Friday October 12th, Saturday October 13th, and Sunday October 14th 2018 – Kansas City, Missouri
Crowne Plaza, Kansas City Downtown
$395 *price includes meals
View the full conference schedule of events here

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Julie Six
The Birth Haven

Andrea Stainbrook
Metro Detroit Doula Services

“Dare to Dream” is not just an expression…It’s a call to action!

Our accomplishments can far surpass “normal” boundaries when we dare to dream big! Sprinkle those dreams with tenacity and discipline and there will be nothing that can stop you!

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Charlene Sears-Tolbert, M.A., CAP, ICADC
Feminine Rage

Overreacting, too sensitive, too emotional, and too bitchy! Just a few of the labels designed to quench and choke out the fire of feminine rage. In response, we have been taught to literally swallow our rage. The result is toxic saliva infecting and affecting every part of our bodies resulting in everything from anxiety and depression, to cancer, heart disease, and fibromyalgia (just to name a few).

However, our feminine rage can also be a powerful healing force, divine alchemy that can transform our circumstances, our lives, and the lives of those around us. Now, perhaps more than any other time in history, our rage is necessary!

My talk will provide an overview of how unexpressed feminine rage affects our psyche and our bodies, which in turn, affects every area of our lives including work, parenting, relationships, and health. Through interactively engaging the audience, we will examine and practice ways to release rage from our bodies and harness its motivating power to transform our lives!

Madeleine Morris, Author, Guilt-Free Bottle Feeding
Tales From the Plastic Teat – The experiences of formula-feeding mothers in a pro-breastfeeding culture and how health professionals can help and hinder.

During this eye-opening presentation, conference attendees will learn what new mothers who have chosen, or been forced to bottle feed say about their interactions with postpartum professionals, and the effect this can have, particularly on their mental health.

We will talk about the myriad of reasons women end up bottle feeding (hint: “I just don’t care enough about my baby to breastfeed” is not one of them) and bust a few myths about the number of women who struggle to breastfeed (another hint: it’s not the “less than 5%” we’re told.)

This evidence based, comprehensive session, brought to you by Madeleine Morris, author of “Guilt-Free Bottle Feeding, Why your formula fed baby can be happy, healthy and smart” will teach you how to best support your clients who are bottle or combination feeding, which will result in happier and healthier babies and parents.

The Dare to Dream ProDoula Conference is intended for those courageous enough to want more; more for themselves, more for birth and early parenting, and more for their businesses. We know that education and inspiration are the cornerstones on which little dreams turn into big goals and each and every conference presentation has been designed to do exactly that! 

Attendees, buckle up! Our dreams are enormous and we’re taking you with us!

Register Today

Jim Wilkens, N.Y. State Trial Attorney
The Mismanagement of Pitocin

This presentation will cover the evolution of standards governing the management of Pitocin. It will also cover the mechanism of ischemic and traumatic brain injuries suffered by infants whose labor and delivery has been subjected to excessive uterine activity, as a result of Pitocin mismanagement.

The lecture will explain why indicia of perinatal asphyxia (Apgars and Blood Gases) are largely irrelevant to injuries from excessive uterine activity. Jim Wilkens, one of NY state’s leading trial attorneys will leave attendees with an in depth understanding of how the mismanagement of Pitocin can cause injury.

Rachael Laundry, BS in In Vitro Cell Biology and Biotechnology
Dissecting the research – A puzzle wrapped in a riddle and surrounded by a mystery: Cutting through the chaos and getting to the heart of scientific research.

Have you ever had a client ask you about an intervention, procedure, technique or what the “latest research” says?  Have you ever been asked your thoughts about something a client read on the internet? Have you ever felt bewildered by the dizzying amount and often conflicting information prefaced with, “studies show”?

This presentation will examine the different ways scientific research is disseminated. It will give attendees the tools necessary to read and analyze original research in a critical manner. Attendees will learn to assess the presentation of legitimate scientific research in the popular media, and think critically about what is being said, or sometimes more importantly, what is NOT being said.

During this session, we will perform an interactive case study that will compare and contrast original published research, with a piece of popular media. The objective is to teach attendees to find, dissect and analyze scientific research, so that they are able to communicate true evidence based information to their clientele.

Kelly Rutan, ProDoula Trainer
Doulas and Maternal Mental Health Emergencies

As doulas, we are all trained to spot the signs of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. But would you know what to do in a true maternal mental health emergency – a situation where a client’s life or their baby’s life is in danger? In the moment, these situations can be scary but we must be able to act quickly and help our clients get immediate assistance.

