangor University,
for 20 years. Whilst working at CMRP Eluned was Director of Continuing
Professional Development, responsible for curriculum development and
training standards for mindfulness teacher training and here she
developed the Teacher Training Pathway.

Eluned retired in 2017 from this role to take up her current role as
‘Director of Training’ with the Mindful Birthing and Parenting
FoundationShe is excited to be involved with the work of bringing
mindfulness to families at the beginning of their parenting journey. The
faculty at MBPF have developed a course specifically for new parents,
Mindfulness-based Early Parenting.

Eluned has 4 children and 4 grandchildren (to date) and lives in N.
Wales UK, where she offers mindfulness classes and mindfulness
teacher training to groups and individuals, and organisations, especially
professionals working with families.

Filipa Lopes

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Filipa Lopes is a Nurse-Midwife and is part of a multidisciplinary team at the Maternity Clinic Clínica de Santo António – Lusíadas (Amadora), that has been working towards the promotion of natural and physiological births and positive childbirth experiences. Her Master’s thesis was entitled “Non-pharmacological strategies for the relief of labour pain: the effectiveness of hydrotherapy” and she co-authored other scientific papers related to this topic.

In 2019 she joined the Nursing Research and Development Unit of the Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa, where she is part of the women’s health research group and focus on intrapartum non-pharmacological pain relief methods.

Isabel Ferreira
President of Vozes da Mulher® Association

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Isabel Ferreira is a Nurse-Midwife.
She is a founding partner of UTERUS – Saúde Integrativa da Mulher, and a mother of 3 children. She is currently doing a PhD in Nursing Sciences, and her thesis is entitled ”Nurse-midwives practices for the promotion of normal birth and positive birth experiences – an intervention”.

She is a Breastfeeding Counsellor (by WHO / UNICEF), Infant Massage Instructor (by APMI), Aquatic Pre-natal Preparation and Acclimatization of Babies to Water Instructor (by Aquanatal) and Evidence Based Birth® Instructor (by Evidence Based Birth® Academy). She also holds a postgraduate degree in the Anatomia Y Movimiento® method, by Núria Vives.

She set herself into a mission to promote the quality of sexual and reproductive health care in Portugal, as well as defend women´s rights.  This, led her to create, alongside Diana Lopes, the non-profit organization Vozes da Mulher, which she presides, and to accept the challenge to be the Vice -President of the Portuguese Association of Nurse-Midwives (APEO).

Her work as a nurse-midwife follows the principles of the Midwifery-Led Continuity Model of Care, and she has experience in waterbirths and homebirths in Portugal.
Her work of over a decade in organizing and delivering courses and workshops for couples in preparation for childbirth and parenting, and her own postgraduate training in the area of maternal and fetal health have helped her to develop empowerment and self-capacitation strategies, building an unique method in the care of the woman, the couple and the family.

Her passion for women’s integrative health also led her to deepen knowledge and develop skills in the promotion of women’s sexual health.

Lastly, she has organized and delivered postgraduate training courses for nurse-midwifes, and have been invited to teach at different universities in the country


Kerstin Uvnãs-Moberg
Physician and Researcher

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Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg is a physician and professor of physiology with a research focus on the healing aspects of oxytocin. She is a specialist in women’s health and female physiology and has worked within these fields for more than 30 years.

She is a pioneer in research about oxytocin,”the hormone of love and wellbeing”, and was one of the first researchers to point out the behavioural, psychological and physiological effects of oxytocin during birth, breastfeeding and menopause.

Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg found among other things that oxytocin reduces pain and anxiety, decreases blood pressure and reduces the levels of stress hormones in both sexes. She also found that the speed, by which wounds and other types of physical damage heal, increases and that atrophic (thin) mucosal membranes become rejuvenated. The latter research findings form the basis for patents and clinical studies with the aim to create a pharmaceutical drug for relief of menopausal symptoms.

Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg’s discoveries have e.g. helped to stimulate the development of oxytocin to become a pharmaceutical drug, to be used to increase social competence in autistic individuals, to decrease anxiety, stress and depression and to increase wellbeing.

Today Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg, who has written more than 400 
scientific articles and several books on oxytocin, (which have been translated into 10 languages), is still publishing scientific articles and is involved in new book projects.


Leonor Mineiro

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Ana Leonor Mineiro became a nurse in 2004, and a midwife in 2009. In 2018 she completed a Master’s degree in Maternal Health Nursing. She works in the Labour Ward and Obstetric Emergency Service of the Garcia de Orta Hospital, in Almada.

