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

16  Keynote :: Molly O’Brien
May 5 @ 13:00 – 13:50
16  Keynote ::  Molly O'Brien @ Room D

Title: Biomechanics for birth: New learning & insights for practice: The 3 R’s

Speaker:  Molly O’Brien

Facilitator: Linda Wylie

Midwifery work is wide ranging. In essence we are public health practitioners, protecting, maintaining and enhancing the health and wellbeing of women and their families. As skilled practitioners we seek to understand and mitigate myriad factors that contribute to ill health while aiming to support and optimise birth physiology as per our code of proficiency. 

Specifically, the presentation focuses on labour dystocia and the midwifery skill of recognising when birth goes awry using the art and science of watchful attendance. It looks at ways to support physiology to reduce difficulties during the birth process and seeks to resolve mechanical difficulties by optimising physiology including the use of biomechanical techniques.  

This presentation highlights areas of midwifery training and education that hinder understanding of anatomy and physiology in relation to the birth process and the baby’s journey through the pelvis. It examines the impact the dominant biomedical model of care has on midwifery practice, the profession as a whole and the women who use the service. 


20  Baby led birthing
May 5 @ 17:00 – 17:50
20  Baby led birthing @ Room C

Speaker: Margaret Jowitt

Facilitator: Adetoro Adegoke

In ancient times Hippocrates considered that at the appointed hour the fetus put its feet against the fundus of the uterus and pushed but for the last 500 years the baby has been relegated to being a passenger in the story of birth. In the 21st century it is time to consider how material and structural remodelling of the uterus and cervix in the last four weeks of pregnancy unleash the body’s ability to help the birthing baby find the best way through the pelvis. At crowning, the fetus activates his mother’s fetal ejection reflex to release oxytocin and complete his journey. The mother and fetus need to move instinctively to enable each to act on the other to effect a straightforward birth.  

Being with women throughout labour, midwives are ideally placed to advance scientific knowledge of how birth works. They observe the evolving hormonal milieu as labour progresses, they see how the mother’s mind and body work in concert with her fetus to provide a smooth passage. They recognise the importance of the social, emotional and physical environment in facilitating or impeding birth. A better understanding of the mechanobiology of birth will avoid aggressive medical and surgical intervention which can disrupt the transition to confident motherhood. 

The art of midwifery is to educate and inspire the mother to trust the power of her body and her baby to work together in birth, and also to recognise when more help is needed to achieve a safe birth.