Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mother Friendly Childbirth Forum 2010

Hello from Austin, TX where I am attending the annual Mother Friendly Childbirth Forum organized by the Coalition for Improving Maternal Services (CIMS- pronounced with a K)! There have been some amazing speakers at the event sharing very exciting new and evolving research on improving maternal services and what we can do nationally and in our own community.

CIMS was created in the mid-1990s as a coalition to promote a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and sustainably reduce costs. CIMS has developed the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) to promote five main principles:
  • Normalcy of the Birth Process
  • Empowerment
  • Autonomy
  • Do No Harm
  • Responsibility
These principles underlie the Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care that make a hospital, birth center or home birth services motherfriendly. You might want to share this information with your care provider to see how many of the steps they have implemented.

At the conference, Childbirth Connection, based in DC presented on improving the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy, and policy. Childbirth Connection has recently published a Blueprint for Action informed by the MFCI, emerging from a multi-year, multi-stakeholder collaborative process called 2020 Vision for a High Quality, High Value Maternity Care System. This groundbreaking work is helping to influence language used in the current healthcare bills being debated in Congress. The document also has very practical and detailed strategies for eleven areas where consumers, care providers, educators can begin to implement some of the findings such as their recommendations for Decision Making and Consumer Choice.

Another important way to help inform maternity care today is to fill out The Birth Survey . This survey was created around the 10 Steps of MFCI and quality indicators, to provide higher transparency in maternity care so that women can share their experience with where and whom to birth with, California is one of the target states for this project, so if you haven't filled out the survey, please do so today! Also, if you are pregnant, check out this searchable database for care in your area. The co-chair for The Birth Survey, shared some of the data collected, with 3008 entries CA tops the list of surveys filled out so far! Let's keep that gathering data from the grassroots so we can do our part to improve maternity care and empower all women to know their options and make informed choices.

Stay tuned for more!

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