Category Archive Annual Conference

Calgary 2019 – Call for volunteer speakers

I am really excited to be taking our conference on the road after a few years break. And heading to Calgary!!! This year’s conference theme is Attachment and Community.

Join us as a volunteer speaker for this event. Speakers would get full access to both days of the event, one $10 discount code on an entry ticket to gift to family or friends, and receive a lunch each day they work. I also offer mentoring for volunteer presenter. Each presenter will be required to attend a practice session and I will book a run through with each person before the conference starts.

Apply today! Tell us about yourself, what you’d like to teach, and presentation type. We are looking for presentations on carrying, babywearing, parenting, and more. If you have any questions, please talk to us and send us a note. Presenters do not need to be certified, however, I do prefer a minimum of 2 years of experience for all presenters conducting hands-on workshops. Need ideas on what to submit? Take a look at our previous agendas: 2016 and 2015.

Partners for this conference include Babywearing Calgary, Babes in Arms and Raising a Little.

We have three rooms this year, one will be exclusively for workshops.

Diane Pepin – Presenter 2016 Babywearing in Canada Conference

Diane Pepin is from Windsor and has been working as a doula since 1998. Diane became a CAPPA trained lactation educator in 1999 and since then, has offered extensive post-partum support to parents, particularly focusing on maternal and parental confidence. This moved her to co-found the Windsor and Essex County Breastfeeding Coalition. Diane started providing babywearing instruction and support in 1999 and still offers the following today:

  • Wearing premature and vulnerable infants.
  • Down’s syndrome and other children with disabilities.
  • Parents with disabilities.
  • Babywearing and breastfeeding.
  • Post-partum support for the parents
  • The Mamatoto project
  • And much more.

Diane lives and works in Windsor and can be reached through her website, Mother’s Helper.

Diane was nominated for the Best Canadian Babywearing Educator Award in 2017. She also presented at the 2016 Babywearing in Canada Conference.

Session: Babywearing and Breastfeeding
By Diane Pepin and Débora Rodrigues

Using your baby carrier to keep baby close helps the breastfeeding relationship enormously. Reading your baby’s cues is much easier when the baby is held closer to the mother, and father. In this session, Diane and Débora will discuss proper positioning when nursing in a variety of baby carriers and they will discuss what the baby is capable of at different ages. This includes when to use a cradle carry, when to nurse tummy to tummy, and finally, tips and tricks to be an active babywearer and to keep it safe.

Babywearing — it’s about the village

I hear far too often from experts in the fields I study as a babywearing educator that the mother is the natural biological environment for the child. Do you know how isolating this is? It places the entire burden of parenting on one person’s shoulders.

Well. We’re not in the 1800s anymore. I want us to start looking at the whole family when discussing parenting, all kinds of families and not leave it to one version that is so dated. Partners, husbands, wives, family members, friends — they are all important.

webpic-irinas-dhTake Irina Christofferson, her foray into parenthood was long, difficult and filled with the murky journey through fertility treatments. Without her husband’s support, she would not have even made it to motherhood.

“This is my husband wearing our newborn twins. It took so much sweat, blood and tears to have them (they are IVF), that he wanted to be as close to them as possible, and babywearing made it possible!”

Parenting can be isolating and overwhelming – it is embedded in our culture. For example, when we have children, we become this new class of person – the parent. We are no longer welcome in all places anymore because we have a baby. There are playgroups, family restaurants, family festivals, and more. Mothers in particular are disconnected from their jobs, and the life they had before their baby was born. And then there is the truth that our friends are busy still trucking along with their lives, going to work every day and may not want to bother you. Though unintentional, many new mothers feel abandoned.

I have this strange philosophy in life. I call it the “We all suck theory.”

We all suck at something. We all have moments of giant enormous suckitude where we just cannot figure things out, where we just cannot cope, and where sometimes, we just want to bawl our eyes out.

webpic-food-for-villageBut that’s okay. Because then moms can stop being the only one. We can depend on more than just ourselves… and this weakness, this time where we suck? Guess what, it becomes our strength.

Like what happened with Laurel Berubé recently. A friend of hers called her up tears. This was her moment of true “I am sucking right now. HELP!”

What did Laurel do?

“I packed up my two and headed to her house. Wrapped her littlest and got him to sleep and transferred him. She got a break and could eat, our older two played together. We got some adult conversation.”

It isn’t just the mother who is the natural biological environment for the baby. No longer does a mother simply have to set her mind on what she wants, and just do it. There is space now, for everyone.


