MommyCon Chicago 2018 Schedule and Exhibitor Announcement


All events on this schedule for MommyCon Chicago will take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (map). This is a preview schedule and exhibitor list. Additional sessions and exhibitors may be added and will be announced approximately 30 days before the event.

Tickets are available for purchase here and will not be available at the door. 

 

*Friday Schedule* Saturday Schedule*Sunday Schedule*

*Sip and Shop Exhibitor List*Full Exhibitor List*

Friday, March 2, 2018

In order to attend events on Friday, you must have either a VIP ticket or a 3-Day Premium Admission ticket.

12:30PM Registration Opens
Registration will be open for all VIP ticket and 3-Day Premium Admission ticket holders.


1:00PM-1:45PM  Why Writing Your Birth Story Matters and How to Write It
Speaker: Jaime Fleres
In this workshop, Jaime Fleres, author of Birth Your Story: Why Writing About Your Birth Matters, will explore why writing is a tremendously powerful way to express our birth stories. We’ll look at the anatomy of birth stories–including their narrative structure, the three layers of a birth story, and how our stories change through time. We’ll also talk about concrete ways to get into your story, suggestions for writing, and what to do with your story when it is done. The philosophy of this workshop is that every birth story is valuable and worth telling. You will feel encouraged, supported and inspired to write your own story, no matter how long it’s been, what your birth looked like, or whether or not you consider yourself a writer. Workshop for expectant, new, and seasoned mothers and fathers.

1:00PM-1:45PM   Building Community Through Facebook Groups
Speaker: Xza Higgins
Facebook Groups are a free tool that allow like-minded people to get together and discuss their passions. Xza will share how a simple Facebook group changed her perception of parenthood and how it guided her in creating MommyCon.


2:00PM-2:45PM   Got 6 Minutes? Let’s Make Dinner!
Speaker: Karen Nochimowski
How easy is it to make dinner while holding a 4-year-old on your hip, calming a 7-year-old throwing a tantrum and helping a 12-year-old with his homework? Sound familiar? Well, I’ve mastered a way to prepare a delicious meal with little effort and few ingredients. And I share my creations on my blog, MommaChef.com. All my recipes are simple and tasty, contain no more than six ingredients and can be prepared in under six minutes.

2:00PM-2:45PM   Let’s Talk About Sex (After) Baby
Speaker: Carrie Koziol, PT
In this presentation, Carrie will discuss the 3 main reasons women either do not want to have intercourse, or do not enjoy intercourse, after having a baby: Pain, emotional factors, and the feeling of being “stretched out.” Carrie will discuss the causes of each and what can be done to overcome them and reconnect with the sexual goddess that lies beneath the tired mama.


3:00PM-3:45PM   Beyond the Mom: Pursuing Your Dreams After Baby
Speaker: Stephanie Daniel and Nicole Zezzo
Becoming a parent is is the most amazing experience, both fulfilling and exhausting, who could ask for more? But….what if you *do* want to ask for more? Come join us to discuss how to keep developing your passions and even turn them into a career WITH your little one. We will discuss the three hurdles that rear their ugly faces at every turn: Guilt, Self Doubt and Lack of Support, and ways to combat them and form a support system with your loved ones. An uplifting atmosphere welcomes all questions during the session, we look forward to meeting you!

3:00PM-3:45PM   Parent & Child Yoga
Speaker: Angelique Ishmael
Bring your little one and join us for this relaxing interactive yoga class.

3:00PM-3:45PM   The Ultimate Survival Guide to Becoming a Parent
Speaker: Xza Higgins  and special guests.
Description coming soon.


3:00PM-3:45PM  ***VIP Session*** Become a Badass Public Breastfeeder
Speaker: Abby Theuring
In this session we will identify and discuss common fears about nursing in public. We will work to gain confidence to freely breastfeed in public by sharing ideas about getting comfortable in our environment, breastfeeding while baby wearing, the law and family support. You must have a VIP ticket in order to attend this session. VIP tickets are available for purchase here.


