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Videorecordings of some of the sessions are available for all who attended or tuned into our Videoconference, at no charge. If you did not attend, there is a nominal fee to receive a videorecording. These will be available after November 7, 2015. Please email: training@wholisticmaternalnewbornhealth.org to request a video.

The 4th Annual MFCI Symposium will explore new and innovative approaches in maternity care to protect the MotherBaby-Dyad and discuss emerging issues in perinatal health from a socioecological perspective.

This conference encourages maternity care practices, practitioners & facilities to implement the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) Developed by The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) in the hospital, clinic and community setting.

To learn more: http://wholisticmaternalnewbornhealth.org/cims-mfci-principles-steps/

Purpose of the Symposium

1) Discuss the benefits of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) for hospitals, clinics, mothers, infants, and clinicians

2) Provide a forum for discussion among nurses, doctors, doulas, childbirth educators, midwives, administrators and others on the challenges and opportunities of implementing mother-friendly care in the clinical or hospital setting.

3) Provide a forum for dissemination of evidence-based best practices for maternity care.

4) Support clinics, hospitals and community-based programs in developing plans of action to shift the thinking in their organizations towards mother-friendly care and develop multidisciplinary coordinated networks  of maternity care providers.

5) Practitioners and students of maternity care will obtain an objective understanding of the  collision of worldviews and belief systems when the medical and midwifery models of maternity care intersect.

6) Participants will describe how the perinatal community as a whole can best collaborate to provide optimal care for mothers and infants based on the principals of the MFCI and the evidence-based practices available as outlined in the 10 steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI).

Principles of the MFCI are:
  • Normalcy of Childbirth
  • Empowerment
  • Responsibility
  • Do No Harm
  • Autonomy


 Equity in Maternal-Child Health

Sessions under this theme will explore the underlying causes of health inequities and disparities for vulnerable mothers and infants including racism, poverty, geography, ethnicity. Research, best practices and innovations to deliver interventions aimed at reducing  maternal and infant mortalities and morbdities will be described. Speakers will share strategies to address gaps in equity and promote justice in maternity care.

Respectful Treatment in Maternity Care

Sessions under this theme will address cultural and systemic barriers to providing humane and respectful maternity care. Using a human rights framework, speakers will discuss issues such as informed consent and refusal, right to privacy, autonomy, and freedom of choice. Strategies for cross-cultural communication between caregivers and clients and between practitioners will be addressed.

Professional Collaboration in Maternity Care

Sessions under this theme will provide a forum for Maternal-Infant Health care providers from various discliplines to discuss strategies for bridging the gap when worldviews and models of maternity care--technocratic, humanistic, holistic (Davis-Floyd)--collide. Opportunities for ongoing communication will inspire allied perinatal health professionals to create harmonious teams committed to promoting the health and well-being of mothers and newborns.

Promoting Normalcy of Birth and Breastfeeding

Sessions under this theme will promote physiological childbirth and breastfeeding, protecting the motherinfant-dyad even when complications arise. Research and empirical knowledge will be shared about the innate abilities of mothers and newborns to survive and thrive. The impact of childbirth practices on breastfeeding and maternal mental health are explored in these sessions. Spirituality as a coping strategy in childbirth and compassion as a part of a caregiver’s toolkit will also be discussed in these sessions.



WEBINAR OPTION AVAILABLE GO TO:  https://2015-mfci-symposium-virtual-meeting.eventbrite.com  TO REGISTER FOR WEBINAR ONLY.

Questions? Call Us:  (626) 388 - 2191 ext. 2 or Email Us


CEUs Pending for RNs, CNM/LM/CPMs, IBCLCs/CLEs, MFTs, LCSWs & CHES by PAC/LAC, Breastfeed L.A., ICEA, ACNM
Back To Schedule
Thursday, October 15 • 9:30am - 11:00am
How Community-Based Doulas and Midwives Address Equity, Access, and Experience of Women of Color During Pregnancy and Maternity Care LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

MFCI Step this session refers to:




  • Empowerment
  • Autonomy




Step 1.  Offers all birthing mothers:

  • Unrestricted access to the birth companions of her choice, including fathers, partners, children, family members, and friends;
  • Unrestricted access to continuous emotional and physical support from a skilled woman—for example, a doula,or labor-support professional;
  • Access to professional midwifery care.

Step 3.

Provides culturally competent care—that is, care that is sensitive and responsive to the specific beliefs, values, and customs of the mother’s ethnicity and religion.


For a description of MFCI principles and steps, go to:  http://wholisticmaternalnewbornhealth.org/cims-mfci-principles-steps/ 


This session refers to conference themes of:

  • Respectful Treatment in Maternity Care
  • Equity in Maternal-Child Health

This session will also be a live international town-hall meeting livestreamed over the internet. To register, go to:  https://2015-mfci-symposium-virtual-meeting.eventbrite.com


Michele Giordano, MSW, , Excutive Director and Nan Strauss, JD from Choices in Childbirth will report on their new report Doula Care in NYC: Advancing the Affordable Care Act, Via videostreaming  from NYC.

In this session, Ms. Strauss and Ms. Giordino will discuss:

Doula Care in NYC: Advancing the Goals of the Affordable Care Act  which uses the framework of the Affordable Care Act’s “triple aim” to present information on how doula support:

  • improves outcomes,
  • enhances the experience of care, and
  • reduces unnecessary spending.


