Recently, GOD International members Celesta Bargatze and Megan Ssekabira were chosen as featured speakers at the Empower Your Birth Conference in Nashville, Tennessee--an honor that shows their expertise in the birth field, and the respect they've gleaned in the area. Empower Your Birth is an annual conference that offers resources and education to pregnant women and their families through the gathering of birth professionals, chiropractors, massage therapists, and others with specialties that benefit mothers and babies. The event has hosted Penny Simkin, Ina May Gaskin, Dr. Lee Norton, and many other birth professionals that have made immeasurable contributions to the field of labor and birth. Speakers covered topics ranging from choosing the right care provider, identifying birth trauma, questions for fathers, Cesarean and VBAC awareness, all the way to practicing exercise techniques aimed at bringing mothers comfort during pregnancy, labor and birth.
This year, we were honored to participate in the conference through offering our own Megan Ssekabira, a Certified Labor Doula and Childbirth Educator, and Celesta Bargatze, a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), as featured speakers. Megan taught about practical ways that moms and dads can mentally, physically, and emotionally prepare for a healthy birth. She educated parents on the importance of decision-making, formulating preferences, and surrounding themselves with an empowering support system, encouraging parents that welcoming their baby can be a season full of confidence and love.
Based on her experience as a home birth midwife, Celesta was able to offer families practical advice and scientific evidence supporting the need for rest in the postpartum period. She focused on the practical need for a woman to recover from the trying process of labor, and the psychological need for women to bond with their children and feel loved and cared for during the process of recovery.
Both Celesta and Megan have worked to support women during pregnancy and birth while on the field in Uganda, and continue to serve as full-time birth workers in the U.S. Celesta, already a midwife, and Megan, an aspiring midwife, will both bring with them a life-saving skill to the women of Uganda, an area in which 440 out of every 100,000 mothers will not survive childbirth, and where 62% of women deliver without the benefit of a health facility or a skilled birth attendant (read more). The opportunity that Celesta and Megan have to gain mastery in the birth field here in Nashville will have profound impact on the futures of countless families in Uganda in the very near future.
Cheyney, Melissa, Marit Bovbjerg, Courtney Everson, Wendy Gordon, Darcy Hannibal, and Saraswathi Vedam. "Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009." Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health 59, no. 1 (2014): 17-27.