5:00PM-7:00PM   Sip & Shop
Join us for a 2 hour preview of the exhibitor hall to make sure you get first dibs on all the hot items! Grab a drink, listen to the music provided by DJ Margot Rudy, and shop till you drop! You can also request a poem by Poems While You Wait. The cost is only $5.00 per poem the money all goes to Rose Metal Press, a 501(c) (3) literary non-profit to publish books.


Sip & Shop Exhibitor List

Confirmed exhibitors as of 12/1/17

Abby’s Lane
AppleCheeks
Bijou Wear
Chunkabuns
Crane
Ethos Babywearing
Ergobaby
Evenflo Feeding
Fertility Miracles
Fresh Apparel
Green Lil Bums
Grovia
Happy Family
Jaime Fleres
Jublii Creations
Lalabu
Lehan Drugs
Lil Kickers
Lil Tulips
Little Balance Box
Living With the Magic Vacations
Mabel’s Labels
Mama Said Tees
Meeyoo Handwovens
Moby Wrap
Passanante’s Home Food Services
Plum Organics
Precious Milk Drops
Pretty Paisley
Purple Owl Boutique
Re-Play
River Babe Threads
Rumina Nursingwear
RXBAR
Shimlee
Super Undies
Toomey Ventures
Weston A Price
Wyndham Vacations


Saturday, March 3, 2018

In order to attend events on Saturday, you must have a VIP, 3-Day Premium Admission, Saturday Premium Admission, or Saturday General Admission ticket.

8:30PM Registration Opens
Registration will be open for all VIP ticket and 3-Day Premium Admission ticket holders who did not check-in on Friday as well as all Saturday Premium Admission and General Admission ticket holders.


9:00AM-3:00PM Exhibitor Hall hours


10:00AM-11:00AM   The Wisdom of the Ancients: Nutrition for a Healthy Family Generation after Generation
Speaker: Maureen Diaz
Cutting through the dogma and experimentation of recent decades, the wisdom of traditional cultures shows us that certain foods and nutrients are indeed necessary to build strong bodies with healthy immune systems, generation after generation. Find out what nutrients are needed and steps can be taken to give you and your children the best shot at achieving optimal health, and learn why current philosophies and dogma pertaining to diet are misguided at best, and dangerous at worse.

10:00AM-11:00AM  So You Want to Be a Babywearing Educator
Speaker: Joanna McNeilly
Description coming soon.

10:00AM-11:00AM Wrapping 101 presented by Moby
Speaker: Jess Mann
Jess, a Certified Babywearing Educator, will show you how to babywear using woven wraps. In this interactive session, participants are each shown how to use a wrap to front carry and back carry. Wraps and baby dolls are provided for demo purposes for use during this session.

10:00AM-11:00AM DaddyCon – She Said She Wants a Home Birth… Three Dads Discuss Birth Choices
Speakers: David Garcia, Manuel Gonzalez, and Maurice Vernon
When it comes to discussing birth choices and making birth plans, dads can feel a little out of the loop! In this panel, experienced fathers will discuss birth choices from home birth to planned c-section and everything in between! They will also discuss ways to support your partner, no matter your birth plan or situation.


11:15AM-12:00PM Nurturing the Development of your Baby’s Brain through Movement and Exploration
Speaker: Dr. Shannon Davis PT, DPT
As a mother and pediatric physical therapist, Shannon has learned a lot about the development of babies. This class provides an introduction to the development of a baby’s nerves, muscles and brain beginning in utero to age 3. Parents will understand and learn the importance of gross motor activities in the development of the early brain. We will also look at how much a baby needs to move each day to ensure optimal brain development.

11:15AM-12:00PM Managing the Motherload
Speaker: Julie Cole
With humour and practical advice, Julie Cole shares her tips and tricks for busy moms and how she has survived raising six babies while blogging and running a business.