The report highlights how doula care can reduce disparities and improve patient engagement in health care decision-making.


Overview of Maternal Health in the US, including:

               Maternal mortality data
               Severe maternal morbidity
               Disparities in maternal health outcomes
               Intervention data

Bottom Line: doula care is an evidence-based service that improves maternal and infant heath outcomes.


Following this, a panel discussion with MCH experts and Birth Workers of Color will ensue. The purpose of this session is to facilitate meaningful dialogue within the childbirth reform movement about racial and social inequities and multiculturaliim using compassionate and respectful communication.

In this session, a mother, doulas, lactation consultant, community activist,  midwife, healer, public health maternal child health advocate and a clinical psychologist who specializes in cultural awareness training will discuss:

  • Intersections of race, class, gender and how these issues collide to impact women of color during the maternity care and birth experience.
  • The need to put the maternal and infant health disparities issue in context- How did we arrive at this point?
  • A framework that takes into account the historic trajectory of women's access to reproductive health throughout US history to better inform our understanding of root causes and solutions to disparities.
  • Re-framing the question of equity and access for women of color- not a "minority" of women anymore, implications of changing demographics.
  •  The resurgence of African-American Midwives and Doulas and why they are  crucial to the health of communities of color.
  • The importance and availability of Lactation Professionals in communities of color and what dominant culture communities can do to support them.
  • The need to create more access to people of color seeking to enter the professions of midwifery, doula care and lactation support.
  • How the Latino culture is extremely diverse in terms of country of origin, socio-economic status, and levels of acculturation.
  • While the "Latino Paradox" posits that Latinas have favorable birth outcomes despite low socioeconomic status, this really varies based on acculturation and other factors.
  • Protective factors in the Latino culture can contribute to healthy behaviors and improved outcomes.
  • How support networks, including promotoras, doulas, and midwives (parteras) can serve to support and enhance maternity care among Latinas in a culturally competent manner.
  • How maternity care professionals  and organizations can become aware of issues of  culture, racism and classism and better support the families they are entrusted to serve with awareness and justice.
  • Examples of what types of changes are needed within the current maternity care systems and examples of models of care that work such as interdisciplinary models of care; example of Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman model that integrates midwifery with community organizing and leadership development by and for those directly impacted by the disparities.


avatar for Dr. Sayida Peprah, Psy.D., CD

Dr. Sayida Peprah, Psy.D., CD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist & Certified Doula, Bureau of Prisons/Conscious Surrender Childbirth
Dr. Sayida Peprah, Psy.D., CD, has a Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, with a Multicultural Clinical-Community Emphasis, from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. She is also a Certified Doula with Doulas of North America... Read More →

avatar for Marisol Rosales-Mendez, BA

Marisol Rosales-Mendez, BA

residential counselor, st. annes
Marisol Rosales-Mendez, BA is a mother of three children, and an aspiring Nurse-Midwife. She received her Bachelor's in Psychology at Chino State University and currently works ar St. Anne's Maternity Home, a residential center for pregnant teens in the foste care system. Marisol... Read More →
avatar for Luz Chacon, MPH, CLE

Luz Chacon, MPH, CLE

Program Director, Maternal and Child Health Access
Luz Chacón, MPH, CLE has over 25 years of experience developing and implementing community health programs, primarily serving low-income women and families within at-risk communities.  She has worked for a variety of nonprofit agencies including a large community clinic, two different... Read More →
avatar for Kimberly Durdin, IBCLC

Kimberly Durdin, IBCLC

Internationally Board Certified Lacation Consultant/Student Midwife
Kimberly Durdin, IBCLC  is a Los Angeles based IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), Doula, Childbirth Educator and Student Midwife. She received her calling to support birthing and breastfeeding families shortly after having her first child. After experiencing... Read More →
avatar for Paula X. Rojas

Paula X. Rojas

Co-Founder & Licensed Midwife/Certified Professional Midwife, Mamas of Color Rising
Paula X. Rojas, LM, CPM, is a Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife located in Austin, TX who has over 20 years of experience working in community organizing. Born in Chile, then passing through Houston, TX she spent over a decade working as an organizer in Brooklyn... Read More →
avatar for Nan Strauss, JD (via Videoconference)

Nan Strauss, JD (via Videoconference)

Director of Policy and Research, Choices in Childbirth
Nan Strauss, JD,  is the Director of Policy and Research for Choices in Childbirth  a non profit organization based in NYC, NY.  Most recently, Nan was the lead author of Doula Care in New York City: Advancing the Goals of the Affordable Care Act, which pairs research on the benefits of doula care with personal accounts from women and doulas, to document the need to expand access to doula care for all women in New York City. Before joining Choices in Childbirth, Nan worked as an independent researcher and policy consultant on maternal health. Previously, Nan serv... Read More →
avatar for Michele Giordano, MSW (via Videoconference)

Michele Giordano, MSW (via Videoconference)

Executive Director, Choices in Childbirth
Michele Giordano,MSW,  is the Executive Director of Choices in Childbirth based in NYC. Michele believes making a difference in maternal health necessitates a holistic, integrated approach. Michele started her career at Planned Parenthood, working in reproductive rights. Then... Read More →

Thursday October 15, 2015 9:30am - 11:00am PDT

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