She has guided her professional path by developing her knowledge and skills, through continuous training, experience and reflective practice. A few examples are courses taught by international recognised experts such as Denis Walsh, Mauricio Kruchik, Núria Vives, Anna Maria Rossetti, Barbara Harper, Jennifer Walker, Janet Balaskas and Kerstin Uvnas Moberg.

She has participated as author and co-author of oral communications and posters in various scientific meetings. She is part of the project “Parto Verticalizado” (vertical birth), at the Garcia de Orta Hospital since 2012.
She also collaborates with the Nursing Research and Development Unit of the Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa since 2019.

Linda Kimber
Midwife: Childbirth Essentials®
 (United Kingdom)

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Linda Kimber is the director of Childbirth Essentials®.

She qualified as a midwife in 1974 and worked as a community midwife for 18 years, promoting natural birth. At the end of the 1980’s, Linda completed massage, aromatherapy and reflexology courses and started using massage within her practice working as a community midwife.

During the mid 90’s she began developing a structured use of massage to support women, babies and birth partners during the antenatal and intrapartum periods, and the Programme started to evolve. It continued to grow following valuable feedback from couples and from her own observations.
The Programme then became underpinned by science, following Linda’s meeting with Mary McNabb in 2001.

In 2003, she worked as a research midwife and completed a feasibility study in partnership with Mary McNabb, Anne Haines and Professor Christine McCourt, with support from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit. The study used the LK Massage Programme® and explored the value of massage in reducing the need for pharmacological analgesia in labour; during the feasibilty study, Linda developed further massage techniques and introduced other elements. Following the feasibility study, a Pilot RCT was conducted.

Since 2009, Linda has been teaching the evidenced based information and integrating this with the practical elements of the programme to midwives in Hong Kong and more recently in Taiwan and China, working closely with Mary McNabb as scientific advisor.



Marta Antonelli
Researcher CONICET

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Marta C. Antonelli received her Biochemist and PhD degree in Neurochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Upon receiving her PhD degree, she moved to Seattle, USA, for a postdoctoral stay at the Veterans Administration Medical Center/University of Washington.

Back in Buenos Aires, she is currently head of the Laboratory of Perinatal Programming of Neurodevelopment at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires and holds a position as Principal Researcher of the CONICET (National Argentinian Research Council).

She served as President of the Neurotoxicity Society and serves as Vice-president of the Argentine Society for Neuroscience at present.

For more than 30 years she centered her studies in the regulation of the dopaminergic neurotransmission in rodents and more recently in the offspring outcome of a rat model of prenatal stress. This extended background in neurodevelopmental programming prompt her to develop a translational project in collaboration with Dr. Silvia Lobmaier at the Frauenklinik und Poliklinik, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany as recipient of the August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professorship Program (Technische Universität München, TUM) for two consecutive periods. 

She was recently awarded with the Hans Fischer Senior Fellow (Institute for Advanced Study, TUM, Munich, Germany) to investigate the feasibility of identifying early non-invasive pre- and postnatal biomarkers of brain programming due to intrauterine stress exposure.  A combination of non-invasive physiological measures of the stress response system that are unequivocally linked to prenatal stress could be employed as predictive biomarkers of the child neurodevelopmental outcome  helping  to detect “at-risk children” as early as possible in order to take the decision to face early stimulation programs, whenever no prevention measures in the mother can be timely taken.

Marta Antonelli has authored and co-authored more than 70 articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed international publications and was the Guest Editor of the Advances in Neurobiology Series with the title: “Perinatal Programming of Neurodevelopment”.

Marta Lima
Anthropologist, Hypnotherapist and Doula

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Marta Lima is a transpersonal hypnotherapist, hypnobirthing instructor, doula, breastfeeding counsellor and founder of Nascimento Consciente, 2011.

With a degree in Anthropology, during the pregnancy of her second daughter in 2007, she was shocked at how women and babies were being treated by the overly interventionist biomedical culture and decided to look for a conscious and kind way to receive their baby in the world. By realizing the transformative power of birth for a woman and the implications it has on the future life of the baby, she has made several courses that allow her to accompany parents on their own journey of parenting, in which they learn to transform fears and make conscious choices.

Using hypnotherapy, she also guides people into their “re-birth”, meeting their true essence, transforming everything that no longer serves them.


