“Easy, Quick, and Free: Proven Calm-Down Techniques for Mamas”

In this experiential, relaxing and fun workshop, we’ll practice ancient breathing exercises, mantras and body movements that work great in modern times to quickly bring ourselves out of “fight or flight” mode, and allow us to be present for our children and ourselves.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Jennifer Hoeprich, LM

Jennifer Hoeprich, CPM, CMT is a home birth midwife, meditation teacher, and women’s circle facilitator who has served birthing families in the Phoenix area since 2004.

Ceremonies in the 4th trimester

There are many different ceremonies from all over the world to celebrate your new baby and your new body. Come learn the different ways to honor this beautiful transition.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Wendi Cleckner

Wendi is a desert child at heart, born and raised on the Arizona clay. In 1993 she helped a friend through the birth of her first child and felt a passion to devote her life to moms and babies.

Communication Through Touch

Jimmy Gialelis, LMT, BCTMB, will explore aspects of communication via touch.

  • How physical touch communicates healing and positive development in relationships.
  • How physical touch elevates mental and emotional health.
  • How massage therapy aids these processes.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Jimmy Gialelis, LMT

Certified Massage Therapist

Jimmy Gialelis, LMT, BCTMB has been a nationally certified massage therapist of 17 years.  He maintains a private practice in Tempe, AZ.  Mr. Gialelis teaches both at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and with his company Advanced Massage Arts & Education.

Creating a Postpartum Game Plan

During this session, parents will be introduced  to a menu of ideas for managing the postpartum period, particularly with subsequent children, in a way that fosters physical and emotional health. Discussion will include suggestions for postpartum well-being, such as SNOWBALL, and offer various ways to incorporate them practically.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Keeley Bruner

Keeley Bruner is a mother of three, having completed her most recent 4th trimester after giving birth last spring. S

Exploring Maternal and Paternal Parenting Styles

Research clearly indicates that, in many aspects, fathers’ styles of parenting are different from mothers’ parenting styles.

This workshop will present a summary of results of current research on maternal and paternal parenting approaches, comparing and contrasting the two. It will present parents and staff of family service agencies and community organizations with opportunities to develop strategies to recognize and respect the benefits of these differences in their program delivery. (90 minutes)

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Neil Tift

Neil is the Outreach Project Coordinator for the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA) in Mesa.

Maternal Mortality in Arizona

National trends in maternal death continue to rise, so Arizona is working hard to close the gap on maternal mortality. Arizona reviews every pregnancy related or associated death (the death of a pregnant woman while pregnant or within 1 year at the end of a pregnancy) that happens in Arizona to prevent and ultimately erase maternal mortality. Come learn what is happening to our mothers and what you can do to help!

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Clarke Erickson Baer

Clarke Erickson Baer

Clarke Erickson Baer is a lifelong learner dedicated understanding and applying promising and best practices for facilitation methodologies, program design, implementation practices, and evaluation to advance health and well-being of at-risk communities. She is currently serving as the Maternal Mortality Program Manager for the Arizona Department of Health Services. In her previous roles, Clarke focused on improving rural maternal health programs and implementing positive youth development programs for undeserved youth.


Take a moment to hold space for yourself and those around you as we open the conference with meditation.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

There are currently no speakers set for this session

Post Birth Warning SIgns

What isn’t talked about at the baby shower.
A review of what a postpartum nurse would like you and your family/ village/ tribe to be aware of for your body, after the birth of your baby.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Barbie Schimke

Barbie Schimke is a full time Mom and part time night nurse.

Postpartum Yoga

Join us to learn about the core and pelvic floor muscles, how they are affected during pregnancy, and exercises and yoga poses to restore the body after pregnancy. I will also present breathing exercises and information on the brain/body connection and lowering stress and anxiety.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Sound Healing Tools for Connecting

The magical power of Sound and Music has been used as a healing modality since ancient times. This ancient science is making a comeback and is now backed by research into its healing benefits. Sound can help you relax, find balance, heal, remove energetic blocks, connect you to source, and more! And the best thing about it – is that its simple, and accessible to anyone.

During this session we will journey into the world of sound and learn how sound can create subtle but profound positive changes in our bodies – including stress release and relaxation. Sound can also be used to create a beautiful connection between you and your baby, and other family members. Often its not our words that connect us, but a vibration that comes from our hearts. Different techniques will be shared and experienced that you can do on your own to assist in your own healing and transformation. As we fine tune ourselves, we begin living in harmony with the universe. The presentation also includes a magnificent healing sound bath at the end!

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Gretchen Bickert

Gretchen Bickert is a Sound & Energy Therapist and works with people as well as animals.

Supports and Resources during Pregnancy, Postpartum and Beyond

First Things First and Southwest Human Development can help you find the resources you need as professionals, parents, and caregivers to support healthy families and healthy children – during pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.


Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Sheri Collins

Sheri Collins is a First Things First Community Outreach Coordinator for the Southeast Maricopa Region. Before joining First Things First, Sheri served as a First Things First grant partner in the East Maricopa, Southeast Maricopa and Yavapai regions as an Outreach Specialist with Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA). Prior to AzCA, Sheri was a marketing and communications manager, marketing consultant, educator and lobbying associate. Her professional experience includes journalism, media relations, government, education, fundraising, grant writing, community outreach and event management. Sheri holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University.

Sandy La Cava

Sandy LaCava, M.Ed., an Arizona resident for over 38 years, raised two children as a single mom. She worked for years in the business sector, then in education, and is presently community development manager at Southwest Human Development. Sandy believes children are our greatest resource and by providing supports for families we can greatly impact a child’s future success in school and in life. This is her work – educating our community about the importance of a healthy foundation for Arizona’s children, knowing it is good for families and good for Arizona.

The Healing Room

A safe haven for relaxation and rejuvenation by skilled energywork practitioners.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

There are currently no speakers set for this session

The Myths of Motherhood

This session will address the lies we believe that make us a “good mom” and keep us from seeking help or support. The myths we buy, not only impact our mood in motherhood, but also reaching out and asking for help.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Michelle Lacey, MA, LPC, PMH-C

Michelle Lacy(MA, LPC, PMH-C) is the Clinical Director for Women’s Health Innovations of Arizona and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Perinatal Mental Health clinician. 

The Stories Our Bodies Tell

Working with a buddy we will use butcher block paper to draw the outline of our bodies. Then with art materials we will express whatever we desire within that outline. This open-ended activity is meant to be fun, providing a chance to express inner wishes and dreams. Participants will be able to take home their work and continue to add to it as they wish.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Sunnee O’Rork

Sunnee is Executive Director at i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa, Arizona.

Your Marriage after Baby

About 60-75% of mothers who seek mental health counseling for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders have a relationship component or root cause related to their symptoms and recovery. We aim to normalize and validate the real struggle in adjusting marriage and partner relationships when baby makes three, and provide clear and realistic strategies for keeping the health of your relationship at the heart of your postpartum plan. Both partners are highly encouraged to attend and both partners will hear non-judgmental solutions that will help them grow as individuals and as a couple/family. Primary prevention and/or early intervention are always the goals for rapid recovery!

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Dr. Cara English, DBH

Dr. Cara English has 20 years of experience in the fields of psychology, counseling, and integrated behavioral health care, and is thrilled to open Terra’s Place with a mission to serve women and families suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.


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