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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 • 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Supporting the Special Needs Breastfeeding MotherBaby Dyad LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available
This session will NOT be broadcast via webinar.

MFCI Principles and Steps this session refers to are:


  • Do No Harm
  • Normalcy of Birth


This session refers to MFCI Steps, 8 & 10:

Step 8:

Encourages all mothers and families, including those with sick or premature newborns or infants with congenital problems, to touch, hold, breastfeed, and care for their babies to the extent compatible with their conditions.


Step 10

Strives to achieve the WHO-UNICEF “Ten Steps of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative” to promote successful breastfeeding:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff;
  1. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy;
  2. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding;
  3. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth;
  4. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants;
  5. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated;
  6. Practice rooming in: allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day;
  7. Encourage breastfeeding on demand;
  8. Give no artificial teat or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants;
  1. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from hospitals or clinics

For a description of MFCI principles and steps, go to: 


Conference Themes this session refers to are:

  • Promoting Normalcy of Birth and Breastfeeding


In this session, Dr. Meier, Director, Clinical Research & Lactation Professor of Women, Children & Family Nursing/Professor of Pediatrics, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, who is an international speaker and an  expert on lactation support for high-risk newborns, will discuss how birth workers of all types can support the breastfeeding dyad even when they are special needs such as premature or have other medical conditions.

 In this session, attendees will be able to:

1.  Compare and contrast the short- and long- term outcomes of human milk versus donor human milk and infant formula for infants who require care in the NICU.

2.  Describe the Rush Mothers' Milk Club program of lactation and human milk feeding as an exemplar for supporting lactation in risk populations.

3.  Discuss case studies and talking points that exemplify the engagement of families in decision-making about provision of human milk and breastfeeding after the NICU hospitalization.

avatar for Melissa O'Keefe,BS, CLE

Melissa O'Keefe,BS, CLE

Melissa O'Keefe, BS,  CLE is the Exhibitor Liaison for the conference.Melissa is a Certfied Lactation Educator and Le Leche League Leader and  is a Co-Course Leader for The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health.Melissa  O'Keefe is on the Advisory Committee of The... Read More →

avatar for Dr. Paula Meier,  PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Paula Meier, PhD, RN, FAAN

Director, Clinical Research & Lactation Professor of Women, Children & Family Nursing/Professor of Pediatrics, Rush University Medical Center
Dr. Paula Meier, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the director for clinical research and lactation in the neonatal intensive care unit and is a professor of women, children and family nursing and a professor of pediatrics at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She has worked as a practitioner... Read More →

Thursday October 15, 2015 3:30pm - 4:30pm PDT

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