For Kristen Beaudry, her help and sanity has come from family. “This is my mom wearing my son in the Tula when only Nana snuggles would do. My 2 sisters have also worn my infant daughter in the Tula when I needed a break.”

What do parents need? To take the time to learn new routines and find a new flow. To feel useful and competent. To be able to connect with friends and family. To participate in their communities. To acknowledge their emotions and have them validated in turn. To be properly supported and loved.

This year at the Second Babywearing in Canada Conference, Kathy Venter came in to talk to us about supporting maternal confidence. She very clearly mentioned the importance of the father –dads should be carrying and using kangaroo mother care as often as possible and as soon as the child is born. This biologically primes their brains to parenthood. Kathy also spoke of the importance of the family, and the community with respects to breastfeeding success.

One of the main benefits of babywearing is to allow parents to continue to participate in their various communities. It reduces isolation. And the best thing about a baby carrier? Anyone can put one on.

As far as I am concerned, the natural biological environment for any baby are humans. It takes the village to raise a child.

BWIC Conference 2016 in Photos

Babywearing in Canada Conference 2016

This year’s annual Babywearing in Canada Conference 2016 has been a great sucess! We had the opportunity for a professional photographer to join us for the duration of the conference to document the different presenters and the demonstrations that were not always visible on the webcast. Stephanie de Montigny, from Pure Natural Newborn Photography, was also one of our Gold Sponsors and has offered us a sneak peek at some of the images she captured during the conference.  The complete gallery of images from the event will be posted on the photographer’s website shortly.

The full webcast will be available for purchase later this fall, and the waiting list for next year’s conference will soon be open for registration. For more information, send us a message.

We also want to take a moment and send thanks to West of 4th Weaving for donating the official Babywearing in Canada Conference 2016 handwoven wrap. And a special thank you to the sponsors and volunteers of the event!

BUY WebCAST ticket – BWIC – Father Involvement

Did you know the Babywearing in Canada Conference is available on-line via webcast? It is being broadcast from EDT/UTC-4 Eastern Time Zone and you can rewatch it anytime you like for the next week!

May 21, 2016, at 9:00 am Brian Russell will speak about the Father Factor.

Brian Russell is the Founder of Dad Central Ontario, was part of the Father Involvement Research Alliance, and has been working with father engagement and attachment for over 15 years. His work has inspired others to do the same. Brian will highlight the experience of fathers today, describe what the attachment between baby and dad looks like, how to support that early attachment, and how dads involvement helps support the breastfeeding relationship.  Engaging fathers from the very beginning is essential to all who work with parents and in this seminar we will discuss factors that influence father involvement and the strengths in helping men father as best as they can.

Cost $50 Canadian (taxes included). Equivalent to $39 US dollars or 35 Euros. Currency exchange rate info available here.

Join our newsletter!
Email address for webcasting

Want to watch the whole conference via webcast? Tickets available here.

BUY WebCAST ticket – BWIC – Social Justice

Did you know the Babywearing in Canada Conference is available on-line via webcast? It is being broadcast from EDT/UTC-4 Eastern Time Zone and you can rewatch it anytime you like for the next week!

Stephanie George will be speaking to breastfeeding in the Aboriginal community – in Native Culture, to heal a person you must first heal the family. Hear how this is happening in our Aboriginal Communities. May 20, 2016 at 10:00 am.

Débora Rodrigues is the president of Babywearing in Canada and will be discussing why we need to re-examine parenthood. Let’s stop leaving it just to the mother. It takes the village to raise a child. May 20, 2016, at 9:00 am.

Cost $50 Canadian (taxes included). Equivalent to $39 US dollars or 35 Euros. Currency exchange rate info available here.

Join our newsletter!
Email address for webcasting


Want to watch the whole conference via webcast? Tickets available here.

GOLD sponsor – Pure Natural Newborn Photography

pure-natural-newborn-photography-ottawa-gatineau-outline-black-on-white-logo-with-website-and-location-250pxstephanie-de-montigny-gatineau-ottawa-baby-photographer-pure-natural-newborn-photographyStephanie de Montigny, has been specialized in newborn portraiture for almost 5 years. Her passion is capturing images of growing families from pregnancy through baby’s first year, photographing one of a kind moments like birth and important baby milestones such as sitting and walking, and annual holiday portraits.

The Pure Natural Newborn Photography experience is all about capturing the important milestones of your little one’s life, and telling the story of the growth of your little one through photographic art. From the time they spend in your belly, to the time they grace us with their presence, and beyond.

The simplistic and timeless style of her images combines luxurious vintage and organic textures with newborn’s silky skin, and incorporates rustic, neutral and natural hues to compliment your home décor. Your images are designed to withstand time, last through fads, and forever be cherished by current and future generations. The carefully selected props and accessories are timeless and ensure baby is the star of the image.