Mary McNabb

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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®.



Nancy Bardacke
Midwife: Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting Program®
(United States of America)

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Nancy Bardacke, midwife, mindfulness teacher, and the founding director of the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) Program, has been assisting birthing families since 1971. A longtime meditation practitioner, Nancy began her professional training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reductions (MBSR) with Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, in 1994. After teaching MBSR for a number of years, Nancy began adapting the program to meet the needs of pregnant women and their partners, creating the MBCP program. Nancy has taught MBCP to more than 1500 expectant parents and has trained hundreds of MBCP teachers across six continents.

​Nancy was an Assistant Clinical Professor in the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing and served as the Director of the MBCP program at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at UCSF until she retired in 2017. Nancy and her colleague, Larissa Duncan, PhD, Director of the Center for Child and Family Well-Being, School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have developed a robust research program to study the impact of mindfulness skills in reducing stress, and anxiety during pregnancy, pain during childbirth, and enhanced atonement between parents and their infants after birth. Nancy is also in collaboration with colleagues globally who are developing MBCP Instructor Training Courses, as well as researchers who are studying the impact of the MBCP program on expectant parents and their babies.

Nancy’s award-winning book, Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond was published in July 2012 by HarperOne and has been translated into Dutch, German, French, Turkish, Romanian, and Chinese. 


Núria Vives
Childbirth Educator: Períneo,
Integração e Movimento®

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Núria Vives has Pedagogy degree from Universidade Autónoma de Barcelona and Universidade de la Sorbonne, Paris. Núria is a psychomotor therapist at the Universidade Central de Barcelona and a member of the Sensory Awareness Leaders Guild, from Charlotte Selver.

She has been studying and collaborating with Blandine Calais-Germain for thirty-five years, with whom she wrote the book “Parir en Movimiento”, already in its Fourth Edition (2009 Ed.Liebre de Marzo).

Since 2007, she has been involved in the implementation of the new protocols of “Strategy for Childbirth on Normal Labour” from the Ministry of Health in the hospitals of the various Spanish autonomous communities.

Núria created the “Ciclo Parir en Movimiento: Anatomía Funcional del Parto Fisiológico®”, and has been training midwives, physiotherapists and other professionals all over the World. She also created the professional training “Períneo, Integração e Movimento®” and “Parto e Movimento®” programmes.



Patrícia Lemos
 Menstrual Health and Fertility Educator:
Círculo Perfeito®

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Patrícia Lemos is menstrual health and fertility educator, an accredited instructor in Natural Family Planning (UK) and holds a Masters in Society, Risk and Health.

She is certified in the “Fertile Body Method”, in monitoring of medically assisted fertility treatments, hypnobirthing and menstrual cycle education for girls

Educator and an Activist, in 2010 she founded Círculo Perfeito®, a pioneer educational project in Portugal for menstrual education, maintenance of fertility and body literacy.

She is a member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and the International Association for Premenstrual Disorders, and author of Não é só sangue – uma conversa sobre o ciclo menstrual (Portugal, 2021),  Período – Um Guia para Descomplicar (Portugal, 2020) and “The Goddess in You” (United Kingdom, 2017).


Ramón Escuriet

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Ramón Escuriet is currently working at Catalan Health Service as Health Commissioner for Sexual and Reproductive Health.

He has been coordinator of the Normal Birth Care Program at the Catalan Ministry of health from 2008 to 2017.

Lecturer of the Faculty of Health Sciences Blanquerna-University Ramon Llull, and collaborator of the Research Centre in Economics and Health (CRES), Ramón is also President of the National Commission of Midwives and board member of the National Commission for Health Specialties at the Ministry of Health, Social Affairs and Equality (Spain). He’s the Director of the Midwifery training program in Catalonia.

Ramón is the principal investigator of MidconBirth Study (ISRCTN17833269) involving 45 hospitals in Spain and the Republic of Ireland.

He participates in different international research projects about intrapartum care and practices and perinatal mental health (Cost Action 907, COST Action 405 and COST Action 18381 and QUALI-DEC H2020). His research interest is focused on health services organisation and reproductive health rights.


Sara Albuquerque
Clinical Psychologist

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Sara Albuquerque holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Universidade de Coimbra.

She has published several articles in scientific journals and wrote book chapters focused on the individual and couple adjustments of parents who have lost children, more specifically in grief, trauma, dyadic coping, post-traumatic growth and bonding processes.

