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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 Mel Kennedy-Morrow

Mel Kennedy-Morrow

Informed Pregnancy Project
Film Director
Los Angeles, CA
Mel Kennedy-Morrow is the Director of the film "Heads Up:The Dissapearing Art of Vaginal Breech Delivery" which will be screened on October 15th at the Symposium. Mel will make a presentation  and participate in a Q and A session along with Dr. Elliot Berlin, DC, Executive Producer and mothers and physicians featured in film.


Mel Kennedy-Morrow is a seasoned storyteller with 20 years of experience directing and producing reality television and creating documentary, science, and lifestyle programming for US broadcast and cable outlets including ABC Network, Bravo, A&E, MTV, The Biography Channel, Discovery Channel, Discovery Science, E!, HGTV, History Channel, Lifetime, MSNBC, TLC, Travel Channel, and National Geographic Channel. Mel has cultivated programs about everything from love in the mafia to the art of murder interrogation, from cutting edge advances in water recycling to surviving juvie to what it means to be a millennial woman in America today. Her work inspires audiences to revel and rethink, to laugh in joy and cry in anguish, and really question what it means to be human.

Prior to becoming a documentary filmmaker, she studied anthropology and journalism before choosing to pursue a BA in film and media arts from Emerson College. A tireless truth seeker, Mel has a knack for getting to the heart of the matter and of her subjects.

In 2010, Mel took her career to the next level when she co-created and served as executive producer on her first series for National Geographic Channel, Garbage Moguls, about an in-over-their-heads group of young entrepreneurs determined to change the world. Shortly after its success, her world was lovingly turned upside down with the birth of her two children whom she considers her most challenging productions yet. Devoted mama, she now splits her energies between full-time mom and part-time filmmaker. She is currently engaged in the development of several new documentary series including one about a group of recently retired green berets and another about a family of Cirque performers. She also has a documentary project in the works on decoding the science of gut bacteria.

After experiencing a traumatic emergency cesarean section and fighting to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), Mel realized firsthand the limits of modern maternity care. She teamed up with Prenatal Chiropractor Elliot I. Berlin, DC to create a series of informed pregnancy films to explore overlooked birthing techniques and alternative options.