Dr Andrew Bisits

Andrew Bisits is the Director of Obstetrics at the Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney, Australia- a tertiary academic hospital which oversees 4,000 births per year.
He moved there from Newcastle, 150km north of Sydney, four years ago. In Newcastle he had been the director of Obstetrics for eight years.

Dr Bisits has been in full time obstetrics for 30 years this time including the training and residency positions. He has had a strong interest in breech birth since the term breech trial was first planned. In the research arena he has a strong leaning towards epidemiology and biostatistics. In the clinical arena he has participated in several initiatives to promote normal birth through helping establish primary midwifery care programs for pregnant women.

Dr Bisits has a conjoint associate professorial position with the UNSW and is on the Australian board of ALSO (Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics).

Dr Julia Bodle (organiser)

Julie Bodle & Helen Dresner Barnes

RCN Annual Midwifery Award Winner 2-16

Julia is a Consultant Obstetrician in Sheffield and Helen is the team lead for the Citywide 1-1 team. Together they spear-headed the evolving Breech Service in Sheffield.

Initially they travelled to Washington DC in 2012 to the Coalition for Breech Birth’s 3rd International Conference, to learn how breech birth was re-emerging across the world. They continued with this learning within the UK, in Frankfurt and in the Netherlands.

They hosted the first North of England Breech Conference in 2014 and are now organising this second conference in 2017. In 2016 they set up a breech Clinic at the Jessop Wing in Sheffield. All parts of the service are collaborative; and for this the team won the RCM’s “Excellence in Midwifery Award” in 2016. Julia and Helen are committed to choice for women expecting a breech baby, backed up by clinical and research information.

Julia’s other clinical interests include, high risk obstetrics, substance misuse and intra-partum care. She is a staunch advocate of maternal choice and the de-medicalisation of childbirth. During her time in Sheffield she has championed the wider practice of delayed cord clamping, skin to skin and upright breech birth.

Betty-Anne Daviss

Betty-Anne Daviss is a registered midwife at the Montfort Hospital and the Ottawa Hospital and an Adjunct Professor in Women’s Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. She has been a midwife for 40 years and is a researcher in both the social sciences and clinical epidemiology. Publications in medical journals have centred on postpartum hemorrhage, home birth, and vaginal breech birth.

Hired by FIGO in 2004-5 as project manager for their international Safe Motherhood Initiative, she left the post when the Canadian-led randomized controlled trial on breech changed its conclusions to “Planned cesarean section is not associated with a reduction in risk of death or neuro developmental delay in children at two years of age.” She then toured the major centres in Europe and Australia that continued to perform and research vaginal breeches.

In 2008, she began travelling back and forth from her midwifery practice in Ottawa to the Frankfurt Unit at the Goethe University Institute several times a year, becoming part of the Frankfurt team doing vaginal breeches in an upright position, helping them with their protocols, development of their database and articles on breech and twin deliveries. She presently holds privileges to do planned vaginal breeches at the Montfort Hospital in Ottawa without transfer to obstetrics. She has done workshops and presentations on breech birth at obstetric units or conferences in Argentina, Australia, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and in the U.S. (in Denver, New York City, Portland,Oregon, Washington D.C.), and in Canada (in Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg) and acted as the scientific co-ordinator for two international breech birth conferences in Ottawa, Canada, and Washington, DC. She has attended 150 planned vaginal breech births.

Helen Dresner Barnes (organiser)

RCN Annual Midwifery Award Winner 2-16

Helen was originally a Speech and Language Therapist and Researcher in Child Language, prior to qualifying as a midwife in 2004. She has worked as a caseloading midwife in Sheffield since 2005 and is deeply committed to women’s choice.

Helen has led the Citywide 1-1 midwifery team in Sheffield since its inception. She is passionate about caseloading as an approach for all women expecting babies. In particular she is interested in human rights in maternity care, and the complexities between maternal choice and evidence based practice.

The Citywide 1-1 team provide care to women with mixed complexities, often choosing care outside of the recommended pathways. She has a keen interest in vaginal breech as an option for women and developed skills for breech birth alongside Jane Evans. Helen has a range of challenging midwifery experience, including breech and twin home births and works hard to keep women engaged with the service regardless of their birth choices.

She is NIPE qualified and teaches breech skills as emergency training. Helen also takes a small independent caseload and she has both midwifery and language publications.