She is in the process of completing the Postgraduate course in Grief Therapists (SPEIL – Portuguese Society for Studies and Research in Grief) and has a degree in Crisis and Trauma Intervention from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (intervention in individual crisis, peer support and group crisis intervention).

Currently a Clinical Psychologist at the Mourning Consultation, PIN Development Centre in Lisbon, she plays an essential role on the assessment and intervention with children, adolescents and adults in grieving process, chronic illness and in divorce situations. She has lectured several workshops about mourning and emotional regulation and collaborates annually in the Mourning and Family module of the Integrated Psychology Master of the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Lisbon.

Sara do Vale
President of Portuguese Association for the Women’s Rights in Pregnancy and Childbirth

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Sara do Vale is the president and founder of Associação Portuguesa pelos Direitos da Mulher na Gravidez e Parto (Portuguese Association for Women’s Rights in Pregnancy and Childbirth). Together with a multidisciplinary team of volunteers, she works every day to make human rights in pregnancy and childbirth a reality in PortugalShe was trained as a Doula in England by the Nurturing Birth Organization and has assisted women during labour and birth in the most varied contexts, choices, wishes and clinical conditions.

She has three children. She characterizes her first labour experience (in hospital) as ´very difficult´: “I felt totally at the mercy of what they were doing to me”. As for the second experience of labour, also in the hospital, she characterizes it as “wonderful, respected and empowering”. Her last birth experience was at home: “a positive and transforming experience where I finally felt what it was like to be the protagonist of my story.”

Sara believes that women deserve to be the leading characters of their own experience of pregnancy and labour and that there are excellent professionals that guide them in this direction. However, she feels there is still much to be done in this matter, in Portugal and the rest of the world.

Saritta Nápoles

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Saritta Nápoles is an obstetrician, graduated by the Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil, with post-graduation in Gynecology and Obstetrics by the University Hospital Cassiano António de Moraes.

In 1982 she moved to Portugal, where she completed the Internship in Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Hospital de Famalicão

She has attended several postgraduate courses related to prenatal care, preparation for childbirth and childbirth assistance.

Since her initial training she has always been an advocate for minimal intervention during childbirth, but it was during one of these postgraduate courses, and in view of the scientific evidence presented, that she put  all the knowledge and training acquired since her internship in perspective. For the last six years she “migrated” definitively to a paradigm of humanization of childbirth and decided to invest in what she always believed: the strength and power of a woman.

Since then, she has been implementing changes in the care of women at the Centro Hospitalar do Médio Ave, where she still works today.

She has been the driving motion of the Birth Plan Consultation and the Aromatherapy Protocol for non-pharmacological induction of labour.

Saritta is the founder and facilitator of the GravidAtiva Program, which encourages healthy life choices, such as the practice of physical activity in pregnancy and good nutrition.

She is also the creator of the project “A Sensory Labour Ward” at CHMA, where she adopts the Snoezelen therapy in order to create a non-hospital environment, transmitting safety and empowering women.  

In 2020 she launched her most recent project:, an interactive website that aims to promote informed decision-making for women and to facilitate the communication with health professionals of their expectations and desires, through birth plans.


Sílvia Rodrigues

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Sílvia Rodrigues is a Nurse-Midwife with a Post-Graduation in Quality Management and Health Auditing, a Masters in Education with Specialization in Health Education and a PhD in Child Studies with Specialization in Child Health.

She is a reviewer of Revista Ciencia y Enfermería and a Doctoral student in Nursing Sciences. Sílvia has a special interest in pelvic floor health.


Susanne Houd

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Susanne Houd is a certified Midwife and Psychotherapist with a Master of Public Health.
She is a midwife with a wide experience of working in both western settings and in developing countries.

She has worked as a consultant for WHO with focus on appropiate technology for pregnancy and birth. She has also been working in very remote areas in North Canada and from 2004 to 2016 on the isolated coast of East Greenland as the only trained midwife.

Susanne has an extensive clinical experience both in hospital and in homebirths. She is working closely with MIPA (Movimento Internationale Parto Attivo), in Italy, giving courses for midwives, nurse midwives, and other health professionals.

She has been part of implementing the first Midwifery program in Canada as well as having been the director of the Midwifery program in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Since 2015 she has been Senior Clinical Advisor for the organisation Maternity Foundation with focus on Ethiopia.

