Waterbirth Certification Tour-Spain 2017

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Waterbirth Certification Tour-Spain 2017

Waterbirth Certification Course, Barcelona, Spain May 2017. Lunch time tour of new waterbirth tub and birth suite.

Lunch time tour of the new waterbirth room at the Hospital Del Mar, Barcelona, during the May 2017 Professional Waterbirth Certification Course for midwives and doctors.

2017 Spain Waterbirth Certification Tour

As the educational Director of Waterbirth International, I toured six cities in Spain this May, offering Professional Waterbirth Certification Courses in four cities. The courses were held in hospitals in BarcelonaAlgeciras and Granada and a conference center in Murcia. I also presented a four hour Gentle Birth workshop in a hospital in Córdoba and a one day Embracing the Miracle workshop for parents in a Yoga Center in Cambrils.  Every workshop was well attended and several of them had waiting lists of eager midwives and doctors. Waterbirth Certification Courses are already planned for May/June of 2018 in Spain. During the Barcelona workshop a doctor asked how she could become more involved with the waterbirth movement and areas of research to consider.  I include suggestions for research topics in the course. We certainly need more evidence.  I proposed that she begin by creating a survey for all Spanish hospitals to see the current use of water for both labor and birth.  After identifying current hospitals which offer the use of water, then ask them to participate in a retrospective analysis of their outcomes. She was very excited to begin this extensive and far-reaching project.

Barriers to Waterbirth

Spain utilizes midwives, but the budget for maternity care is limited by the government. There are plenty of midwives doing primary care, but there is still a shortage of midwives in the hospitals due to the budgetary constraints.  Those restrictions also prevent the installation of waterbirth equipment and proper training of midwives. The goal of Waterbirth Certification Courses is to prepare the providers with the necessary tools to institute practices, create guidelines, practice safely, sponsor research projects and to effectively prepare parents. There is a crucial lack of childbirth education courses for parents throughout Spain. The use of doulas is also not common. I spent a few minutes talking about how the use of doulas in busy maternity care hospitals could increase patient satisfaction, make breastfeeding more successful and reduce post-partum depression from the one to one care and emotional support provided by doulas. I also sang and danced my famous song(sung to the tune of The Farmer and the Cowboy from Oklahoma,) “Oh the midwives and the doulas should be friends..putting mothers and babies FIRST, protecting normal gentle birth. Oh, the midwives and the doulas can be friends.” That initiated a lot of laughter.

Contact us if you would like to offer a Waterbirth Certification Course in your area. English or Espanol.

Midwives having fun in the Barcelona Waterbirth Certification Course

Midwives at the Barcelona Waterbirth Certification Course getting ready to dive into the pool. Photos by Shuttersand Photography

Discussing skin to skin contact and the importance of placing the baby upright in the sanctuary.

Lucia (Lucy) goes with me everywhere. Here I’m talking about the Sanctuary. The womb is the sanctuary for the fetus and the chest of the mother is the sanctuary for the newborn.

Waterbirth Certification Course graduation photo

Barcelona Waterbirth Certification Course graduates minus those who had to leave early.

About the Author:

Barbara Harper is an internationally recognized expert on waterbirth and gentle birth and a published author. She founded Waterbirth International in 1988, to ensure that waterbirth is an “available option” for all women. During the past four decades Barbara has worked as an obstetric, cardiac care and pediatric nurse, midwife, midwifery instructor, childbirth educator, doula and doula trainer, Blissborn Hypnosis Teacher Trainer and has used her vast experience to develop unique seminars which she teaches within hospitals, nursing schools, midwifery and medical schools and community groups worldwide. She was recognized in 2002 by Lamaze International for her contributions in promoting normal birth on an international level. Barbara has taught seminars and courses in 63 countries. Her bestselling book and DVD, ‘Gentle Birth Choices,’ has been translated into 9 languages, including the new Mandarin edition released in 2016. She is actively working on her next book ‘Embracing the Miracle: The Science, Safety and Spirit of Birth.’ Barbara has dedicated her life to changing the way we welcome babies into the world. She has three adult children, two of whom were born at home in water, and one grandson in college. She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is active in the community as a volunteer and as a midwifery and doula mentor.