Jane Evans


Jane trained as a Nurse and Midwife in the UK; and has been a Midwife in clinical practice for more than 30 years. Her practice has been mainly community-based, supporting women having homebirths.

Jane worked within the UK National Health Service for twenty years and has worked independently since 1991.She has developed extensive experience in helping women birth twins and babies presenting by the breech. Jane is the author of the AIMS booklet, ‘Breech Birth, What are my options?’ and has published various articles in the Midwifery press.

She has lectured nationally and internationally and runs ‘A Day at the Breech’ workshops. She has a particular interest in increasing the knowledge and awareness of basic Midwifery skills throughout the profession.

Andrea Galimberti


Graduating at The University of Milan 1992, Andrea trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the NHS between 1993 and 2001 (South West Rotation).

He has worked as a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Jessop Wing, Sheffield, with a special interest in Intrapartum and Labour Ward management, since 2001.

From 2008 to 2013, Andrea was the Labour Ward Lead and Clinical Lead for Obstetrics then in April 2013 he became the Clinical Director of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Anita Hedditch


Anita qualified in 1992 and has had the opportunity to witness vaginal breech birth before and after the effects of Term Breech Trial.

She became involved ECV clinic within the OUH; and has been part of that team since 2010. More recently she has had the opportunity to support women in labour with breech presentation in a tertiary setting. This stems from helping to run the Breech RCOG conference in 2014; and from participation at the first Sheffield Conference also in 2014. She has taught upright breech birth within the OUH for 18 months and assists with teaching at the local university.

Anita currently leads a team of midwives to support upright breech birth. They provide 24 hour cover for this, alongside full-time work. The project is evolving and has required local guideline, patient information and leaflet development and implementation. This is in addition to the very necessary data collection of each birth that occurs.

Being part of this care pathway as it evolves is an exciting, demanding but rewarding role. The process of reading, debrief and sharing forms a vital piece of the jigsaw in providing care that is as good as it can be. For this reason, the team has a developing support network with their Sheffield colleagues.

Mr Lawrence Impey MBBS FRCOG

Mr Impey is a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a subspecialist in fetal and maternal medicine. He qualified in 1998 from Oxford University and UCL, obtaining his MRCOG in 1992, and was awarded the FRCOG in 2007.

He is the head of the guideline group responsible for the new RCOG Breech guideline, published on March 16th 2017. He is widely published in the areas of labour, breech presentation and the origins of childhood handicap. He has written, edited and contributed to several leading text books in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Mr Impey is Director of the sub-specialty training programme in fetal and maternal medicine in Oxford. He also lectures regularly locally at Oxford University, nationally and internationally.

Within the NHS, Mr Impey specialises in complex pregnancy, particularly for women with multiple pregnancies and those at risk of preterm delivery. He runs the breech and external cephalic version (ECV) service.

Natalie Khoaz

Natalie has been a midwife for 11 years with experience of working in the hospital environment; providing antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care.

She has worked as a community midwife in the standard community setting and within a 1-1 caseload midwifery team. Having recently completed a MSc in clinical research, Natalie hopes to pursue a clinical research career. Her MSc dissertation involved a mixed methods study, involving interviews and questionnaires of clinicians (UK), exploring possible barriers to providing safe vaginal breech birth care.

Currently working as a midwife in Sheffield Jessop wing, she runs a VBAC clinic that provides evidence based information for women who have had one previous CS, regarding their next birth choices.

Professor Frank Louwen

franklouwen_2017Frank is a Professor of Obstetrics and Perinatology and the Division Chief of Obstetrics and Fetomaternal Medicine at the University of Frankfurt, Germany. He studied at Westfaelischen Wilhelms-University Muenster from 1983-89.

He has served as Chief of the perinatal Centre (III) at the University Hospital Frankfurt Goethe-University since 2002. He also serves on several executive boards. Seven years ago Dr. Louwen started delivering breech babies with the mother in the upright position (on her knees or all-fours) and is in the process of compiling data regarding this technique and its benefits.

Anke Reitter

Dr Anke Reitter, FRCOG, IBCLC, is the lead Consultant Obstetrician and Feto-Maternal Medicine Specialist at Krankenhaus Sachsenhausen, Frankfurt.

Although originally from Germany, she worked in India and the United States during her medical studies, and in England (including Liverpool) for 4 years during her obstetric training. After returning to Germany, she specialised in perinatal medicine and was appointed to the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department at the University Hospital Frankfurt. There she was instrumental in the collection and publication a large observational study of the physiological breech birth, FIGO journal.