This presentation will give you the tools to identity mental health emergencies, detail community resources that are equipped to help new parents in crisis, and give you practical guidance on how to prepare yourself and your business for handling these situations. If you have never thought about how you would react in a true mental health emergency, this presentation will prepare you for exactly what you need to do in the moment to navigate these tough situations.

Angela Horn, ProDoula Trainer
The Forgotten Hormones of Pregnancy, Labor & Birth

The hormonal interplay of birth is largely focused on oxytocin, and its role in labor and birth. However, there are other hormonal systems at play that are equally as critical, but often overlooked. Labor and birth are not a one hormone process, yet so often, the focus is on oxytocin alone.

During this session we will examine the roles of relaxin, progesterone, oxytocin, endorphins, catecholamines and prolactin and their influences on their initiation and completion of the labor process.

“Don’t allow fear to prevent you from passionately falling in love with something, holding on tightly and pursuing it with gusto”. – Randy Patterson

Samantha Griffin, ProDoula Trainer
How to Build Your Business’ Self-Esteem and Grow Your Doula Business

Are you one of the business owners in our industry that doesn’t like their business very much? Unfortunately, this is the case more often than we care to admit. Doulas don’t spend time with their businesses, they don’t do nice things for their businesses, and they don’t treat their businesses with respect. We must change this if we want to achieve the growth and change that we say we desire. If we truly want to thrive as professional doulas, we absolutely must recognize, grow and nourish our business’ self-esteem.

Fortunately, the self-esteem of your business is something that you have total control of. You have the power to grow it, if you have the right tools!

During the session, attendees will be introduced to proven techniques that when implemented, will build business self-esteem. These new skills will assist you in growing your business’ worth in your own eyes, which in turn will transfer to the eyes of expectant families, medical providers and your community in general!

Jessica Dill, ProDoula Trainer
Cesarean Support – Before, During & After Birth

With nearly one in three babies being born by cesarean delivery, supporting a client through the process, will happen sooner or later. Perhaps you’ve supported several all ready, but still feel a bit uneasy explaining your role in relation to it, the process itself, or the options available to your client.

Cesarean Support: Before, During, & After, will walk you through:
Marketing to potential clients giving birth via cesarean section, cesarean birth planning, emergency situations, the actual process and after care and expectations.

This session will prepare you with tangible tips and strategies for providing exceptional cesarean birth support. Jessica’s presentation will not only help attendees feel more confident when working with clients, but will also teach how to market this support and speak to medical professionals and potential clients about what you offer. This session is the first of many steps on the path to removing the existing narrative that, “This is not a doula birth….”

Katie Brenner, ProDoula Trainer
CBE 101 – Creating Content & Activities to Attract Your Target Market

Childbirth education provides birth workers with an opportunity to be known as content experts, within their communities. It offers predictability in scheduling and income, in a profession that typically ebbs and flows.

This conference session will provide childbirth educators and aspiring childbirth educators with a framework for identifying and meeting the educational needs of their target market. This session has been designed specifically to build the confidence of attendees in relation to teaching childbirth classes. Through meaningful role play and audience participation, you will leave this presentation with an increased ability to teach CBE topics and engage those you seek to educate.

Julie Six, ProDoula Trainer
The Anatomy and “What Ifs” of a Contract

Whether you are a business owner or an independent contractor, the contracts you sign or ask others to sign, outline expectations, benefits, and consequences. But, what happens when what was agreed upon and signed, isn’t upheld? Do you look the other way or do you stand up and petition it?

In this session participants will learn how to determine what must go into a contract and when to take legal action, when to mediate, or when to simply walk away when contracts are not upheld. Attendees will leave with a strong understanding of necessary policies, conflict resolution strategies, legal terminology, and with the ability to navigate potential public fallout from the decisions they must make. We will practice this new found knowledge and skill set with real life scenarios that will lend themselves to equipping us for these real, business scenarios.

Jennifer Del Sol, ProDoula Trainer
Infant Anatomy, Physiology and Reflexive Behavior Related to Breastfeeding

While infants are born immature in many ways, term infants are born with a mature set of skills related to their nutritional needs. From the cheeks and mouth, to the rooting reflex, attendees will gain a deeper level of knowledge and understanding of infant anatomy, their reflexes, and the behaviors of newborns.