11:15AM-12:00PM Babywearing Basics for New Caregivers presented by Ergobaby
Speaker: Laura Brown
Laura is a certified babywearing educator as well as an educator and community outreach specialist for Ergobaby. Babywearing 101 is a comprehensive overview of baby carrier safety and an assortment of carriers including the meh dai, soft structured carrier, woven wrap, stretch wrap, hybrid wrap, ring sling, wrap conversion, and custom carrier options.

11:15AM-12:00PM Loss Mama Sanctuary
Speaker: Ambyr Amen-Ra
This session is dedicated to helping mamas work through the many emotions that come with the loss of a baby at various stages of pregnancy and childbirth. We will talk about creating a safe spiritual space, wherever mom is, that allows her to feel, work through, and move past her feelings of deep grief. We’ll incorporate deep breathing and movement that will open up the energy centers and allow positive energy to flow. We’ll go over some mantras that mamas can say whenever they feel stressed and will encourage peace and hope. We will discuss pregnancy, birth and parenting after loss. The goal is to offer mamas a space to talk about their experiences and walk away with tools to help them through the anxiety that often comes post loss. There may be some tears – but by the end – there should also be joy.

11:15AM-12:00PM DaddyCon – Fathers Raising Daughters
Speaker: Michael Redden
Lets talk about the blessings of being a dad raising four girls of different age groups. Each daughter has different interests and completely different personalities. The lessons, laughs and tears will be informative to say least.


12:00PM-1:00PM Lunch Break


1:00PM-2:00PM Becoming a Potty Training Maverick the Scaredy Cat Potty Trainer presented by Super Undies
Speaker: Laura Wojciechowski
Super Undies will be presenting info on all things potty training, including why it’s so scary! Come learn what it takes to potty train, and leave empowered to get the job done.

1:00PM-2:00PM   Braving Infertility & Loss Together presented by Fluff & Familia
Speaker: Brandi Garcia, Kristen Biehl, and Sarah Ivy
Join Brandi Garcia and Kristen Biehl from family boutique Fluff & Familia and Sarah Ivy from Braving Infertility Together as they discuss the stigma and isolation surrounding infertility and loss. Learn how infertility and loss can affect a family, tips on how to navigate infertility and loss, and how to provide empowering support for those on their journey so that no one has to brave it alone.

1:00PM-2:00PM  Ring Slings 101 presented by Moby
Speaker: Jessica Mann
Ring slings might look complicated, but we will show you just how easy they are. This versatile carrier can be used from birth well into toddlerhood. We will share techniques for making this your go-to, on-the-go carrier.

1:00PM-2:00PM  Self Care in Motherhood: Its NOT a Myth!
Speaker: Amy Appleton and Ilana Grostern
As mothers, we often put ourselves last as we take care of everyone else. Amy and Ilana firmly believe that the family functions best when the mother’s needs are seen as exactly that: needs – that must be respected and met. It is up to us as women and mothers to prioritize those needs, including through a conscious and active practice of self-care. Come discuss with Amy and Ilana what self-care can look like and how it benefits the whole family unit and, indeed, society!

1:00PM-2:00PM  DaddyCon – Dadvolution
Speaker: Kevin Higgins
Kevin Higgins, Special Educator and spouse of MommyCon founder Xza, talks about the growth men undergo when moving from dude to dad. Kevin provides a sympathetic look on the clumsy process some guys undergo as they upack their role in the partnership of parenting. From the type of birth your wife wants, looking at strollers instead of hot rods, schooling questions, how does a dishwasher work and which parent will most likely explode during an IEP meeting this talk and symposium is open to all gender and partner models. His loving wife has prohibited the past practice of supplying beer and hot dogs, but there may be sports updates and there will definitely be some cool dad friendly giveaways. Hint: nipple cream is excellent for tattoos.


