BirthRite in Beijing, May 2015
Beijing Midwives and Obstetricians Conference

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I was delighted to accept an invitation from Beijing New Century Women’s and Children’s Private Hospital Network to deliver a series of presentations at the Beijing Midwives and Obstetricians Conference, held at the facilities of Beijing Medical Public Hospital in May 2015. I was also asked to conduct a number of upright birthing workshops for midwives and doulas. The engagement was meticulously planned by Mengjiao Gao, Supervisor of the Pregnancy College at New Century Women’s and Children’s Hospital. My reception at Beijing Airport was warm and welcoming, and I felt very well looked-after throughout my stay.

My conference presentations included topics such as “Key Elements of Holistic Birth”, “Why Upright is Better” and “Let’s Walk Through a Normal Labour”, as well as “The Power of Birthing Seats — Setting the Stage” and “The Power of Birthing Seats — Guiding a Gentle Birth”. Incorporating plenty of interactive demonstrations using volunteers from the audience, the presentations were accompanied by lots of laughter and much applause. As a bonus, a short report appeared on Beijing TV News. I am very grateful to the translators (all medical doctors with overseas experience) who did a marvellous job following my animated talks and demonstrations. My thanks also extend to leading Chinese obstetrician Prof Dr Fan Ling who hosted the conference and supported me all the way.

In the days following the conference, I held twelve workshops at Beijing New Century Women’s and Children’s Private Hospital for around 350 midwives and doctors from various obstetric clinics. Workshop topics were: “The Correct Use of BirthRite’s Birth Fusion for Normal Labour and Birth” and “Breath Awareness and Body Work as Preparation for a Natural Birth”. Workshops on both topics included many enjoyable and insightful demonstrations with audience participation. The hospital vibrated with the sounds produced during numerous breathing exercises and the ensuing laughter from participants and onlookers. It was great fun!

One evening, I was invited to dinner at Da Dong’s Restaurant, a famous Peking Duck Restaurant in Beijing, where I met with the owner of the New Century Health Care Network. An interesting conversation ensued about the future direction of midwifery. It transpired that New Century Women’s and Children’s Hospital Network is already convinced of the benefits of upright birth and is determined to become a strong force in the advancement of natural childbirth in China. It was gratifying to see that the use of BirthRite birthing equipment is instrumental to their plans. In fact, New Century Women’s and Children’s Private Hospital Network was the very first Chinese obstetric establishment to use BirthRite upright birthing equipment. BirthRite considers them to be the leading Chinese authority on upright birthing techniques in a BirthRite setting.


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I was very impressed by the world-standard facilities available to women at Beijing New Century Women’s and Children’s Private Hospital. I believe it is only a relatively short walk towards realising their mission of improving childbirth-related experiences for their clients. I was moved to tears when observing the hospital midwives guiding a birth on the BirthRite Birthing Seat, using their newly-acquired concepts from my workshops and putting into practice the very essence of holistic midwifery skills. The result was a beautiful, gentle birth of a baby girl with only minimal intervention required from myself to help breathe the baby out gently. Observed by up to 14 midwives and doctors, this birth is setting a benchmark for future births and further discussion and improvements.

All in all, it was a whirlwind week without let-up, but much was achieved in this short amount of time. I can’t wait to return later in the year. I look forward to further collaboration with the New Century Health Care Network in realising the goal of natural childbirth with minimal intervention. Hopefully, the standards they are setting in upright birthing and use of the BirthRite Birthing Seat will soon be considered and adopted by other Chinese obstetric facilities, both private and public alike.

— Monika Boenigk
BirthRite



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