Doulas and birth workers alike, can utilize this knowledge to expand upon their skill set when supporting breast/chestfeeding clients who are struggling with early feeding challenges. By simply understanding and working with the reflexes and behavior patterns already ingrained in infants, you will have the ability to enhance and uplift your clients early feeding experience.

Emily Johnson, ProDoula Trainer
Building a Business on a Budget – How to be ALL IN, Without Risking it All

Starting or growing a business in a culture that demands instant gratification is tricky, to say the least. When prevailing wisdom is that “one must spend money to make money,” new doulas often find themselves rich in dreams and debt, but poor in contracted clients. So, how do new doulas avoid gambling their personal finances, while making the common mistake of [over]spending (without a plan in place) and having unrealistic expectations for results. In this session, participants will learn:

  • How to budget with an irregular cash flow
  • Budget friendly investments (time/hustle) that pay off
  • When to leave their day job
  • Common financial mistakes to avoid when building a business

Alex Weinberger, ProDoula Trainer & Colleen Downey, ProDoula Trainer
Self Confidence and Supporting Oneself Without Judgment

As doulas, doula trainers and agency owners, we have learned that one of the biggest roadblocks in business is, self-confidence. Time and time again we see the lack of self-confidence stopping doulas from setting and achieving personal and professional goals.

Alex and Colleen are uniquely qualified to work with participants to grow their self-confidence. Alex was born with an innate self-confidence and proudly exhibits a commitment to self-growth and introspection. Colleen has had to work hard to achieve self-confidence throughout her life and knows all too well the struggles of low self-esteem. Due to the positive energy and obvious self-confidence shared by both Alex and Colleen, others are quickly attracted and inspired.

Attendees will leave this session with the tangible tools and the ability to identify ways in which they judge themselves and self-sabotage. This session is a “How-to guide” on changing the negative self narrative and building self confidence. Don’t miss this session if you want to leave conference and shatter ALL of your dreams!

Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Kansas City Center for Inclusion
Birth Support and LGBTQ Families

ProDoula is proud to align with the Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Kansas City Center for Inclusion to offer conference attendees an introspective presentation on birth support and LGBTQ families. This remarkable panel is comprised of esteemed members in the local LGBTQ community who are dedicated to educating and destigmatizing LGBTQ family roles. Along with panel members sharing their individual experiences, there will be an audience Q&A, creating an open forum for further exploration and understanding.

During our careers we will come in contact with many types of families. It is vital to our business to be prepared with a cache of diversified education. We must be capable of guaranteeing each individual family the absolute nonjudgmental, unbiased support they deserve. To truly be effective and compassionate we must understand the importance of inclusivity. Cultural competency must always be our goal.

ProDoula continues breaking down barriers to deliver relevant education with an understanding that the most effective way to learn, is through personal connection.

The Dare to Dream ProDoula Conference is intended for those courageous enough to want more; more for themselves, more for birth and early parenting and more for their businesses. We know that education and inspiration are the cornerstones on which little dreams turn into big goals and each and every conference presentation has been designed to do exactly that!

Attendees, buckle up! Our dreams are enormous and we’re taking you with us!

Register Today

Women’s Self Defense Workshop $55

October 15th 2018 from 9:30am – 11:00am

As a birth worker, you often times find yourself in a vulnerable position. You leave hospitals in the wee hours of the morning, you drive to unfamiliar neighborhoods to see clients, and you often show up to a new client’s home for your first postpartum shift as late as 10 or 11 o’clock at night.

For these reasons and many more, ProDoula is offering a Women’s Self Defense Workshop as an Add-On for the Dare to Dream 2018 Conference. We want to know that you are safe and that you have the knowledge and skills to defend yourself in a threatening situation.

Register Today

Book Your Hotel Accommodations Now
Hotel Cut-Off for rate or room guarantee is September 10th

We have worked diligently to ensure that the process of securing rooms for the Dare to Dream 2018 ProDoula Conference at the Crowne Plaza, Kansas City Downtown, be as easy as possible for you!

Rooms are blocked for ProDoula attendees from Thursday 10/11/2018 through Monday 10/15/2018. 

The daily pricing for rooms is as follows:

Single Rate $152

Double Rate $152

Triple Rate $172

Quad Rate $192

Please click on this link to secure your room.

You will be brought directly to the Crowne Plaza Kansas City Downtown reservation page which is exclusive to ProDoula.

In the event that you would like a roommate, please contact Stacey @