Past conferences

Here’s a peek at what happened at the 2015 Empower Your Birth Conference!

All day fun!

So much fun all day long!

A BIG THANK YOU to Blooma Nashville, who was our 2015 diamond conference sponsor and is a strong supporter of the birth community!  Please take a moment to click here and find out more about Blooma!




Empower Your Birth    |    Conference Agenda    |    Saturday, March 7, 2015

Start End Event Speaker Topic
8:30 Ongoing Registration
9:00 10:00 Keynote Penny Simkin The Epidemics: Induction, Epidurals, Cesareans: Education & Support of Childbearing Women
10:00 10:15 Break (draw winners in Vendor Hall) BREAK BREAK
10:15 11:15 Panel (Keynote Room) Panel VBAC & Cesarean Panel
Panel (101) Panel Atypical Births Panel: Multiples, Breech, Precipitous
Workshop (102) Dr. Anna Morad What Expecting Parents Need to Know About the Routine Vitamin K Shot
Workshop (104) Julie Hamilton Enlighten Empower Enjoy: The 5 Simple but Life-changing Actions to Confidently Meet your Breastfeeding Goals
Workshop (201) Dr. Kimberly Dawes Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy and Newborn Care
Workshop (202) Lauren Cardwell Comfort Techniques For Birth
Workshop (203) Ruth Bryant, M.S.S.W., LMSW Identifying and Treating Birth Trauma and Postpartum Depression
Workshop (204) - Birth Professionals Penny Simkin Birth Trauma for Birth Professionals
10:15 10:45 Body Class A (Courtyard) Bethany Hard Yoga Class
10:45 11:15 Body Class B (Courtyard) Cindy Sarlo Rebozo For Birth
11:15 12:15 Lunch Break (draw winners in Vendor Hall) MOVIE Birth By The Numbers (30 Minutes)
12:15 1:15 Panel (Keynote Room) Panel Hospital Birth Panel
Panel (101) Panel Choosing a Provider Panel
Workshop (102) Barbara Nicholson Empathy: The Key to Parenting Your Children
Workshop (104) Julie Hamilton Enlighten Empower Enjoy: The 5 Simple but Life-changing Actions to Confidently Meet your Breastfeeding Goals
Workshop (201) Dottie Beasley Create / Art / Love
Workshop (202) Lauren Cardwell Comfort Techniques For Birth
Workshop (203) Ruth Bryant, M.S.S.W., LMSW Identifying and Treating Birth Trauma and Postpartum Depression
Workshop (204) - Birth Professionals Penny Simkin (Continued) Birth Trauma for Birth Professionals
12:15 12:45 Body Class A (Courtyard) Katrina Tsacrios Fear Release Circle
12:45 1:15 Body Class B (Courtyard) Taylor Broggie Prenatal & Postnatal Exercise
1:15 1:30 Break (draw winners in Vendor Hall) BREAK BREAK
1:30 2:30 Keynote Joe Valley Ways Dad Can Be an Integral Part of Birth
2:30 2:45 Break (draw winners in Vendor Hall) BREAK BREAK
2:45 3:45 Panel (Keynote Room) Panel Home Birth Panel
Panel (101) Panel Childbirth Preparation Panel
Workshop (102) Stacie Hunt Preparing For The Birth You Want
Workshop (104) Lindsey Segar Cesarean and VBAC Awareness
Workshop (201) Dottie Beasley Create / Art / Love
Workshop (202) Cristen Pascucci The Empowered Consumer: Three Things Every Parent Should Know About Hospital Birth
Workshop (203) Heidi Duncan Designing Your Birth Plan
Workshop (204) - Birth Professionals Joe Valley Promoting and Supporting Your Small Business in 2015
2:45 3:15 Body Class A (Courtyard) Rebecca Ruiz Baby Wearing
3:15 3:45 Body Class B (Courtyard) Jennifer Derryberry-Mann Yoga Class
3:45 4:00 Break (draw winners in Vendor Hall) BREAK BREAK
4:00 5:00 Panel (Keynote Room) Panel Dad Panel
Panel (101) Panel Using a Doula Panel
Workshop (102) Stacie Hunt, CPM, CH, LMT Herbs During Pregnancy, Birth & Breastfeeding
Workshop (104) Lindsey Segar Cesarean and VBAC Awareness
Workshop (201) Joanna L. Davis Investing in Your Birth
Workshop (202) Sarah Cowan Peckham, HCHD All About Placenta Encapsulation
Workshop (203) Heidi Duncan Designing Your Birth Plan
Workshop (204) Dr. Lee Norton TBA
4:00 4:30 Body Class A (Courtyard) Cindy Sarlo Rebozo
4:30 5:00 Body Class B (Courtyard) Rebecca Ruiz Baby Wearing
5:00 5:15 Break (Announce Grand Prize Winner) BREAK BREAK
5:15 6:15 Keynote Stacie Hunt, CPM, CH, LMT Make It Your Birth
6:30 7:00 Dessert Bar BREAK BREAK
7:00 9:00 Movie Premier MOVIE Guerrilla Midwife (67 Minutes)

This program has been approved by Lamaze International for 4 Lamaze Contact Hour (LIN 15-04). These hours may be applied towards recertification as an LCCE educator under the learning competencies 3, 4, and 6.




