• Birthlight Global

North / South America

  • Argentina
  • Brazil (Brasil)
  • Peru (Perú)

Asia Pacific

  • Australia
  • China (中华人民共和国)
  • Japan (日本)
  • New-Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan (台灣)
  • Thailand (ประเทศไทย)


  • France
  • Cyprus
  • Germany (Deutschland)
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)
  • Italy (Italiano)
  • Netherlands (Nederland)
  • Portugal (Português)
  • Russia (Российская Федерация)
  • Spain (España)
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)
  • United Kingdom

Womb to World 2011

Birthlight’s Womb to World conference series addresses the interface between science, medicine and the social and cultural dimensions of pregnancy, birth and early parenting. This second event ‘Ritualising Birth’ explored some examples of the complex relations between physiology and ritualised behaviour, science and cross-cultural traditions: swaddling versus movement of babies, interactive musicality, use or withdrawal of colostrum,  research findings on the placenta, fathers cutting the cord.  Birth rituals are not just ceremonies but the vast array of changing day to day practices through which we create culture around birth. Womb to World is linked to Born Today, a series of four events curated by Thereza Wells, Artakt, University of the Arts London for Wellcome Collection.

Birthlight Day Conference, Saturday 7 May 2011

Womb to World series 2010-2011, conference 2. ‘ Physiology and Birth Rituals Across Cultures ‘ 


from 9.30am

Registration    (Coffee served from 9.45am)

10.15 – 10.30am

Short address: Françoise Barbira Freedman (Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge. Founder of Birthlight)

10.30 – 11.15am

Wendy James (Fellow of the British Academy, is Professor of Social Anthropology at Oxford): ‘The Ceremonial Infant’

11.15 – 12.30pm

Keynote Lecture Colwyn Trevarthen  (Professor (Emeritus) of Child Psychology and Psychobiology in the Department of Psychology of The University of Edinburgh): ‘The Rhythms of Infancy, and Their Engaging Stories’

12.30 -

Paje Tchydjo – An Indigenous Brazilian Medicine Man

1.15 – 2.00pm

Buffet lunch and exhibits in hall (University Centre, Granta Place)

2.00 – 2.45pm

Pascal Odent (PhD in International Child Health at University College London): ‘Discarding the first breast milk: what’s the effect on newborn survival in Nepal, and why do mothers do it?

2.45 – 3.30pm

Abby Fowden (Professor of Perinatal Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge): ‘Recent findings about the Placenta’

3.30 – 4.00pm

Refreshment break

4.00 – 5.00pm

Liliana Lammers (Doula and Doula Tutor): ‘Why Doulas?’

Rob Williams (Chief Executive of the Fatherhood Institute):‘Fathers – what the birth means to them, what can they do?’

5.00 – 6.00pm

Sheila Kitzinger (Social anthropologist of birth and author of 23 books on childbirth): ‘Do women really have a choice in childbirth?’

6.30 – 7.30pm

Launch of Womb to World Birth Art Exhibition and drinks reception at Clare Hall

7.30 – 9.00pm

‘Interactive Baka Acoustic Performance’  at Clare Hall