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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 • 8:45am - 9:15am
The Impact of Stress and Poverty on Pregnant Women and their Infants & Children & How Community-Based Doulas Make A Difference LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

This session refers to MFCI Principles:

  • Normalcy of Birth
  • Autonomy
  • Empowerment

This session refers to MFCI Steps:

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.

This session refers to Conference Themes:

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

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


Emerging research on the impact of stress and poverty on pregnant women has linked them not only to chronic physical conditions in the mothers themselves but also to their children. Additionally, several mental illnesses have been found to have their roots in pregnancy stressors a fetus experienced while in utero. This research points to the importance of social support for pregnant mothers. Community-Based Doulas are in a unique position to mitigate the stressors which contribute to poor infant outcomes (ie prematurity, perinatal mortality). Drawing upon her research on Doulas, Dr. Morton will describe how the professional doula and perinatal community health promoter could be integrated into the public health system to support our most vulnerable pregnant women and infants.

By the end of this session:
  1. Attendees will be able to describe how stress and poverty among pregnant women contribute to chronic physical conditions in the mothers as well as their children.
  2. Attendees will be able to identify the evidence to support the use of community-based doulas to the stressors contributing to poor maternal and infant outcomes (i.e. hypertension, gestational diabetes, prematurity, perinatal mortality).
  3. Attendees will be able to compare the patient navigator model with the current community-based doula framework and how each has been incorporated into public health and hospital-based care.

avatar for Dr. Christine H. Morton, Ph.D.

Dr. Christine H. Morton, Ph.D.

Research Sociologist/Program Manager, California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative
Christine H. Morton, Ph.D is a medical sociologist and a Program Manager for Calfornia Maternal Quality Care Initiative (CMQCC). Headed up by Dr. Elliott Main, MD,  CMQCC promotes data-driven quality improvement in maternity care. CMQCC is devoted to eliminating preventable ma... Read More →

Thursday October 15, 2015 8:45am - 9:15am PDT

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