Normal Labour and Birth Conference Steering Council

Download the pdf here.

“To convene a multidisciplinary scientific conference on normal birth research and stimulate dialogue and exchange of ideas on applying the emerging evidence to maternity care.”



This is an international conference series focused on issues surrounding physiologic birth. The International Normal Labour and Birth Research Conference series has convened international researchers, academics, and clinicians for a rigorous and novel exploration and dissemination of emerging evidence related to normal labour and birth. The series was initiated by faculty at the University of Central Lancashires which continues to host the biannual sessions.  During the alternate years sessions are held in international sites.  Each session will specifically focus on active research, concepts and controversies around the experiences of physiologic birth by providers, women, families, and systems of care within the current social, political, and economic context. Multidisciplinary perspectives on the implications for clinical practice, perinatal outcomes, education, management, collaboration, and policy are sought.


Terms of Reference

Direct and provide leadership around the strategic vision, content, and structure of the conference series, including:


  • Select rotating annual themes and locations
  • Consult with Session Chair and advise on selection of annual Key Note Speakers
  • Approve summary language for proposal and promotions
  • Approve venue, dates, daily schedules, overall structure, overall timeline
  • Provide leadership and advice around timeline, process, budget, venue, lodging, entertainment, advertising, marketing & promotion, technical support
  • Review and evaluate submitted presentation abstracts, provide recommendations according to established guidelines and using existing rating forms
  • Designate and/or serve as Section Moderators, guest speaker hosts, etc
  • Establish model for call for abstracts and review of abstracts
  • Liaise with Scientific Committee to review roster and membership bi-annually
  • Approve invited abstracts and final program
  • Approve Promotional Materials
  • Recruit Financial and In-Kind Stakeholders
  • Strategize and collaborate to apply for and secure funding for conference delivery
  • Ensure “history” and evolving methods, templates and processes are shared among Chairs in international sites
  • Advise on challenges encountered related to abstract submissions, enrolment, selections, logistics, funding, university endorsments, etc.
  • Review terms of reference every 3 years.





  1. Sustaining Member (not term limited)


Soo Downe as the sustaining member


  1. At Large Members: (two term limited)


Kerri Schuling (in second term)

Lisa Kane Low (in second term)

Holly Kennedy (in second term)


  1. Chairs/Former Chairs/Future Chairs (two term limited)


Saraswathi Vedam (former chair of North America Conference, renewed into second term)

Ngai Fen Cheung (most recent former site chair, China conference first term)

Maria do Carmo Leal (current off site conference chair)

Hannah Dahlen (Future conference Australia)


  1. Organization Representatives: (variable terms of service that is individually appointed and negotiated by the Steering Council)

ICM   Other?


  1. Potential for Ad Hoc members based on unique needs indentified by the Steering Council e.g

Obstetrician, Paediatrician, Public Health Professionals


Term of Service:

Members of the Council are requested to participate for a 3 year term of membership with the opportunity to renew for a second term.  Once two terms are completed (six years sequentially) the member must rotate off of the steering council.  There is the opportunity for a former member to return to the Steering Council after three years away from membership. The process for renewal will be automatic for the second term of membership if ongoing membership is desired.


Process of Appointment to the Steering Committee:

For membership selection, the interested individual provides a copy of their CV and a statement of interest to the steering committee for open membership positions.  The statement of interest can be written in the form of a letter and should be no more than one page.  The letter can introduce the stated desire for membership, and highlight areas of expertise, prior experience with conference programming and any prior exposure to or experience with the Normal Birth Conference.


Local Off Site Chair Selection for Council Membership will be determined in coordination with any local organizations that are applying to host a conference and the Steering Council.  Chairs should have a philosophical alignment with the goals of promoting normal birth and the objectives of the conferences.






Circulated to Council members.

Download the pdf here.


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