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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
avatar for Michele Giordano, MSW (via Videoconference)

Michele Giordano, MSW (via Videoconference)

Choices in Childbirth
Executive Director
New York City, NY

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, she discovered another layer to women’s health: the right to a safe and healthy birth. Today, in an effort to improve birth experiences for women, Michele leads CiC’s core programming activities.

Michele has over a decade of international experience scaling nonprofits and for-profits that emphasize social good. Prior to working at CiC, Michele was the Executive Director of dance4life USA, an international organization that focused on sexual and reproductive health education for youth. As the Director of Global Operations for RockCorps, Michele set up new operations in the US, UK, France, Israel and South America. Michele has an undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies from Rutgers University and a Masters in Social Work with a focus on international policy from Columbia University. Outside of work, you can find Michele taking Sunday morning strolls in Brooklyn with her toddler son Lorenzo.


Along with Nan Strauss, JD, Michele will discuss Choices in Childbirth's new report, Doula Care in New York City: Advancing the Goals of the Affordable Care Actexamines the impact of doula care in New York City and makes recommendations on how to expand access to and improve the effectiveness of this valuable service.

Their new report brings together the medical evidence with the voices of women and doulas across New York City to show how doula care supports the “triple aim” of the Affordable Care Act by:

  • improving health outcomes
  • enhancing women’s experience of care
  • reducing spending on unnecessary and unwanted medical interventions

The report provides an overview of the medical evidence supporting the benefits of doula care, and brings these issues to life with original research with mothers, doulas, maternity care providers and key stakeholders throughout New York City. Doula Care in New York City: Advancing the Goals of the Affordable Care Act reflects the experiences of women across the city to highlight the ways doula support can improve maternal health outcomes and help women have a more satisfying and empowering birth experience.