2:00PM-3:00PM Shopping Break
Last chance to shop before the exhibitor hall closes at 3:00PM!


3:00PM-3:45PM  Newborn Wearing presented by Moby
Speaker: Jess Mann
Description coming soon.

3:00PM-3:45PM  How to Choose the Right Child Development Program for You and Your Child
Speaker: Lil Kickers
In this session, we will explore what you should be looking for in a child development program.  We will look beyond cost and dive into what a great program needs to have for you and your child to get the most out of the experience.

3:00PM-3:45PM  Crouching Mommas, Hidden Cameras: Tips for Capturing Print Worth Photos of Your Kids
Speaker: Erica Hafferty
Do you struggle to get share-worthy photos of your kids? If your answer is yes than this session is for you! Erica will teach you how to capture your child’s amazing personality and preserve those awesome memories, without having a fancy camera.

3:00PM-3:45PM  Intro to Soft Structured Carriers presented by Ergobaby
Speaker: Laura Brown
Buckle carrier fit is individual. Often compared to jeans, understanding their design as well as feature options will help you decide which carrier may be the right one for you, and how small adjustments can make a big difference.

3:00PM-3:45PM  Giving Back – Surrogacy Mothers!
Speaker: Karen Roeb and Hilary Borris
As mothers, so much of our identity is intertwined within our children; our greatest gifts. Have you ever thought about the opportunity to give the gift of life?  Come listen to surrogacy pioneer, Karen Roeb, discuss the surrogacy journey, as well as the emotional, financial and social benefits of helping others and yourself, give life..

3:00PM-3:45PM  DaddyCon – I’m A Stay At Home Dad, Now What?
Speakers: Chi Amen-Ra, Alex Kaslowitz, Manuel Gonzalez, and additional guests to be announced.
So you’ve decided to be a stay at home dad. What do you do now? Fathers being the stay at home parent is becoming increasingly common, but the support is still lacking. This panel discussion will go over what it is like being a stay at home dad and how to get the support you need!


Sunday, March 4, 2018

In order to attend events on Sunday, you must have a VIP, 3-Day Premium Admission, Sunday Premium Admission, or Sunday General Admission ticket.

8:30PM Registration Opens
Registration will be open for all VIP ticket and 3-Day Premium Admission ticket holders who did not check-in on Friday or Saturday as well as all Sunday Premium Admission and General Admission ticket holders.


9:00AM-3:00PM Exhibitor Hall hours


10:00AM-11:00AM Miss Jamie’s Farm Kids Music Show
Speaker: Miss Jamie
Planting Seeds Through Song, Miss Jamie takes kids on a musical journey to her “farm” where they learn values like healthy eating and being kind to animals And each other. Young kids and their families will be stomping their boots to the music and hollering for more fruits & veggies!

10:00AM-11:00AM It all Begins with Nurturing the Heart
Speaker: DeLisa Boyd
The Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA) is a relationship-focused methodology founded strategically in “The 3 Stands” for helping children (and adults) build Inner Wealth and use their intensity in successful ways. It has become a powerful way of awakening the inherent greatness in all children while facilitating parenting and classroom success. The essence of the NHA is a set of core methodologies originally developed for working with children.

10:00AM-11:00AM Wrapping 101 presented by Moby
Speaker: Jess Mann
Jess, a Certified Babywearing Educator, will show you how to babywear using woven wraps. In this interactive session, participants are each shown how to use a wrap to front carry and back carry. Wraps and baby dolls are provided for demo purposes for use during this session.

10:00AM-11:00AM Period Positive: Building Shamefree Experiences of Our Bodies
Speaker: Suzanne Siemens
Reproductive health can be a discouraging experience. Often, people are not aware of the choices that they have for their bodies, whether menstruating, postpartum or dealing with bladder leakage. This often generates tense, shameful experiences of our bodies that not only negatively impact our health and self-esteem, but transmit shame to our children. In this lighthearted and empowering presentation Lunagal Suzanne Siemens will take you through 21st century period culture, catching listeners up on the latest in the menstrual movement. Learn how to make empowered choices about your body that help you practice period positive parenting.

