Chicago, Ill. (March 14, 2005) — In January 2005 the Simon Foundation for Continence brought together experts from throughout the United States and Europe to discuss the topic of Pregnancy, Birthing, and Incontinence. The two-day meeting held in Chicago was chaired by Professor Christine Norton, PhD, RN (U.K.) and Dr. Toni Harris (U.S.), both members of the Foundation’s Advisory Board.
The goals of the meeting were: (1) to identify what current research has discovered to be protective of the pelvic floor during pregnancy and delivery; (2) to identify what is not yet known about this topic; and (3) to create the appropriate educational message for women of childbearing age about pregnancy, birthing, and incontinence.
“Given America’s soaring costs of healthcare, educating the public regarding prevention in all areas of healthcare should be among our top national priorities,” stated Cheryl B. Gartley, President of the Simon Foundation for Continence. “In 1997 the Foundation organized the First International Conference on the Prevention of Incontinence which was held in London, England. The Pregnancy, Birthing, and Incontinence think tank is an extension of that groundbreaking conference and a re-dedication to the concept of prevention as it relates to pregnancy, birthing, and incontinence.”
Among the multidisciplinary experts attending the roundtable were: Roger Goldberg, MD, a urogynecologist and author of “Ever Since I Had My Baby”; Missy Lavender, MBA, founder of the Women’s Health Foundation; Monica Liebert, PhD, Director for Research and Guidelines, the American Urological Association; Lisa Kane Low, PhD., CNM, FACNM, Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing; Janice Miriam Miller, PhD, APRN, Assistant Research Scientist, School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan; Richard I. Nelson, Jr., MD, Chief, Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago; Nancy Norton, founder of the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders; Jeannette Tries, PhD, OTR, Director of the Behavioural and Rehabilitation Program at West Allis Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee; and Kristine E. Whitmore, MD, Chairman of the Division of Urology, Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia. Also in attendance were Simon staff: Jasmine Schmidt, Director of Education; Bette Rank, Director of Special Projects; and Shirley Hopple from the Simon Foundation’s Volunteer Program.
The Pregnancy, Birthing, and Incontinence Roundtable marks the launch of the Foundation’s program to address the complex topic of incontinence as it relates to pregnancy and birthing. The roundtable was sponsored by an Educational Grant from SCA Personal Products, makers of Serenity. Another facet of the Foundation’s Pregnancy, Birthing and Incontinence project includes the 2005 publication of “Bladder Control and Pregnancy”, an article co-authored by Dr. Toni Harris, Urogynecologist, University of California Davis, and Cheryl B. Gartley, Simon Foundation for Continence, which is currently being distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada to an estimated 5 million women of childbearing age.