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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 Paula X. Rojas

Paula X. Rojas

Mamas of Color Rising
Co-Founder & Licensed Midwife/Certified Professional Midwife
Austin, TX

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, NY. Following in the footsteps of her family members in Chile, Paula has worked on grassroots social justice issues affecting her own local community since she was a teen. Her jobs have ranged from Economic Justice Coordinator at a community youth center, to developing an investigation program to prove racial/ethnic discrimination at a Fair Housing organization. In New York she co-founded various community non-profit organizations focused on issues affecting young and adult Black and Latina women including Sista II Sista, Pachamama and Community Birthing project. The bulk of her grassroots work has been focused on the issues of gender violence, healthcare access, police violence and worker's rights. Paula has played a role in supporting and amplifying local organizing work as co-founder of the New York Organizing Support Center, and member of the national leadership team of INCITE!(Women of Color Against Violence) training and supporting the local chapters and affiliates around the country.

Paula’s own personal experiences during pregnancy have led to her work, since 2005, at the intersections of healthcare access, midwifery and community organizing. During the first half of her first pregnancy she experienced care under private insurance and then had to switch to Medicaid for the remainder of her pregnancy. At Sista II Sista, the community organization where she worked, the members of the staff collective had to lay themselves off, due to funding cuts.

After having worked on many issues, ranging from housing discrimination, to violence against women; Paula found the challenges and disparate access she faced during pregnancy to be key areas to be addressed in order to create a more just, loving and equitable society. She decided to focus her community organizing work on birthing justice. She became a doula for low-income women of color. Since moving to Austin, TX in 2008, Paula has worked as a Childbirth Educator at the largest clinic for uninsured families in Austin and began organizing to address the disparities in pre-natal care and birth outcomes both locally and regionally. With other mothers of color, she co-founded Mamas of Color Rising. The group launched a sister project, Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman in 2012- a free holistic pre-natal health clinic with volunteer midwives, pre-natal dance and yoga classes and support groups for low-income women of color in Austin. After years of organizing, in 2012, Mamas of Color Rising won a campaign to get Texas Medicaid to cover CPM's in Texas.

Paula is also an author in the collection, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. She recently became a licensed midwife (CPM) in order to put a more equitable maternal health model into practice with Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman. Paula works as a prenatal dance teacher and as a consultant/trainer for social justice organizations both locally and nationally. She is the mother of two amazing kids, Xue-li and Camino, and loves to dance!