Past Events

A listing of past events of interest to our members.



Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 12:00am to Sunday, November 3, 2019 - 12:00am

This year’s conference theme, SUSTAIN, was inspired by the local crew in Austin, Texas. We are reflecting on the stress (physical, mental, and emotional) that midwives face on a daily basis and the health challenges this stress can lead to. Our social and environmental state is not supportive of optimal, healthful living. So this year we are focusing on self-care for midwives, creating support networks, and discussing sustainable practice styles. Add to that the need for CEUs and folks desire for a deep dive into clinical skills and we have our conference, SUSTAIN!

Vaginal Breech Workshop

Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 7:45am

Rixa Freeze, PhD

Dr. Rixa Freeze has a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa.

Dr David Hayes, MD

Dr. Hayes is an OBGYN with an academic background and a passion for science and its proper application to clinical medicine.

Vaginal Breech Proficiency by Breech Without Borders

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 8:00am to Saturday, October 31, 2020 - 8:00am

This is a two-day add-on workshop available throughout the month of October.

Session 1: Rixa Freeze
Evidence on Term Breech Since the 2000 Term Breech Trial

Session 2: Rixa Freeze
Outcomes of community breech birth   

Session 3: Rixa Freeze
Breech maneuvers from 1609 to the present

Session 4: David Hayes
Clinical aspects of physiological vaginal breech birth

Session 5: Rixa Freeze
Classification, nomenclature, and the risks of different types of breech presentations

Session 6: Rixa Freeze & David Hayes
Breech simulations: Recognizing and correcting abnormal breech labor


See video interview

Rixa Freeze, PhD

Dr. Rixa Freeze has a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa.

Dr David Hayes, MD

Dr. Hayes is an OBGYN with an academic background and a passion for science and its proper application to clinical medicine.

Breakfast with the MANA Board

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 9:00am

Join the members of the MANA Board to start the event with a special presentation by singing artist, Kirsten Marion, followed by the MANA Annual Business Meeting.  The board members will each give a brief report to bring you up to date with what they have been doing for you and what they have planned for the coming year.  MANA is all of us and it is important for members to understand all of the recent changes as well as how the board sees the future of the organization.  We are looking forward to sharing both the ups and downs of the past year and our excitement for moving MANA forward.


MANA Board

Read more about the Board, job descriptions and members HERE

New York: a Beacon and Shame of Midwifery

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 10:00am

Certified Professional Midwives remain illegal in several states, including New York, where one CPM is currently facing 95 felony charges. From the 1970s through the 1980s, home birth midwives flourished across the state, especially around the Syracuse area. In the early 1990s there was promise of a licensed direct-entry midwife credential that would benefit home birth midwives as well as nurse-midwives, who desired a pathway separate from nursing. In this session, I share from my reporting on how and why the Certified Midwife credential was created, what it meant for community birth, and how it fares today. As COVID surged through New York in April and women scrambled to find community midwives, the harms of this history were laid bare: demand for home birth far outpaced supply, and hospital maternity care providers lacked the skills and training to safely support physiologic births in out of hospital locations with the least exposure to COVID. We also saw women isolated from partners and doulas and restricted from other physiologic labor support. What lessons can be drawn from the 1990s? How can midwives with different philosophies and lineages work together to elevate the model of care?

Jennifer Block

Jennifer Block

Jennifer Block is an independent journalist and the author of Everything Below The Waist: Why Health Care Needs a Feminist Revolution (2019, St. Martin’s Press).

How to Get Back to Naturalistic Midwifery

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 11:30am

"How to Get Back to Naturalistic Midwifery" will explore the many ways in which childbirth has changed over the years. This session will compare practices in natural childbirth with the practices in births where interventions/augmentations have occurred. These comparisons will prove how these practices have led to worse outcomes and increased the cost of health care. This session will also demonstrate how changes in attitudes about birth have affected birth practices as well as how providers have adapted to these changes. The session will end with offering solutions to the problems caused by these practices.