10:00AM-11:00AM DaddyCon – Acheiving #Superdad Status
Speaker: Maurice Vernon
Maurice will discuss the importance of a father’s influence on his family and children. How every dad can achieve #Superdadstatus, and that it doesn’t take as much effort as you’d think. Superdad’s goal is to encourage fathers to become active in the development of their children and to never count themselves out or take a backseat. He aims to encourage Dads to work with their wives, partners, and mothers of their children to support the healthy growth and development of the entire family unit.


11:15AM-12:00PM Unlocking Your Babies Uniqueness: Understanding Your Baby’s’ Development in the First Year
Speakers: Nat Vikitsreth and Linda Horwitz
It is fascinating how fast and how much babies develop in the first year of their lives. In this presentation, you will learn about how your babies understand empathy (social and emotional development), communicate through gestures and words (language development), figure out how the world around them works (cognitive development), and use their bodies in the environment (motor development). As you are engaged in this interactive discussion around infant development, the speakers will support you in developing strategies that you can use at home to promote your babies’ development.. Additionally, you will explore your babies’ learning styles through the lens of sensory processing and temperament.

11:15AM-12:00PM Shaking the Shame of Single Motherhood
Speaker: Aria Craig
Society perceives single mothers as women who are either uneducated and poverty-stricken or bitter from the struggles of divorce. In both cases, incapable of making better decisions. Don’t let society dictate the mother that you should be and your destiny. The key is to build unshakable courage, confidence and resilience. Discover how to be victorious in your personal and professional life, and attract success.

11:15AM-12:00PM Newborn Wearing presented by Moby
Speaker: Jess Mann
Description coming soon.

11:15AM-12:00PM Trive, Don’t Just Survive, Postpartum Depression or Anxiety
Speaker: Amy Kuhr
Amy will share her story of developing postpartum depression and anxiety following the birth of her twins as well as my tips and tricks for THRIVING, not just surviving, these challenges.

11:15AM-12:00PM DaddyCon – Babywearing Basics for Dads presented by Ergobaby
Speaker: Laura and David Brown
Description coming soon.


12:00PM-1:00PM Lunch Break


1:00PM-2:00PM Becoming a Potty Training Maverick the Scaredy Cat Potty Trainer presented by Super Undies
Speaker: Laura Wojciechowski
Super Undies will be presenting info on all things potty training, including why it’s so scary! Come learn what it takes to potty train, and leave empowered to get the job done.

1:00PM-2:00PM  Ring Slings 101 presented by Moby
Speaker: Jessica Mann
Ring slings might look complicated, but we will show you just how easy they are. This versatile carrier can be used from birth well into toddlerhood. We will share techniques for making this your go-to, on-the-go carrier.

1:00PM-2:00PM   Let’s Talk About Sex (After) Baby
Speaker: Carrie Koziol, PT
In this presentation, Carrie will discuss the 3 main reasons women either do not want to have intercourse, or do not enjoy intercourse, after having a baby: Pain, emotional factors, and the feeling of being “stretched out.” Carrie will discuss the causes of each and what can be done to overcome them and reconnect with the sexual goddess that lies beneath the tired mama.

1:00PM-2:00PM  Daddy Con – The Dad Games: Stroller Folding Compeition, Diaper Changing Challenge and Pack N Play Collapse-A-Thon
Speaker: Kevin Higgins and Mat York
Super Undies will be presenting info on all things potty training, including why it’s so scary! Come learn what it takes to potty train, and leave empowered to get the job done.


2:00PM-3:00PM Shopping Break
Last chance to shop before the exhibitor hall closes at 3:00PM!


