We are so excited to share - this is the first in a new blog series we are working on called Our (extended) Family! We have decided to rid our website of our lackluster "referral" and "resource" lists for something much more thoughtful, interactive, and useful! We will be featuring our favorite local businesses, services, organizations, and people. Our (extended) family that we are constantly referring our families to. We want you to know who they are, what they stand for, and how they can actually help you!
If you know anyone who is featured here- please feel free to leave a comment telling everyone what your experience has been in working with them! We love building this big beautiful community with y'all!
This first organization to kick off this series is one near and dear to our hearts. The Tampa Bay Birth Network is a local non-profit that aims to connect birth professionals with the families that need them!
Several years ago Megan and I spent MANY hours dedicating our time to planning events for the TBBN. It was an amazing way to find our fellow birth advocates and get out into the community. It is so astounding to see what the TBBN has grown into today!
Now, y'all can usually find at least one of us hootin' and hollerin' about homebirth and midwifery care at pretty much any TBBN event :-)
President Christie Collbran shares with us what the birth network is all about!
"The Tampa Bay Birth Network's primary mission is to provide a community of professionals, families and individuals that support, educate and/or promote natural pregnancy, birth and parenting.
We have a member's directory on our website where expecting couples and families with children of all ages can find local Tampa Bay resources for all things birth & parenting related including: Birth Centers, Midwives, Doulas, Childbirth Educators, Lactation Support, Chiropractors, Natural Family Living Products & Retailers, Family Health Education, Parenting Support, Photographers, Postpartum Support, Pre-postnatal fitness experts, etc.
BIRTH ACTIVISM & EDUCATION: In addition to providing a community of professional resources, we support activities that raise awareness, educate and bring about action to improve birth. We also take action to bring educational resources to our area that will help our local families. To this end we have participated in and hosted a variety of events and activities including the Improving Birth National Rally for Change to raise awareness for the need of change towards a kinder, gentler and more mother & baby friendly practice in birth; The Big Latch on to raise awareness in support of breastfeeding; Family fitness, Cloth Diapering and other healthy family events and expos; Film Showings, Peaceful Parenting workshops and more.
CHILDBIRTH OPTIONS SEMINARS: We host regular free educational seminars for our community. Our Childbirth Options Seminars teach about the benefits of natural birth, and point out some of the medical interventions to be aware of. We also share information about all the options available to an expecting couple in our local area including: hospital birth, free-standing birth centers, licensed midwives, home birth, support from doulas, childbirth education classes and more. For many families this is the first time they learn that they have choices and that they can find what works best for them. These seminars are also a great place for expecting families to meet some of the local birth professionals. We often have special guest speakers including local midwives, educators, chiropractors and more.
NETWORKING MEETINGS & MEMBER TRAININGS: We host quarterly networking meetings for our members and local birth professionals. Joining these meetings is a great way for local birth workers to build bridges and find support. We have varying locations, themes, guest speakers and demonstrations; another opportunity for growth and expansion for our members. And of course that is in addition to just having a good time with like minded people.
We also host specialty trainings with outside professionals to train our local birth pros and help them expand their knowledge and experience, which will in turn help provide better services to the families in Tampa Bay. This year one such training was The Spinning Babies Workshop taught by CPM, Gail Tully, as pictured above.
NATURAL BIRTH AND BABY EXPO: Our annual expo is an opportunity for natural birth professionals, retailers, educators and the like to share their products and services with our community. This well loved event is a wonderful day of education, fun, awareness, shopping, and celebration of community. We always have a unique variety of vendors, sometimes keynote guest speakers and workshops, raffles and giveaways. This is a great chance for families who are looking to meet potential care-providers or who want to look at, touch, hear and see what the natural birth community has to offer! It is a family event with something for everybody, music, face painting, demonstrations and more.
Formed in 2008, the Birth Network was started by a small group of dedicated birth professionals that wanted to make better birth resources available to the community. The network is first of its kind in the Tampa Bay area. Since that time, many more professionals have joined our network to help provide resources for their students, clients and patients. Also during that time, hundreds of new and expectant parents have attended our educational meetings and special events. Our Mission and Principles promise to offer educational materials to new and expectant parents who are interested in a more natural approach to pregnancy and parenting.
An exciting development in our on-going growth came in April of 2009 when the TBBN became a Florida not-for-profit corporation. In January 2011, we were approved by the IRS to be certified as a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations to the Birth Network make it possible for us to continue our charitable, educational and community activities. All of our hard working volunteers are dedicated to our cause. Every donation, big or small, helps. We truly do appreciate your support.
Our Mission statement is stated above in the first paragraph, and the following are the Seven Principles that the members of the Tampa Bay Birth Network are dedicated to:
Educating women and their partners about pregnancy, natural birth and postpartum care so they are empowered to make personal choices with knowledge and clarity
Encouraging women and their partners to choose a midwife and/or doula to assist with their pregnancy and labor
Guiding women toward natural, alternative and complementary care in addition to their regular prenatal and labor care
Advocating for a reduction in the number of unnecessary medical interventions
Supporting women and their partners in their new role as parents by offering resources about new parenthood, including breastfeeding, infant sleeping and postpartum care
Promoting breast milk for at least the first year, exclusively for the first six months
Maintaining the Midwives Model of Care as outlined by the Citizens for Midwifery