Cannonier A “Tireless Advocate For Home Birth”

October 30, 2015

Sophia Cannonier has been given a full scholarship to attend a conference in Denmark, an award presented to “stand-out advocates who have proven their commitment to advancing the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women in their community and around the world.”

Ms. Cannonier is a Certified Midwife Assistant, Birth Doula CD[DONA], Birthing from Within Mentor, pilates and yoga teacher/trainer, feldenkrais practitioner, and the director and founder of the Bermuda Integrative Health Co-Op Ltd and the Lotus Mind Body Spirit Wellness Center.

Ms Cannonier, a former professional ballet dancer, in the Fitness Extravaganza in April of this year:

Bodybuilding-Fitness-Extravaganza-Bermuda-April-11-2015-18 sophia cannonier

She has supported over 60 Bermuda families in the past 11 years in planning their home births, and hopes to establish labour and birthing tubs on the newly renovated maternity ward, as well as to secure midwifery and doula services to be fully covered by local insurance companies.

The scholarship will see Ms. Cannonier attend the Women Deliver 2016 Conference from May 16 to 19, 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the chance to connect with a wide range of policymakers, donors, activists, and journalists from the highest levels to the grassroots to review progress, discuss challenges, and push for new and ambitious commitments toward improving the lives of girls and women.

The scholarship includes conference registration; round-trip airline travel; reimbursement of the fees to acquire a new visa to enter Denmark; $50 for ground transportation; overnight accommodations at a hotel selected by Women Deliver in Copenhagen for the duration of the conference; and $50 per diem, per night stayed at the hotel to attend the conference.

Women Deliver 2016 Conference promo video

Filmmaker Diana Bort said, “I have been making films showing the benefits of natural, unmedicated homebirth for 20 years. Sophia is a visionary advisor to the non- profit organization, Love Delivers.

“She is a model spokesperson for women and families wanting more options for birth in Bermuda and beyond. In fact, one of our recent films Five Countries, Six Births, Seven Babies, features Sophia. Home birth was thought to be illegal in Bermuda. Sophia secured a Midwife from the UK to attend her two home, water births.

“With loving kindness and strength she gathers her community of women and families and with the same loving kindness and strength she responds to her critics. Sophia is unflinching and gracious in the face of ignorance and opposition. She is a tireless advocate for home birth.”

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Comments (9)

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  1. Widget says:

    We are so very very proud of you young lady. You are without question an exceptional woman.

  2. nicky says:

    Fantastic news for Ms. Cannonier and Bermuda that she will be attending this conference. Thank you Ms. Cannonier for your stedfast perseverance and dedication to home births for Bermuda. Have a great time and bring back more knowledge and share your own knowledge in Denmark.

  3. watching says:

    I have no issue with home births, provided all the safeties are in place. My concern, however, is if someone decides to have a home birth, and something goes wrong and then they have to call the ambulance or transport the mother or child to KEMH and time is a factor. I would think that while everyone wants a great experience, the ultimate goal is to have a safe delivery and to have a healthy baby and healthy mom. My fear is that sometimes this can be compromised and result in unintended consequences that if the patient was close to or in the hospital they could address more quickly.

    • GoodNews says:

      Your concerns are vital and perhaps you may want to do further research. Statistically the mortality rate is higher in hospital births than natural at home deliveries globally. It is also statistically proven that newborns in home- birth are less likely than those in hospital- birth to require resuscitation at birth. They still take all safety precautions here with at home births, bring in a qualified mid-wife and all medical tools needed including the monitoring of fetus. There is also a conscious birthing workshop held here over the course of 8 weeks that provides a wealth of knowledge on the process…a privilege not exactly given by hospitals here when expecting. This method is simply giving the right back to the mother in her labor process in a more intimate setting. Bright lights (as soon as the baby enters this world), cold rooms, labor inducing drugs, even a mother lying on her back for hours and the method of delivering the baby can all bring discomfort to what should be a precious and intimate moment. I fully understand your concerns but I just thought to provide you with a little more insight. There are answers for all your questions and the Conscious Birthing team here makes it their duty to answer them all. And yes, they do realize in some cases, the hospital is a safer environment under certain health circumstances but all of that is carefully monitored.

      • Bermuda Jake says:

        Ms Cannonier’s work as a Doula is commendable and I wish her well in this regard.

        I would like to see the statistics you quote on home vs hospital births. Globally (your context) more people are born outside of the hospital because hospitals are not available. I’m not sure I understand how your data point is arrived at, but I’m open to learn.

        We have around 600 births a year (down from 800) so having done 60 over the last ten/eleven years is approximately 1%. I would not base a conclusion of safety for a population from such a small sample size.

        The risk that the family assumes can be traumatic on the first occasion something goes wrong. OB’s serve a valid and safe purpose.

  4. paperboy says:

    This is good news for our community- such a talented and intentional Bermudian creating innovative pathways. Her Pecha Kucha talk was inspirational.

  5. Acegurl says:

    Perfect way to go until something goes wrong. Even medically trained obstetricians have problems they are faced with every day during childbirth. Since there is a good chance you may need a hospital then why not go there in the first place? Doulas can have a role to play, in a hospital setting, providing you have the money to pay their fees.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Way to go Sophia!