Controversies in Childbirth Conference: March 2009, Dallas TX

I just heard about this conference recently, and I’m very curious. It’s called the Controversies in Childbirth Conference: A National Forum for Discussing and Debating Differing Viewpoints on Today’s Childbirth Practice. It’s being held in Dallas/Ft. Worth TX on March 27-29, 2009. From the conference website:

The Only Conference Bringing Together: Obstetricians, Pediatricians, Family Physicians, Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Professional Midwives, Certified Midwives, Nurses, Doulas, Educators, Lactation Professionals, Hospital Administrators, Health Insurers, Regulators, Advocates, Legislators and Insurers to address the major contemporary controversies in childbirth.

This Birth Conference is Neutral Territory! No predetermined outcomes or agenda. This birth conference is not produced by any organization beholden to its membership or other group. Many seminars will be debate format or panels with opposing viewpoints.  We will examine, debate and discuss: Evidence, Economics, Perception and Politics.

Sample Topics:

  • Is the current U.S. maternity care system sustainable?
  • Are medical interventions good or bad?
  • Do birth advocates hurt their own cause?
  • Will reducing c-sections overload the system?
  • Can normal birth be profitable?
  • How can nurses advocate for their educated patient against the physician?
  • Is there value in labor pain?-  The Epidural Debate.

Can a conference that tries to bring together OBs, midwives, doulas every truly be neutral territory? I’m also a tad suspicious as it seems to be hosted by a company, not a non-profit organization. Perhaps this is a money making venture rather than a true effort to create dialogue? (This might be my non-profit biases coming through). Also there does not appear to be a host committee or sponsoring organizations that are not advertisers or other companies.

The sponsoring company is called “The Business of Birth” and their slogan is “Making the Business of Birth profitable for you!” Now I don’t know about all of you, but that is not exactly my goal. I believe its the business aspects of birth that have created the mess we are in right now, where c-sections rates are skyrocketing and midwives can’t practice because of malpractice costs.

Anyone know anything about this conference? I’m very curious to know more.


6 thoughts on “Controversies in Childbirth Conference: March 2009, Dallas TX

  1. Anne July 22, 2008 / 2:37 pm


    This is hosted by a for-profit company and trust me they do not have the best interests of anyone but their own pocketbooks in mind.

  2. Larissa July 23, 2008 / 4:01 pm

    I believe it is the company of the spouse of a prominent natural birth author and speaker. The conference was pitched at the recent DONA International meeting, which is where I was told this info.

  3. Ruth July 23, 2008 / 4:21 pm

    I agree with your sceptisim. This is Robbie Floyd-Davis husbands company. The author of an excellent book “Birth as an American Right of Passage”. Robbie is a fascinating speaker, however i too have a lot of mixed feeling about spending so much money to attend a conference where I don’t care nor do I want to hear Ob’s whine about hospital policies and malpractice that makes them do it to women.

    If it was local in NYC I would attend, i will not spend almost a thousand bucks between airfare, conference fee, hotel and food money. Nope does not sound that good.

  4. radicaldoula July 23, 2008 / 4:42 pm

    Wow–that’s new information for me! Thanks Larissa and Ruth. I know Robbie Davis-Floyd’s work well, and I really respect her. I studied anthropology in college and have also heard her speak at conferences.

    I’m not sure what to make of this, and whether it means that she is involved in the planning. Being married to someone does not mean that your professional worlds are linked, although this is very much her field.

    The language of the conference just befuddles me even more knowing that it is her husband! It just doesn’t seem like her. Maybe I should email her…

  5. Kiran regmi November 19, 2008 / 10:43 am

    My PhD thesis is on childbirth and it is related to culture and childbirth. My informants are from remote areas of Nepal, which is my home land and work place. I am eager to know more about htis conference.

  6. Leigh October 31, 2009 / 7:24 pm

    Hi all,

    This Alan Huber guy is putting on the “second annual” Controversies in Childbirth conference in Feb. and I am trying to get the word out. This is the scumbag who singlehandedly almost bankrupted Waterbirth International. He has sued at LEAST two midwives that I know of. He’s probably going to sue me for saying these things because he loves nothing more than to sue and take advantage of midwives. I’m very very sorry that Robbie has fallen so hard for him that she can’t see him for the evil jerk that he is. Please, don’t support him, his for-profit company, his blog, or anything else about Alan Huber. Let’s hope that some day Robbie comes to realize the truth about him, and repents for exposing all her sisters in the birth world to his predatory ways. Oh, and I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I get a letter from his attorney. I’m sure it’s on the way. Peace!

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