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.

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Isabel Ferreira is a Nurse-Midwife and a Master in Maternal and Obstetrical Health Nursing. She is the founder of Gimnográvida – Preparation for Parto e Maternidade, Lda (www.gimnogravida.pt) and a mother of 3 children. She is currently doing her PhD in Nursing Sciences, with the thesis “Intervention in the practices of nurses specializing in the promotion of normal birth and positive birth experiences”.

She is a Breastfeeding Counselor, certified by WHO / UNICEF, an Infant Massage Instructor, certified by APMI, Aquanatal and Acclimatization of Babies to Water Instructor, certified by Aquanatal and Evidence Based Birth® instructor, certified by Evidence Based Birh® Academy. She also has a postgraduate degree in the Anatomy and Movement® method of Núria Vives and she has attended several other complementary postgraduate training courses in the area of assistance to women in their life cycle, in prenatal care, newborn care, and prenatal education, according to psycho-neuro-endocrine-immunologic approach.

With the deepening of the knowledge during the specialization and masters, the extra motivation to initiate a search, inside and outside the country, for models of intervention in the area of maternal and obstetrical health moved by the scientific evidence and the human values. She has attended and organized various courses and training courses for professionals, learning from midwife nurses, prenatal educators, obstetricians, pediatricians, anthropologists and other professionals from Portugal and from various parts of the world in search of what is best for the health of the woman and her baby in this crucial period of their lives.

She became an independent nurse midwife, developing and improving skills related to the support and follow-up of the couple during pregnancy and physiological birth, in and out of water, postpartum support and breastfeeding counseling.
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Marta Lima is a transpersonal hypnotherapist, hypnotizing instructor, doula, breastfeeding counselor and founder of “Nascimento Consciente” – 2011 (https://nascimentoconsciente.wordpress.com/).

With a degree in Anthropology, at the time of her second daughter’s gestation in 2007, she was amazed 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 this 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 formations that allow her to accompany her parents on their own journey of parenting, in which they learn to transform fears and make choices aware.

Using hypnotherapy, he also guides people into their new birth, meeting their true essence, transforming all that no longer serves them.

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Maret Dymond-Basset is a Clinical Psychologist passionate about how we support parents in our society and how we can enrich and strengthen our families and relationships from early childhood into old age. She is also interested in the importance of wellbeing in the workplace, in how we gain and maintain the elusive work-life balance and mental and physical health in the fast paced, information-technology based and demanding environments within which we live and work.

She has a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southampton (DClinPsych), and an undergraduate psychology degree (BA Hons) and postgraduate research doctorate (PhD) in perinatal psychology from the University of Reading. Her professional training gave her a good grounding in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), attachment theory and experience of Systemic / Family Therapy and Cognitive-Analytical Therapy (CAT).

She is registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a listed MBCT and MBCP teacher with the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations, working towards their UK Good Practice Guidelines for Mindfulness-Based Teachers. She is a visiting academic at the University of Southampton and an Affiliate of the Center for Child and Family Wellbeing, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She also began exploring mindfulness personally as a student in the 1990’s and then later in the 2000’s she trained in: Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) with The British Isles DBT Training Team; Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) at The Oxford Mindfulness Centre, University of Oxford with Professor Mark Williams; and Mindfulness-Based Childbirth & Parenting (MBCP) with it’s founder Nancy Bardacke, RNM.

In her roles at the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre, she led a project investigating the acceptability and usefulness of MBCP in the UK and currently train others to teach MBCT and MBCP, including as a tutor on their Master of Studies in MBCT programme.

She is married with two young children and live in the New Forest. She enjoys being in nature, spending time with loved ones and reading.

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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® (https://www.childbirthessentials.co.uk/en/)

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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). Other positions: 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). Director of the Midwifery training program in Catalonia.

He 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.

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