All VIDM 2023 Conference sessions are recorded. Links to the recordings are available on our @VirtualMidwives YouTube channel and linked below in each session listing.

Use the Search CATEGORIES and KEYWORDS (ie. Spanish, Students, or Keynotes) to find sessions of interest.

VIDM 2023 Conference sessions were presented and recorded using Big Blue Button mobile friendly webconferencing technology, thanks to our colleagues at Frontier Nursing University

04 The role of culture and spirituality in post-stillbirth grief healing of bereaved mothers in China: A qualitative research
May 5 @ 01:00 – 01:50
04  The role of culture and spirituality in post-stillbirth grief healing of bereaved mothers in China: A qualitative research @ Room C

Speaker: Jade Qiong Zheng 

Facilitator: Jane Houston

Stillbirth is a unique phenomenon with various manifestations influenced by culture and spirituality. Different cultural and religious beliefs may influence the emotional response to perinatal grief as well as the demand for bereavement care. The majority existing research on perinatal grief comes from Western society. Under Chinese cultural context, post-stillbirth grief healing for bereaved mothers is not applicable. 

Objective: This study investigated the role of culture and spirituality in the grief healing of mothers with stillbirth in China.

Methods: The study was grounded in an interpretivist constructionist epistemology. In-depth interviews with mothers suffering stillbirth within the previous year were used in a qualitative study. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. 

Findings: 28 women were interviewed by trained interviewers. Three key themes were identified: 1. The impact of culture on grief expression with four sub-themes: Restrained expressions of grief, Unattainable mourning ceremony, Hospital policy as a barrier, and Others-oriented grief; 2. Cultural characteristics of post-stillbirth experiences with four sub-themes: The paternalistic medical culture, “KongYuezi”, The embarrassment of postpartum visiting, and Cultural taboos on dealing with deceased babies remains; 3.Significance in cultural and spiritual healing behaviour with four sub-themes: Finding the meaning of the event, Accepting and Reconciling with the event, Reshaping beliefs and worldviews of life and death, and Gaining and self-growth.

Conclusion: Culture and spirituality play an important role in bereaved mothers’ post-stillbirth grief healing. Caregivers should avoid preconceived notions about grief. A bereavement care guideline that is culturally and spiritually appropriate for China is required. 


11 Celebration and preservation of Mayan midwifery in Guatemala
May 5 @ 08:00 – 08:50
11  Celebration and preservation of Mayan midwifery in Guatemala @ Room B

Speaker: Sarah Smits

Facilitator: Liz McNeill

Sharing knowledge and stories to promote the work of The Midwife Project. A project to support the preservation of Mayan midwifery wisdom and bridge the gap between the knowledge of the younger generations of clinically trained midwives and the elder traditional midwives. Honouring and understanding the importance of both the knowledge of modern and traditional midwifery practices to best serve their community. 

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala has a prevalent population of Mayan people still practicing Mayan cosmology and ways of life. 

Due to cultural practices and barriers to accessing the only hospital around the lake, many women birth at home with Mayan midwives. Yet the Mayan midwifes, some of whom have been practicing midwifery for 40 years, report how births are becoming more complicated and welcome the opportunity to learn different skills to support their communities growing needs. 

The Midwife project aim to bridge this gap. A 6 month training program was initiated in 2022 whoch offers the opportunity for the elder midwives to learn clinical skills and for the younger generation of midwives to learn the traditional Mayan practices. 

Every week more and more women, some as young as 12 who have had the calling to become midwives join the project. It is an important opportunity to strengthen the community of Mayan midwives, so they can better support their community.