See Video Interview

Maria Milton, LM

Maria Milton is a midwife in the state of Florida. She holds a Bachelor's of Science in Biology/Pre-Med from Florida A&M University and she is a licensed laboratory technician.

You've Been Served

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 12:30pm

Not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. Midwives must be prepared well before someone comes knocking on their door with papers. This class is about knowing what are common ways midwives can get entangled with the law, resource savaiable to them and helpful steps of what to do if you've been served.

Wendi Cleckner, LM, CPM, JD

Wendi is a desert child at heart, born and raised on the Arizona clay. In 1993 she helped a friend through her birth of her first child and felt a passion to devote her life to moms and babies.

Julie Gunnigle

Julie Gunnigle was born and raised in Maricopa County and currently lives a mile from the school that she attended growing up.

Emily L. Fernandez

Emily Fernandez defends medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and general negligence matters in all New York Counties, handling cases through trial.

Trauma and Anxiety in Pregnancy

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 3:00pm

Anxiety is an ever-present blight on the lives of many expecting mothers today.  Increasing concerns of adequate resources, fears of birth or problems with baby, negotiating the needs of employers, partner, family, and the new baby can be overwhelming.  Anxiety is a threat to the well-being and happiness of the pregnant woman as well as her baby.  There are biologic and environment causes of anxiety.  Past trauma is a major cause of anxiety in the present.  We will look at how the brain changes after trauma as well as in pregnancy and how these changes can be not only survived, but mom can learn to thrive in spite of anxiety.

See Video Interview

Sherri Daigle

Sherri Daigle, LM, CPM, MSW

Sherri Daigle has been a midwife for 35 years.

Chagas Disease: Pregnancy-Based Screening to Benefit Mother and Infant

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 3:00pm

Chagas disease is a parasitic infection caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Chagas disease is endemic in Mexico, Central America or South America. Approximately 8-10 million people in Latin America and 300,000 people in the United States have Chagas disease. Chagas disease damages the heart and causes approximately 10,000 deaths yearly. Approximately 30,000-45,000 people in the United States have Chagas cardiomyopathy. Most are unaware of the infection and have no symptoms. The common mode of acquiring Chagas disease is vector-borne. Acute infection is often asymptomatic. Infection is life-long if untreated and, over years or decades, 20% to 40% of people develop Chagas heart or gastrointestinal disease. Infection is also transmitted congenitally. In the United States there are ~40,000 women in the childbearing years with Chagas disease who give birth to ~63-315 infected infants each year. Some infants have signs of infection at birth but none is specific for Chagas disease. Maternal infection can be diagnosed by a commercially-available ELISA testing for T. cruzi IgG. At its cost of ~$50, screening would be cost-saving, whether implemented universally or for at-risk women. Treatment of confirmed infection is curative for infants, prevents transmission in future pregnancies and reduces risk for cardiomyopathy in women in the childbearing years.

Dr. Morven Edwards, MD

Dr. Morven S. Edwards is Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and an Attending Physician at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.  Dr.

Traditional Midwifery: Discussion with Renata Hillman, Sherri Daigle, Sarita Bennett and Tomasina Oliver

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 3:00pm

Renata will lead a discussion on Traditional Midwifery with Sherri Daigle, Sarita Bennett and Tomasina Oliver. Renata was self taught and utilizes the older methods of Naturalistic Midwifery Care.

  1. What did Midwifery look like 100 years ago.
  2. How has Midwifery evolved in the past 25 years.
  3. How do we return to a more Traditional/Naturalistic Midwifery?
  4. What does that mean to our midwifery families?
  5. Where do you get those skills and that wisdom?

Renata Hillman, CPM

MANA Secretary

Renata lives in southern Mississippi. She is Mother to 3 children; the last, her daughter, was born at home. She has 5 precious Grandchildren; she was honored to catch 4 at home.

Sherri Daigle

Sherri Daigle, LM, CPM, MSW

Sherri Daigle has been a midwife for 35 years.

Sarita Bennett, DO, CPM

MANA President

Sarita has listened to women’s stories all her life – stories about love and birth and healing and death.