Friday, June 6, 2008
My Highlights of the ICM 2008
Highlights of the Glasgow Congress for me:
The opening ceremony with 3500 thousand midwives all sharing, networking, learning and caring.
• Randomly selected to form the guard of honour to meet Princess Anne – I did answer the Princess when she spoke -I did not say much - “yes ma'am I am from Australia” and managed the courtesy!!! my knee still intact. The Princess commented on the costumes and said ‘some of these costumes would be difficult to deliver a baby in”. The constant clicking of the cameras was quite off putting and gave me a tiny insight, as to how invasive it can be for the Royal family.
• The Plenary sessions with Paul Martin, Heloisa Lessa (Brazil), Eugene Declerq and Sarah Brown were all in there own ways inspiring, informative and at times humbling. Lots of food for thought.
• I had never considered the other side of the argument regarding Cesarean section (c/s) rate, that in developing countries the Cesarean rate is less than 5% which in its self is problematic as this means women who need c/s are not getting them therefore dying unnecessarily.
• Workshop 4 – Sages femmes – what an interesting perspective in which they work. A group of independent midwives who have insurance from the Swiss government which enables them to work independently offering women real choice regarding the birth place.
• Meeting Carolyn McIntosh a fellow blogger, to share the same ideas about online learning and the advancement of the computer age was just fantastic. To hear her present, and be able to understand the same computer language was refreshing. Well done Carolyn.
• Professor Cathy Warwick – Head of Kings College Hospital and the New General Secretary of the RCM, said that “support is crucial to strengthening midwifery, and working together as a midwifery team is vital for the profession and each other”. An inspirational speaker.
• The daily newspaper “Congress Daily” typically British, as renowned for its Tabloids. The paper reflected on the previous days events.
• Plenary speaker, Ana Plona Mivsek, made me re think the term servant and its meaning within the profession of Midwifery. To be a willing servant (caring and equal) as opposed to a unwilling servant which then produces negative feedback (anger and resentful). The concluding slide show to the music of Madonna Hey You was very effective and thought provoking.
The Scottish Gala dinner was very disappointing – the venue (the science building) was not suitable for over 1000 guests, there were no directions or instructions as to where we were to go, and it was not an ideal venue for networking, no places (or not enough) to sit and chat. The dinner was a buffet style stand up meal, tasty but I do not enjoy queuing and having to stand to eat in my evening wear, very, very disappointing. There was Scottish dancing which did prove to be popular, and there was also a jazz band for those who wanted a slow dance, this was also popular.
Well, that’s it for tonight, will have to reflect and read my notes to be able to give further highlights. There has been lots of dinners and drinks as well, photos still to come.