Check out the amazing local businesses that sponsored the 2015 Empower Your Birth GRAND PRIZE give-away!  This amazing package was given away at the conference on March 7th 2014.



Blooma Nashville – 9 months UNLIMITED yoga & barre

Kalimana Film Stories – Complete birth video coverage + film via digital download

Kailee Riches Photography – Complete birth photography coverage + digital images via download

A Sacred Delivery – Placenta encapsulation services

Babywearing International – Certificate for 1 year membership

Love Empowered – Certificate for one raw belly cast


MANY THANKS to our 2015 Empower Your Birth keynote speakers!

Speaking topic: Ways dad can be an integral part of birth

Joe Valley is father to two boys, both born at home with his wife, Andrea Valley.  Joe travels across the country and beyond to teach his Dad Certified class for birth professionals, working with midwives, doulas, and birth instructors from all over.  He also designs websites for the gentle birth community.  He holds a masters degree in community counseling and is passionate about teaching empathy and communication skills. Right now, Joe is on a year-long Empowered Papa book project to collect and share birth stories from dads around the world.

Find out more and connect at

penny_simkin flowresSpeaking topic: The Epidemics: Induction, Epidurals, Cesareans: Education & Support of Childbearing Women

Penny Simkin, PT, is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968. She estimates she has prepared over 13,000 women, couples, and siblings for childbirth. She has assisted hundreds of women and couples through childbirth as a doula. She is author or co-author of books for both parents and professionals, including “The Labor Progress Handbook;” “Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide;” “When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women;” “The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions,” She has developed teaching materials for birth classes and produced several videos for educators, doulas, and families , the latest of which is for siblings-to-be, “There’s a Baby.” She is co-founder of DONA International (formerly Doulas of North America) and PATTCh (Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth).

Currently, she serves on the editorial board of the journal, Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, and serves on the senior faculty of the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, which was named in her honor.  Today, her practice consists of childbirth education, birth counseling, and labor support, combined with a busy schedule of conferences and workshops.  Penny and her husband, Peter, have four grown children and eight grandchildren from 11 to 28 years of age, two grandchildren-in-laws, and a pug, Lola. Find out more about Penny at her website:

photoSpeaking topic: Make it Your Birth

Stacie Hunt, CNM, is a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Certified Professional Midwife, Certified Herbalist  and Massage Therapist.

She serves rural middle TN and North Alabama , the local Amish community as well as being a staff midwife at a The Farm Midwifery Center.  She also owns and directs Whole Woman Wellness and Education Center in St. Joseph, TN as a safe place for women in the community to come together for classes and support groups.

Stacie started the Whole Woman Herbs company in 2014.  Specifically focusing on women’s needs during the childbearing years.  She attended 87 births in 2014 and has attended over 1500 births in her career including her two grandson’s both born at home in the water.



Here are a few of our 2015 Empower Your Birth instructors!

Ruth Bryant, M.S.S.W., LMSW:  Ruth spent seven years working in the birth community before transitioning to her role as a therapist, and she continues to specialize in working with women around issues related to birth, body, self-identity, and loss.  In addition to working individually with clients, she leads a weekly  Post-Birth Processing group for women struggling after difficult births.  She believes both individual and group therapy are collaborative processes and is interested in helping her clients find their own unique capacity to cope with their immediate struggles while also fostering a curiosity about their deeper selves.  She is a member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, the International Cesarean Awareness Network, the Nashville Psychotherapy Institute, and the Nashville Birth Network.

headshotLindsey Seger (Chapter Leader, ICAN of Nashville Vice President, ICAN): Lindsey, a cesarean and VBAC mom, has been serving as Co-Leader and Chapter Leader of ICAN of Nashville for five years. She joined the Board of Directors as Vice President in 2014. In addition to ICAN, Lindsey supports couples as a childbirth instructor. Most of her free time is spent chasing after her two boys and laughing with her husband. When the opportunity presents itself, she enjoys a good card game, a long book, or a cup of hot tea.  Visit the Nashville chapter of the International Ceserean Awareness Network onlineVisit the Facebook page.

bwi_photoRebecca Ruiz (Advanced Babywearing Educator): Rebecca has been passionate about babywearing for 8 years and an educator with Babywearing International of Middle Tennessee for the past 2. She has 5 children ranging from 7 years to 6 months old, including a feisty set of twins. She considers babywearing to be one of the most valuable skills she ever learned as a parent and loves helping other families keep their little ones close.  Visit the Nashville Babywearers Facebook page.  Visit the website.

2F4A2881-copy-copyCindy Sarlo  (Birth Doula, Birth Photographer, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist & Childbirth Educator)

Since 2004, Cindy Sarlo has assisted mothers through the tender transitions of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum as a Childbirth Educator, Birth Doula, Birth Photographer, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, “Rebozo for Birth” Instructor, & Distributor of Contouring Body Wraps.  She has given birth to 8 precious babies of her own and lives on a small organic farm in Middle TN.  She believes that thoughtful preparation and experienced support are key factors in having the best birth and recovery possible.  Plan now to support your special journey with knowledge, tools, positions, and arts.

biz photoBethany Hard  (prenatal and postpartum yoga instructor) 

Bethany is a certified Naam Yoga Therapist and is grateful for having studied under its founder, Dr. Joseph Michael Levry, since 2004. She is also an instructor of the Khalsa Way Prenatal Yoga (certified by Gurmukh) and The Kabbalah of Birth and Beyond.

