Birthing Alternatives

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Birthing Retreat 2004:
Keeping Birth Choices Open
With Special Guest:

Ina May Gaskin
Gloria Lemay

Retreat Update!!!
Due to a high volume of requests for a shorter time period and lack of registration for the full six days, the retreat dates have been changed to June 3rd - June 6th 2004... see rate changes below.


Due to scheduling conflicts the DONA Approved Doula Training with Shellie Moore has been cancelled.

Join us in the beautiful San Juan Islands for four days of education, relaxation and fellowship with premier midwife Ina May Gaskin.

Orcas Island and Camp Orkila
Map of Camp Orkila

Enjoy the beauty of Orcas Island at one of the country's oldest YMCA camps. Camp Orkila is located on the Northwest end of Orcas Island with beachfront property on President Channel. Come prepared for swimming, hiking, boating, climbing, singing, dancing, and relaxing on the beach.
Your full accommodations are included in your registration fee. The sleeping arrangements are bunk style. Our cabins are very modern and sleep four to a room with two full bathrooms and a full kitchen in each cabin. Vegetarian meals will be provided, please mark on your registration form that you would like meat free meals and/or dairy free meals. Please contact us if you have special concerns.


Special Guest Ina May Gaskin

Ina May Gaskin

Ina May Gaskin, MA, CPM, is founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Center, located near Summertown, Tennessee. Founded in 1971, by 1996, the Farm Midwifery Center had handled more than 2200 births, with remarkably good outcomes. Ms. Gaskin herself has attended more than 1200 births. She is author of Spiritual Midwifery, now in its fourth edition. For twenty-two years she published Birth Gazette, a quarterly covering health care, childbirth and midwifery issues. Her new book, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth was released 4 March 2003 by Bantam/Dell, a division of Random House. She has lectured all over the world at midwifery conferences and at medical schools, both to students and to faculty. She was President of Midwives' Alliance of North America from 1996 to 2002. In 1997, she received the ASPO/Lamaze Irwin Chabon Award and the Tennessee Perinatal Association Recognition Award. In 2003 she was chosen as Visiting Fellow of Morse College, Yale University. Ms. Gaskin has lectured widely to midwives and physicians throughout the world. Her promotion of a low-intervention but extremely effective method for dealing with one of the most-feared birth complications, shoulder dystocia, has resulted in that method being adopted by a growing number of practitioners. The Gaskin maneuver is the first obstetrical procedure to be named for a midwife. Her statistics for breech deliveries and her teaching video on the subject have helped to spark a reappraisal of the policy of automatically performing cesarean section for all breech babies. As the occurrence of vaginal breech births has declined over the last 25 years, the knowledge and skill required for such births have come close to extinction. Ms. Gaskin's center is noted for its low rates of intervention, morbidity and mortality despite the inclusion of many vaginally delivered breeches, twin and grand multiparas. Their statistics were published in "The Safety of Home Birth: The Farm Study," authored by A. Mark Durand, American Journal of Public Health, March, 1992, Vol. 82, 450-452. She was featured in Salon magazine's feature "Brilliant Careers" in the June 1, 1999 edition.

The Farm Midwives

Special Guest Gloria Lemay

Gloria Lemay is a lecturer, midwifery educator and traditional birth attendant in Vancouver, BC, Canada. She has assisted at more than 800 waterbirths in the home setting and is a popular speaker and lecturer at Childbirth Conferences throughout North America. She teaches midwifery skills workshops and childbirth education classes in Vancouver. Gloria is a committed, passionate speaker with a flair for humor and story telling. Gloria worked as an illegal lay midwife for most of her career as midwifery was legislated as an act only a physician could perform in her province. In l998, midwifery became a regulated health profession in British Columbia. Gloria chose not to register with the government midwifery regulatory body and now calls herself a private birth attendant. She assists families who wish to birth "unassisted" by the medical profession. She is a passionate, funny, and articulate speaker. She writes regularly for Midwifery Today magazine and has been a speaker at midwifery conferences all over North America. She specializes in VBAC and waterbirth and is an advisory board member of the International Cesarean Awareness Network. She has served birthing women for more than 20 years and was honored with a nomination for the l996 Woman of Distinction Award by the YWCA in her community. In 2002 she received the CHOICES (Ontario) Women's Voice Award.

Technical Information

Sign-in will begin Thursday afternoon and we will all meet for dinner around 5:30pm. The ferry will cost approximately $50 for drive-on and $15 for walk-on. If you would like to walk-on the ferry there will be a bus pick-up and/or carpool option for the afternoon ferry dockings. Be sure to mark on your registration form if you are interested in bus pick-up. We will finish on Sunday at or before noon so plan your travel arrangements accordingly.

Washington state ferry website Anacortes/orcas schedule

Wait Time for Vehicles
A 30-45 minute advance arrival is advised for vehicle traffic.