Since her move to Krankenhaus Sachsenhausen, Dr Reitter has set up a new breech service in a unit which has not supported breech births for years. Her special interests lie in breech, multiple pregnancies, high risk pregnancies and prenatal ultrasound. She is an internationally known speaker, teacher and researcher in several areas, but especially breech birth.

Johanna Rhys-Davies

Johanna is a qualified barrister and spent just under a decade at the bar, specialising in representing survivors of domestic violence, and in asylum and human rights law cases.

After becoming a mother in 2009 she turned her attention to local maternity advocacy and founded a grassroots campaign group in Yorkshire to improve maternity care. She joined Birthrights in 2013…’ Birthrights is the only UK organisation dedicated to promoting, informing and supporting Human Rights in childbirth.

Birthrights provides conferences, training and opportunities to intellectually collaborate, with respect to the law surrounding Human Rights in childbirth and how this impacts on Midwifery and Obstetric practice in the UK (including how it interlinks with trust guidelines and policy, and other areas of law including clinical negligence and midwives’ regulatory framework under the NMC).

Johanna has presented such training, and assist in facilitating training and conferences, including sourcing and liaising with potential speakers, including those from the midwifery, obstetric and research professions.

Paula Schofield


Paula is a nurse and a midwife with local, regional and national experience. Her current role is Nurse Director and Head of Midwifery for obstetrics, gynaecology, neonatology and radiology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

She is a Supervisor of Midwives in the Yorkshire and the Humber Local Supervising Authority. Paula is a midwifery assessor for MBRRACE and is passionate about providing high-quality care.

Paula supports the City Wide 1:1 team to provide a bespoke service to their caseload as well as in the championing of alternative birth choices and the provision of education for all staff.

Gail Tully

Gail is a certified professional midwife (CPM) who began her midwifery studies preparing for a breech baby’s homebirth in 1983. Expecting to photograph the birth, Gail found herself already receiving the baby as the midwife entered and declined to take over!

Gail is the founder of www.SpinningBabies.com which is a top resource for pregnant women with breech positioned babies and world renown approach to physiological birthing. Retired from primary care, she enjoys being called out to an occasional breech birth.

Gail is the author of The Belly Mapping Workbook (2005), Resolving Shoulder Dystocia video (2011), Daily Essentials video, Spinning Babies Parent Class video (both 2014), Spinning Babies Quick Reference (2015), and Breech Birth; Quick Guide (2016).

Professor Cathy Warwick CBE

Photo of Cathy Warwick

Professor Cathy Warwick CBE is Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

In her current role, Professor Warwick is closely involved in the development of maternity policy, and has recently been part of a major review of maternity services in England chaired by Baroness Cumberlege.  Since her appointment, Cathy has worked with four successive Secretaries of State for Health to try to influence policy on behalf of women, forging collaborative relationships with a broad range of organisations with common interests and working closely with obstetricians, gynaecologists and paediatricians and their Royal Colleges.

Professor Warwick continues to be very interested in research and holds honorary professorships at King’s College London and Hong Kong University and received honorary doctorates from the University of Dundee in 2015  and Kingston and St George’s University London in 2007.  Passionate to influence global maternity health, she has led midwifery study tours to South Africa, India and Cuba and will travel  to Sri Lanka in 2016.

Immediately prior to her appointment at the RCM, Professor Warwick was Director of Midwifery and General Manager for Women and Children’s Services at King’s College Hospital, having practiced as a midwife since 1976 in a variety of settings.   Whilst at Kings College she received a CBE for services to healthcare in 2006.

Professor Warwick began her career by gaining a nursing degree at Edinburgh University in 1975. She then completed the one year midwifery course at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in London in 1976, and worked as a midwife across a variety of clinical settings in hospitals and in the community. She has held a number of senior posts in midwifery education and in the NHS managing midwifery and nursing services.  She has an MSc in Social Policy, an Advanced Diploma in Midwifery (ADM)  and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education of Adults.

Her work has led to invitations to sit on many national maternity policy committees, and she has been a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and was Chair of the Midwifery Committee at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and Chair of the maternity working group contributing to the Darzi report, Healthcare for London.

She has also written and published widely on midwifery issues and lectures and speaks nationally and internationally.