The Roots of Obstetrics and Its Influence on Modern Birth Management

Brittany Sharpe McCollum Headshot

Our workshop will dive into the sordid beginnings of obstetrics in America and explore the continued effects of racism, bias, and pseudoscience in modern day childbearing care. Join us for a journey into the past where we explore the unique circumstances of enslavement and immigration in America and how they allowed American doctors an unprecedented opportunity to enter the world-realm of medicine. Continue with us as we unravel the neglected physical, emotional, social, and pathological factors that lay bare the truth behind bias in obstetrical care and recognize how this prejudice continues to affect modern care in childbirth. We will conclude with suggestions for how to move forward from here in a way that respects and recognizes autonomy in all birthing bodies.

Objectives: Explore how “women’s health” put American doctors on the world map
Identify the factors contributing to early obstetricians’ perspectives on childbirth
Summarize the effects of the foundation of obstetrical learning on bias in current birth management and evidence based suggestions for moving forward.

One (1) ICEA Contact Hour


Brittany Sharpe McCollum Headshot

About the Speaker

Brittany Sharpe McCollum, CCE(BWI), CD(DONA), CLC

Brittany Sharpe McCollum is a Perinatal Pelvic Biomechanics Educator and owner of Blossoming Bellies Wholistic Birth Services based out of the greater Philadelphia PA, area providing childbirth education classes, birth doula services, and dynamic labor support and pelvic biomechanics training workshops for birth professionals and expectant parents. She has been offering birth-related services since 2007 and continues to work towards change in the maternity care system in a way that is twofold. Brittany offers expectant parents in person and virtual group and self-paced childbirth education and birth doula support - guiding parents in developing the tools to be actively involved in their care. Brittany's trainings on evidence based fetal positioning and pelvic dynamics and biomechanics take a multidisciplinary research-based approach to movement, drawing on resources from obstetrics, kinesiology, physiotherapy, and anthropology and are available through conference presentations, workshops, and webinars. Brittany is honored to be a sought after guest at international childbirth related conferences, including the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Summit in 2018, the Evidence Based Birth conference in 2019, the Midwifery Forward 2020 Conference, the ICEA 2020 Virtual Conference, the Utah Doula Association Mini Conference, the ACNM Midwifery Day conference, the 2022 NNEPQIN Winter Conference, and more. In addition, Brittany facilitates private workshops for obstetricians, midwives, nurses, doulas, childbirth educators, and other prenatal support resources around the country, both virtually and in-person, as well as two bi-annual trainings for the larger birth community. She is also a contributing author to the book “Baby Got VBAC: An Inspiring Collection of Wisdom for Better Births After Cesarean.” Brittany lives in South Jersey with her partner and their four children. Check out her website for upcoming webinars, classes, workshops, conference events, and more at and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @blossomingbelliesbirth.

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