Originally from New York, Bethany is a former professional dancer and is also certified in Pilates and the Gyrotonic Expansion System. Fluent in Spanish, she travels regularly to Latin America leading wellness retreats and partnering with local organizations. Bethany produced and starred in her own Naam Yoga Prenatal Yoga DVD in 2012 and co-created and co-founded I Am Consciousness Clothing Co., a yoga apparel company in 2013. She also holds a B.S. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Most importantly she is the mother to three magical children.


Barbara Nicholson, M.Ed. (Author and co-founder of Attachment Parenting International)

Barbara Nicholson received a Masters degree in Education from Stephen F. Austin State University and professionally she taught children with Learning Disabilities grades 1-6. In 1981 she became a La Leche League breastfeeding support group facilitator, and in 1994 co-founded Attachment Parenting International, a non-profit parent education organization where she served as President of the Board of Directors for 15 years. She is the co-author of Attached at the Heart, 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Compassionate and Connected Children (2013, HCI Publishing). She is the co-author of a parenting curriculum based on the book and is conducting trainings all over the U.S. and soon internationally for parent educators. Her passion is to educate and support parents in creating secure, loving attachments with their children.

Nashville headshot-5Heidi Duncan (Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator, and more!)
Heidi has been serving expecting mothers since 2001.  As an educator she seeks to dispel myths and impart truth, while as a doula she assists families in applying that truth during their personal birth experience.  She has encouraged countless aspiring birth professionals along the way and launched two community birth networks.  Currently, she enjoys adorning momma bellies with henna when she is not attending births, teaching Roots Childbirth or mentoring a McDoula Certification candidate. (Expecting New Life Birth Services)

SPP_1252Julie Hamilton, MA, CLC (NBC founder, Lactation consultant, and more!)
Julie is creator of popular programs like Enlighten Empower Enjoy and popular events like the Best Baby Showers and is co-founder of the Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition and the Breastfeeding Alliance for Families in Tennessee. A very successful for-profit ad executive, Julie suffered trying to nurse her boy/girl twins. She then earned her Certificate in Lactation Counseling, her masters in leadership with a focus on human behavior change and founded Julie’s Village, a non-profit organization reaching moms-to-be. With Julie’s breastfeeding preparedness tools, you can move confidently towards your breastfeeding goals.

View More: Broggie (Restorative Exercise™ Specialist-Certified Personal Trainer)

I graduated from Westmont College with a B.S. in Movement and Exercise Science, and shortly after became certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  After working as a personal trainer, my own health struggles led me to seek out new methods of exercising and new ways of understanding human movement.  In 2010, I started training under Katy Bowman and became certified as a Restorative Exercise™ Specialist.  Over the last 5 years, I have used Restorative Exercise™ to recover my health and love helping others do the same. My passion is teaching women how to move differently, so they can be active and pain free through all stages of life. 

Publicity Photo _H4C0306FinalLee Norton, PhD, MSW, LCSW (Fellow, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress; Founder/Owner, Center for Trauma Therapy; President, Institute for Trauma Research and Policy Studies)

Dr. Norton is a therapist who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety, traumatic stress, and dissociative disorders for more than twenty years. She has taught extensively on these and related topics at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and for lawyers, physicians, mental health professionals and others. She collaborates closely with clients to create treatment plans that resolve traumatic stress quickly and effectively. She is a staunch advocate of self-determination and of protecting the dignity of each client.

If you’d like to check out last year’s vendors and sponsors, click on their logos below!


Vendor Hall

One of the great vendor tables.


Premium Sponsors & Vendors:

 BloomaLOGO-1920x1080-colorsidebyside-2     logo-3Logo 2014     Baby + Company Brand PresentationAveta_logo_wo_banner             KK Logo       ASDWebSiteLogoCropSmall


More sponsors & vendors:



nYn logo      LogoColorTextBelow (1)    Alpha_Dark_blue  my watercolor logopng-smKailee_Logo     Print       DottieBeasleyLogo-3    OTW-Logo-FullColorbloom logo-2Printnbnlogoredo2     thefarmlogo     MommiLogo_MintWhite    greenpixiebaby    NOVA logo   Logo- Girly  cpr-sam-logo copy      birthroot    SCC Logo_Light_PPT_WEB     unity3.pngLLL KYTN logo               smilemommylogo14        PPN Square      The Design Valley   Black Logo and Watermark   JuliesVillageLogo-tagNBC_logoFINAL Description: Description:    AuPairCare_Logo_Primary_RGB




Other supporters:

Happy Family

Naam Yoga

Precious Arrows Birth Services

Sanctuary for Yoga

Aden & Anais

Earth Mama Angel Baby




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