Incorporating the Human-Animal Bond into Midwifery and How Not to Get Bitten

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 10:15am

Homebirths involve every family member the birthing person would like to have present. Pets are considered a member of the family and midwives need to know how to safely work with and around them. This presentation discusses how to use the relationship between the family and the pet during labor, recognize when the pet is becoming stressed by the events of labor, and develop strategies to reduce the risk of being bitten. This presentation looks at the newest research on The Human Animal Bond, The Ladder of Aggression, what we have discovered about oxytocin, mental health, and pet ownership during the Covid pandemic. Anyone who works around pets during a homebirth will benefit from an understanding of the signs of stress in dogs and will reduce their chances of being bitten while in the home.


Dr. Virginia Cummingham, Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine

Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist-Chi Institute: Dr. Cunningham is a wife and mother of three. She is a small animal veterinarian who currently performs locum work in general medicine and emergency. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2000 with a degree in Animal and Poultry Science and from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. She became interested in midwifery after the birth of her daughter. She has found many pearls of wisdom in the midwifery model of care that she has been able to translate to her practice of veterinary medicine.Adding to our eclectic mix of topics, Dr. Cummingham is presenting "Incorporating the Human-Animal Bond into Midwifery and How Not to Get Bitten"