It's like Thanksgiving dinner. You love EVERY bite, but are a little "too full" by the third dessert! That was the 2009 ICEA convention! Truly amazing speakers covered material ranging from postpartum doula-ing, support during childbirth, how to grow your birth business, how to grow a childbirth education organization, baby friendly hospitals, birth doula..ing, fathering, etc., etc.
The best part for me is always the conversations between, around, and even (a whispered word or two) during the presentations. On my shuttle ride to the hotel I spoke with Shirin Strauss and Jackie Cameron who work with teens. In twenty minutes we had discussed key challenges and opportunities for supporting teen moms...before our convention experience even started! Over lunch I landed right beside Sandy Jones and got a private summary of her recent presentation - the one I missed while waiting for my plane to be fixed in Chicago. Marilyn Hildreth updates me on the power of a Baby-Friendly hospitalDuring the now-famous "President's Pajama Party" I learned of Jeanne Green's remarkable journey as a childbirth educator, mom and grandma, and she and I pondered together the wants and needs of today's new parents. Connie Livingston and I were sharing ideas non-stop on how to use the world of social marketing to get the word out about our services and resources. Candy Mueller was bubbling with ideas about how to give new parents the resources they need. David Field and I explore options for incorporating HUG Your Baby into ICEA.
The convention went smoothly, the food was great, and the spirit was enthusiastic! I went to ICEA to "Give The HUG" but came home appreciating all the many hugs I received in Oklahoma City!