The portrait studio can be found in the Hautes Plaines area of Gatineau, just a short drive from the beautiful city of Ottawa, and is equipped with everything needed to photograph your baby: props, backdrops, clothing (for mom and baby!), accessories, and more. The warm cozy studio is equipped with everything needed to photograph your baby: props, backdrops, clothing (for mom and baby!), and more! Stephanie will even hand-make outfits for your little one, or have props custom made for your session.


The household name of Pure Natural Newborn is known for providing clients with a custom photography experience, and offering personalized tangible luxury art products such as albums, wall art and image boxes. Choose from a wide range of luxury print products to personalize with your images and create custom ART for your family. Each of the signature art pieces is created unique to you, and designed to last. With all of the customization options, the possibilities are endless!


To view more of her work, set up a baby registry, schedule a studio tour, or to book your very own photo session, visit

Meet Bernadeth Betchi – Panelist BWIC Conference 2016

13152751_10153620733348951_477683631_nMeet Bernadeth Betchi, mother of two children, a two year old boy and a five month old girl. She is raising both in full partnership with her husband Nicolas, and they have been together for ten years. Bernadeth is originally from Cameroon and was raised in a culture where babywearing is everywhere, and having her own kids allowed her to continue with this very beautiful and important tradition. Bernadeth will be sharing her experience on the breastfeeding panel of the Babywearing in Canada Conference.


Photo credit: Breathe In Photography

Bernadeth’s breastfeeding journey has been difficult, not because she has had supply issues. Nope. Both her children have had food allergies and food intolerances from birth, with her eldest being so severely allergic he has seven identified triggers that will send him into anaphalactic shock. This made breastfeeding extremely challenging as Bernadeth choose to alter her diet for the health of her children.

Bernadeth often jokes that her resume will now include a listing for breastfeeding, two highly allergic children because it requires serious commitment.

“Nursing my son who has multiple life treating allergies has forced me to completely change my diet to respond to his needs. We found a routine, safe meals, safe brands, support groups, a community of people just like us who know what we are going through and are behind us to cheer us on and hug is when we have set backs. Then my precious little girl came along with her own list which only made my list of non-safe food longer. I only got tested and found out I was also to avoid some foods.”

The past few months have been exhausting for Bernadeth as she tries to survive on the few foods she can eat to take care of her kids and take care of herself. She has been asked to consider stopping, this is her reply:

“Formula is not even an option. The allergies and sensitives are so major and there are so many that we would need to invent one just for us, and so far my milk is taking care of it. I am amazed at where this journey has taken us. A roller coaster of ups and downs. It is physically and emotionally draining. However, my family and I are healthier for it.”

This process has made Bernadeth and her family extremely aware of the impact of the environment. She is now extremely adept at reading labels, is teaching her son about his epipen, how and why he would need to use it. She also spends a lot of time educating the people around us. She finds the judgement she faces to be hard:

“It is not always easy and often a battle as people think that food allergies are only inventions and that they are not as bad as we explain them to be. I have two healthy and thriving babies, whose health have improved so much that you wouldn’t know they have dietary restrictions. Yes, there’s been s lot of sacrifices, but with those rewards, it’s clearly been worth it.”

Bernadeth is proud of what she has been able to accomplish. So is her husband.

Nicolas is very supportive of Bernadeth and with their shared outlook on parenting, tackle everything that comes their way with style, grace (and sometimes neither), making it through each stage as it comes.

Bernadeth co-owns TieLark.

Come and listen to Bernadeth and learn from other speakers at the Babywearing in Canada Conference. Are you coming – tickets on sale now.

Thank you to our 2016 Conference sponsors:
GOLD: Pure Natural Newborn Photography
BRONZE: BCIA,, KneadedTouch, and Boutique Bummis

Meet François Lavallée – Panelist BWIC Conference 2016


François Lavallée is a loving and dedicated father of a toddler, and is raising him with his wife Brenda. François feels he is like most dads in that he wants to do what’s best for his child and even changed jobs because having more time at home with his son was very important. As a result, François has enjoyed watching his little boy grow, celebrated each of his milestones, and has discovered the wonder of seeing the world through his son’s eyes, as the most mundane things become new again. It is what makes fatherhood so special to François. François will be sharing his experiences at the Babywearing in Canada Conference. Come and listen to him in person.