3:00PM-3:45PM  Avoiding the Booby Traps-Tips on How to Achieve Your Breastfeeding Goals
Speaker: Dr. Amber Price
Two-thirds of mother’s fall short of reaching their own breastfeeding goals. Prenatal factors, the knowledge, attitude and beliefs of healthcare providers, socio-cultural influences, hospital and maternity care practices, and post natal factors all influence breastfeeding outcomes. In this session, Dr. Price, a pediatrician and breastfeeding medicine specialist, will highlight some of these “booby-traps”, along with strategies to overcome them. The session will be interactive with a goal of empowering women through education and dialogue.

3:00PM-3:45PM  Fun Crafts
Speaker: Shannon Valko
Description coming soon.

3:00PM-3:45PM  How Mommies Can Manage Their Start-Up Business and Full-Time Job
Speaker: Genesis Emery
Genesis will share insights and feedback on how busy mommypreneurs can effectively balance starting up their businesses, while still balancing a full time job, and being a Mom. She will discuss healthy balancing techniques, ways to stay on top of things and maintain organization, key insights on how to devote adequate time for both your start-up business and full time job, and how to maximize your time effectively so that you can be a successful mommypreneur and watch your business grow!

3:00PM-3:45PM  Intro to Soft Structured Carriers presented by Ergobaby
Speaker: Laura Brown
Buckle carrier fit is individual. Often compared to jeans, understanding their design as well as feature options will help you decide which carrier may be the right one for you, and how small adjustments can make a big difference.

3:00PM-3:45PM  Keeping Your Vagina Happy
Speaker: Rita “Pixie” Ledbetter
The vagina is a marvelous womanly organ but it is also wet, dark, and moist. It is veritable rain forest in there. Like any rainforest -it must be kept in balance to flourish. Every woman who has suffered from the late night itchy vagina knows the misery an unhappy vagina can cause. Healthy practices for the vagina will be discussed with ample time for questions. After 22 years in women’s health care – there is not much I don’t know about the vagina!

3:00PM-3:45PM  DaddyCon – Maximizing The Witching Hour: Tips For Making the Most of Those After-Work Dad Hours
Speakers: Chi Amen-Ra, Eric Bennion, Alex Kaslowitz, and Michael Redden
Many fathers work a traditional work day outside of the home. Their schedules force them to come home just as their children are getting ready to go to bed. This panel of dads who have been there, done that, will discuss ways in which to maximize the short amount of time each day that they can spend one-on-one with their children.


Exhibitor List

Confirmed as of 12/1/17.

Abby’s Lane
AppleCheeks
Aria Craig
Beaming Amber Sun
Bijou Wear
Chicagoland CPR
Chicago Custom Cakes
Chunkabuns
Crane
Ethos Babywearing
Ergobaby
Evenflo Feeding
Feminist Inc
Fertility Miracles
Fluff & Familia
Fresh Apparel
Fussy Baby Network
Goldfish Swim School
Green Lil Bums
Grovia
Happy Family
Innobaby
Jaime Fleres
JC Penny Portrait Studios
Jublii Creations
Lalabu
LatchPal
Lehan Drugs
Lil Kickers
Lil Tulips
Little Balance Box
Living With the Magic Vacations
Luna Pads
Mabel’s Labels
Macaroni Kid
Mama Said Tees
Mamasuds
Medulla LLC (Chiro One Wellness Centers)
Meeyoo Handwovens
Moby Wrap
Molly Ades Maternity
MommyCon Shoppe
Nina and Jack Babywearing
Passanante’s Home Food Services
Picket Fence Creations
Plum Organics
Precious Milk Drops
Pretty Paisley
Prim Goods
Purple Owl Boutique
Re-Play
River Babe Threads
Rumina Nursingwear
RXBAR
Shimlee
Super Undies
The Badass Breastfeeder
Time Snap Shop
Toomey Ventures
Weston A Price
Willow Pediatrics and Lactation
Wyndham Vacations
Your Whole Baby