Directions to Anacortes Terminal
From I-5 take exit 230, follow HY 20 west to the dock.

From Sea-Tac Airport leave a minimum of 2 hours driving time to arrive at Anacortes and plan to arrive at least an hour before your ferry is scheduled to depart. Follow signs to freeways. This puts you on East 518. Follow signs to Interstate 5 North and get on I-5 North. Take I-5 North approximately 75-80 miles to state route 20. Take 20 West to Anacortes and follow signs to the ferry terminal.

Anacortes Terminal Parking
Parking is free at the terminal until mid-May.

Airport Shuttle to Anacortes
When traveling from Sea-Tac Airport to Anacortes there is the option to take a shuttle from Sea-Tac Airport to our Anacortes Dock. For schedule and fare information call 1-866-235-5247, or check online at: There is also a website with helpful travel tips and other options on how to get to Anacortes:

Directions to Camp Orkila
As you drive off the ferry take a left. Follow this road for about 20 minutes. Make a left on Mt. Baker just past the town of Eastsound. There will be an airport to your right, if you pass the airport you have gone too far. There will be a sign on the left that says YMCA Camp Orkila. Turn left at the sign. Take your first right into the Dederer Conference Center Village. There is parking available here. If you get to the main lot you have gone too far.

Registration and Fees

Fill in the registration form and return it either e-mail or snail mail to :
Birthing Alternatives PO Box 3107 Bellingham, WA 98227
e-mail :
Mail-in registration fees must be paid by check. Online registrations can be paid by credit card (via paypal) on our website.

Registration Options:

Dederer Conference Center Accommodations:

These are the newest buildings at the camp. Sleeping arrangements are four to a room (bunk style). There is parking nearby.
-A living room with phone and full kitchen
-Two bathrooms with private showers
-All linens are included. (sheets, blankets and pillows)

Registration fees:
After May 1st - $725*

*$200 of your registration fee is non-refundable Cancellations after May 1st will not be refunded Register early because space is limited!!!

Single Day Option
For those of you who can't make it for the entire time we are offering a single day option for Saturday June 5th. Our day will begin at 9am and end sometime in the evening (see schedule outline). Your registration fee of $125 includes lunch and dinner.

*Please note at the end of your registration form that you are registering for the SATURDAY ONLY option. Deposits will not be accepted for this option and tuition must be paid in full to hold your spot. Space is limited.

Payment Options
Mail in Registration:
- Must be paid by check (made out to Birthing Alternatives)
- Include completed registration form
- Deposits of $200 are accepted to hold your space but registration must be paid in full by May 1st at the latest. (Remember that your $200 deposit is non-refundable)

Online Registration:
- Go to our website
- Under the Retreat heading download the Registration form
- Fill out the registration form (which you can do directly in Adobe Acrobat) and save as "yourfullname.pdf" (ex.. janedoe.pdf)
- E-mail your registration form to
- Go to the online registration option on the website
- To pay in full - Choose "Full Payment" click the PayPal icon to pay online.
- To pay a deposit - Choose Pay Deposit Now and click the PayPal icon to pay online.
- After you have paid your deposit and wish to make a payment online choose the Make Tuition Payment option and click the paypal icon to pay online. You will have to fill in the amount you are paying. For an update of your account status e-mail **Be careful not to OVERPAY because it is difficult to refund online so if you are unsure check your account status first**

Student Discount

If you are a midwifery student you are elgible for our student discount. Student price is $475 including all accommodations. Mark on your registration form that you are a sutdent and provide your school and/or preceptor as a contact for confirmation of student status.

Topics Covered will Include:

Ina May Gaskin:

Gloria Lemay:

Schedule Outline

Thursday June 3rd

Arrival: We arrive in the afternoon - do not plan to arrive before noon as the camp facilities will not be available until that time.
Sign in: will be at the Dederer Conference Center from 1:00pm until 6:00pm when we will go for dinner at the Norman Lodge Dining Hall.
Opening Circle: After dinner around 7:30 to 8 we will meet in the great Blue Heron for an opening circle and welcoming ceremony.

Friday June 4th- Saturday June 5th

Morning: Small group activities will be available before breakfast

8:00-9:00am : Breakfast

10:00 - 12:00 pm : Morning Lecture with Ina May Gaskin (Great Blue Heron)

12:00 - 1:00pm : Lunch

1:00 - 3:00pm : Free Time!

3:00 - 6:00pm : Afternoon discussion group with Ina May Gaskin (Great Blue Heron)

6:00pm - 7pm : Dinner

7pm - ? : Evening discussion groups/small group activities/singing, dancing & campfires!

Sunday June 6th

8:00 - 9:00am : Breakfast

10:00 - 12:00am : Closing Circle and departure


Birthing Alternatives PO Box 3107 Bellingham, WA 98227

(360) 756-6585

Ina May Gaskin

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