Susanne Houd has published several articles and books, being the latest “Emergenze nel parto. Riconoscerle e gestirle in team” (2013), and is at the moment working on a research project intitled “Giving birth in arctic rural East Greenland”.






Emília Coutinho
Nurse-midwife and Professor at ESSV

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Emília de Carvalho Coutinho, is an university professor at Politécnico de Viseu. She concluded a PhD in Nursing Sciences from the Universidade do Porto, in 2014.

She is an active member of the MEioS Project (Mediação Intercultural e Outcomes em Saúde), which involves multi-institutional work between ESSS-IPSantarém, ESSViseu-IPV, ISCTE-CRIA-IUL, CEMRI/UAb-Lisboa, ESTSL-IPL, the High Commissioner for Migration: I.P., among others.

She integrates community outreach networks, through an institutional partnership with the High Commissioner for Migration: Higher Education Network in Intercultural Mediation; Mentors for Migrants Program, and Local Support Center for the Integration of Migrants (CLAIM) – Politécnico Viseu.

The main focus of her study and scientific publications is the area of interculturality, cultural competence, migration and inclusion, where she actively researches and develops her work.

She is the lead for the “Mission for Inclusion” in IPV, a member of SPECULA (Observatory for Violence and Gender in Viseu) and is an educator in these areas. 


Joana Faria
Nurse-midwife at UTERUS

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Joana Faria is a nurse and midwife and a mother of 2 boys, whose births were, for different reasons, absolutely transformative experiences.

She works as a nurse-midwife at the Vila Nova de Gaia Hospital since 2009 where she is currently part of the Obstetrics Department Team. Additionally, she works as an independent midwife, collaborating with UTERUS and Razão d’Ser since 2013, caring for couples during pregnancy and birth (including waterbirths)
She has felt the need to supplement her technical and scientific knowledge with internationally renowned professionals, such as Núria Vives, Anna Maria Rossetti, and Barbara Harper (Waterbirth International®).

She has been a member of the Organizing and Scientific Committees of “Nascer Positivo – International Meeting on New Birth Paradigms” since its first edition.

She believes that pregnancy and childbirth are (almost always) natural and physiological events that evoke the strength and power of a woman and family and therefore must be respected in all their essence.


Paula Clara Santos
Physiotherapist and Professor at ESS

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Paula Clara Santos is a Physiotherapist. She holds a PhD in Physical Activity and Health, from the Faculty of Sports of the University of Porto and a Master’s in Public Health, from the Faculty of Medicine.

She currently works as an adjunct professor at Escola Superior de Saúde – Porto where she teaches several Physiotherapy modules at undergraduate, Masters and PhD levels.
She is a member of the Research Centre for Physical Activity, Health, and Leisure of the University of Porto, she also collaborates with the Research and Rehabilitation Centre and is a member of the Women’s Health Interest Group of the Portuguese Association of Physiotherapists.

She has published several papers in the area of Women’s Health in scientific journals and she wrote book chapters. She has also consulted on several undergraduate and master’s projects in the area of Health Promotion and Women’s Health.


Rui Carrapato
Paediatrician and Professor at UFP

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Manuel Rui Carrapato holds a PhD in Pediatrics, is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Professor of Pediatrics at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Fernando Pessoa University. He is also a Scientific Training Coordinator at the Fernando Pessoa University School Hospital.

He was a Visiting Professor at Dubrovnik International University and Medical School University of Rijeka, Croatia, as well as the University of Medicine and Pharmacy V Babes, Timisoara, Romania
He was the President of the Portuguese Society of Neonatology between 1994 and 1996 and of the Centre of Perinatology of the North region between 1996 and 2002.

He presided over the European Association of Perinatal Medicine between 1998 and 2002 and the World Association of Perinatal Medicine between 2005 and 2007. He has been a member of the International Academy of Perinatal Medicine since 2005.

He is an honorary member of the Romanian Society of Perinatal Medicine, the Polish Society of Perinatal Medicine, the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Spanish Society of Neonatology, the Russian Association of Perinatal Medicine and the Association of Perinatal Medicine of the Republic of Moldova.

In 2012 he received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Medicine and Pharmacy V Babes Timisoara, Romania. He was also awarded the William Liley Medal, Fetus as a Patient Society in 2011 and, two years later, the Erich Saling Prize by the World Association of Perinatal Medicine.

His contribution to research and investigation includes 54 publications and 284 participations in national or international lectures.