François feels that it is his responsibility to support his wife and actively take part in the raising of his son. Being supportive has always been an important part of his relationship with his wife, and has continued during her pregnancy. This support included hiring a doula for the birth of their son and enabled him to help coached and support his wife through this incredible experience. François ensured his wife rests often, gives her back rubs, cooks dinner, all while attempting to pick up every single item she craves!

As a first time father, he found the breastfeeding experience to be trickier than he initially thought. François’ son had a tongue tie and lip tie which made breastfeeding difficult. Even though it was corrected within four days of birth, it was two weeks before the baby started breastfeeding with ease.

During this early time, François learned that there seems to be a lot of misinformation available on the internet on breastfeeding. From his point of view:

“A lot of misinformation can lead to people giving up on breastfeeding, or sometimes, not even trying. I find that’s a real shame.”

He is glad they were both able to rely on the coaching from their doula during this difficult period. François also feels that being supportive is an important aspect of being a partner, which includes making sure he does his fair share around the home.  He says, “If you don’t, it’ll create resentment and put undue stress on your relationship.”

Though as a father, François was not responsible breastfeeding, he did not feel it impeded his ability to be an important person in his son’s life. François was always in charge of bath time, did night time feeds, and carried him whenever possible. Both he and his wife wore their son. What he loved most about babywearing was being to be able to be so close to his son, to be able to comfort him, to communicate and just take in the small moments. Babywearing is also really practical because he could take care of his son, do the dishes, and help with nap times. As a result, François feels he has created some wonderful memories of bonding with his son. His favourite thing is seeing the happiness in his son’s eyes when he comes home from work – this fills him with warmth. François enjoys celebrating all the milestones in his son’s life, big and small.

Knowing that Brenda and his son value him makes him feel strong, loved, and valued. He and Brenda are expecting their second child soon, and he cannot wait to meet this new baby. François looks forward to babywearing his new little one when he or she arrives.

François is sharing his story on the breastfeeding panel at the Babywearing in Canada Conference – come and connect, learn from a dad’s perspective what breastfeeding support means.

Thank you to our 2016 Conference sponsors:
GOLD: Pure Natural Newborn Photography
BRONZE: BCIA,, KneadedTouch, and Boutique Bummis

Meet Anna Godbout Pinck – panelist BWIC Conference 2016

AnnaAnna Godbout Pinck is a relaxed mommy of five beautiful children: Four sons at 14, 9, and 6 years of age, and a toddler of 22 months; and, an eleven year old daughter.

Anna has had a wide range of experiences in terms of motherhood and she strongly believes it takes a village to raise a child. Her parenting is reflective of that philosophy. She enjoyed all her pregnancies and thought they were wonderful, but her fifth child was born at 35 weeks and was in the NICU for four weeks – a stressful period of time – especially when there were four other little ones at home to take care of. The community of people she had around her made a huge difference in helping her family cope with these challenges.

All five of her children were exclusively breastfed babies, but the path to breastfeeding was not always smooth.  At first, nursing and pumping were essential to her because her  family couldn’t afford formula and with the youngest, Anna was able to successfully transition him from the feeding tube to breast with minimal issues.  Her success is also due to the support Anna received from her partner. Throughout the initial stages of nursing and pumping, he backed her and supported her fully and Anna knows how important he was to her success.

Since Anna became a mother 14 years go, she has found that the biggest change in the world of mothering is the contribution of the internet. Parenting without the internet, is extremely isolating, yet it was also empowering. Without all the opinions, and information you can google at the tips of your fingers, it allowed her to listen and become more in-tuned with her inner voice, her own mothering instincts. But do not mistake her, Anna wouldn’t give up the internet for the world because being able to access so many resources is wonderful, and the ability to find like-minded friends is priceless.

Anna loves being a mother:

“It’s that bond that comes from knowing that a piece of your heart is walking around outside of your own body. The older the kids get the more they push to be independent of you, but they will always be a part of you and you will always be a part of them. Even the hardest and scariest moments of our parenting lives come with incredible rewards. Try to be present, in the moment with your children and you will never regret it.”

Anna is growing the next generation of the village with her homeschooling family, as they live and learn together, allowing her family to function organically through many real life experiences.

Come and listen to Anna in person. She will be speaking on the breastfeeding panel at the Babywearing in Canada Conference May 20-21, 2016, at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre. Tickets can be purchased here.

Anna is a long-time babywearer and also makes a number of items from wrap scraps. Her business, Reprise Fibres, is known for the neatest things. She will be donating a bonnet and bib set to conference attendees. Visit her facebook page for more information.


Thank you to our 2016 Conference sponsors:
GOLD: Pure Natural Newborn Photography
BRONZE: BCIA,, KneadedTouch, and Boutique Bummis