In May 2015 the new-millennium world’s inaugural international conference on Integrative Maternity Healthcare was held in Auckland, New Zealand, under the name SOMCANZ (Symposium of Maternity Carers New Zealand). It attracted a number of globally renown keynote speakers and exciting local presenters, all focused on the holistic topic of Integrative Maternity Healthcare. The Conference was an outstanding success!
In April 2016 and 2017, SOMCANZ amalgamated with AIMA (Australasian Integrative Medicine Association) NZ’s conferences, partnering to acknowledge one of the key foundations of wellness: Healthy parent = Healthy babyWe developed a comprehensive programme to enable attendees from both SOMCANZ and AIMA to explore their areas of interest within Integrative Medicine and Maternity HealthCare.
However due to popular demand, it has become clear, the Maternity aspect of integrative healthcare does require its own dedicated Conference … to date hosted in New Zealand, which is a country that has gained the worldwide reputation for providing nationally some of the very best maternity healthcare systems on the planet, led by holistic Midwifery care, and supported by cutting-edge Obstetric medicine.
In 2018 it also became clear, we needed to update our organisation SOMCANZ acronym to reflect the exponentially growing worldwide interest: IIMHCO International Integrative Maternity HealthCare Organization (pronounced Im-Co).
By mid-2019, it became increasingly evident that the public – the Women themselves as potential consumers of maternity integrative healthcare – also wanted direct access to learning the latest from the world’s leading perinatal wellness specialist experts. So, the decision was made to postpone and reformat the 2019 conference into a health professional & consumer expo called the Maternity Natural Health Symposium, on Sunday 22nd March 2020, with clinician workshops for Health Professionals to be held on Monday 23rd March.
Five days out, with enormous disappointment, this pioneering event was postponed due to COVID-19. The dedicated volunteer team at IIMHCO found ways to adapt and evolve to meet the world’s new needs and successfully hosted the Symposium in a new virtual format.