The Association for
Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health
A DBA of Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California
Happy Mamas, Healthy Babies
I can promise you that women working together–linked, informed and educated– can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet”
Funded from 2011 to 2013 by
The Laurence H. and Caroline T. Charitable Trust
To register for our trainings go to: Eventbrite
Download our volunteer application form here: Volunteer Application Form
Who We Are
We are a community-based 501 (c) (3) non-profit public charity 509 (a) (2) located in Los Angeles, California. Our team of perinatal professionals have expertise in medicine, nursing, midwifery, public health, Doula support and childbirth education.
As advocates for mothers and babies, we seek to ensure that each mother is treated with dignity and respect during her pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum periods.
We promote a self-growth approach to pregnancy; which is a special and unique time in a woman’s life.
We believe each pregnant woman should be surrounded by a loving and supportive community and each baby should be born into the hands of skilled, compassionate and respectful caregivers.
We protect the MotherBaby dyad whose needs are mutually dependent.
We are reverent of the sacred nature of birth, and are inspired by its potential to transform women, relationships, families and communities.
Our intent is to mobilize the perinatal community to implement culturally appropriate wholistic approaches to perinatal health with the goal to improve outcomes and quality of maternity care in all settings: clinics, hospitals, birth centers and domiciliary settings.
We are dedicated to helping families have empowering, satisfying and joyous experiences from conception through gestation, childbearing, breastfeeding and early parenthood.
To increase access, awareness and availability of MotherBaby-Friendly Maternity Care.
The Association of Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health focuses on the intersection of public health and midwifery to address healthcare disparities and to engender a more equitable maternity care system for all women and infants. Our focus areas are:
1) Education for Birth Preparation and Cultural Change
2) Advocacy for Maternal-Infant Healthcare Policy Reform
3) Expanding Access to MotherBaby-Friendly Maternity Care
The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) Developed by The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS)
Our organizational philosophy, direct services, practices and programs are based on the five principles of The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) which is an evidence-based, consensus document ratified in 1996 through the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) by every major U.S. organization with concern for mothers and newborns. Today, the MFCI is endorsed by maternity care leaders and organizations throughout the U.S. and the world. In 2013, Dr. Michael C. Lu, MD, MS, MPH Director of Maternal Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they are planning to use the five principles of the MFCI to guide planning for maternal and child health in the U.S. Click here to Watch Dr. Lu’s Video Announcement.
The Five Principles of the MFCI:
- Normalcy of Birth
- Do No Harm
Mission of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS)
CIMS is an international coalition of individuals and organizations with concern for the care and well-being of mothers, babies, and families. CIMS mission is to: “promote a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and substantially reduce costs. This evidence-based mother-, baby-, and family-friendly model focuses on prevention and wellness as the alternatives to high-cost screening, diagnosis, and treatment programs”.
Founded in 1993 as an educational venture by a Certified Nurse-Midwife , Certified Professional Midwife/Licensed Midwife and Childbirth Educator/Birth Activist Cordelia Hanna-Cheruiyot MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA, Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California’s original intent was to establish a professional direct-entry midwifery training program to educate aspiring midwives to become licensed in the state of California and to establish a freestanding birth center to provide access to out of hospital midwifery care to low-income women. Cordelia’s training, education and experience as a Midwife, Birth Activist, Doula and Public Health Practitioner give her a broad perspective which enables her to guide the work of the organization. Since 2010, Cordelia has served as the part-time volunteer Executive Director of the organization and oversees all of it’s programs and initiatives, with the support of consultants, a dedicated team of volunteers and board members. In 2011, we established the DBA The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health to reflect our evolving work.
Our expanded mission includes providing training and professional development of perinatal healthcare providers including community health promoters and other paraprofessionals, as well as nurses, midwives and physicians, and support and education for parents and parents-to-be.
What We Do
We provide staff development training for community perinatal health workers, nurses, and other professionals. We design community-based initiatives, engage and mobilize diverse stakeholders to develop wholistically-oriented programs and policies that improve maternal and child health. Our strategies include:
- Developing and implementing innovative initiatives that aim to close the gap on health disparities and reach public health objectives for maternal and infant health. We design and deliver health education training for nurses, midwives, childbirth educators, community-based Doulas, breastfeeding peer counselors and community perinatal health workers. Our B.I.R.T.H. (Birth Information for Teen Health) Mother-Mentor Program provides education, mentorship, life and leadership training and support for pregnant and parenting teens.
- Conducting training and technical support for hospitals, clinics and community-based agencies committed to creating supportive environments for childbearing women and their families, and promoting evidence-based maternity care.
- Provide professional consultation for independent medical providers and community clinics with Medi-Cal Comprehensive Perinatal Support Services Programs (CPSP). Our Health Education Consultation and Psychosocial Consultation are provided by Masters-prepared health educators (MPH) who are Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES). Our Psychosocial Consultants are Clinical Psychologists (Psy.D.) , with expertise in maternity and prenatal care. Our services include CPSP protocol development and review, chart audit, convening multidiscliplinary care coordination, in-service training for Comprehensive Perinatal Health Workers (CPHWs) and Prenatal Clinicians and more.
- Conduct trainings for prenatal program staff, doulas, community health workers, perinatal case managers and nurses. Our courses include: Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Training and Certification Program, Perinatal Support Specialist Training and Certification Program, Childbirth Education for Maternal-Infant Health Workers, Postpartum Doula Training and Certification Program, and other half day and full day seminars.
- Offer Prenatal Education and Support Services for Expectant and New Parents, including Birth and Postpartum Doula Support, Childbirth Education (Lamaze) Classes, Breastfeeding Educators and Counselors and a Collective of MotherBaby-Friendly Doulas in Los Angeles. In addition, we offer other support services for pregnant mothers and their partners.
- Invite maternity care providers to embrace our philosophy of care: a “self-growth”approach to pregnancy and childbirth, recognizing the profundity of childbirth and its ability to transform mothers, fathers, birthworkers and society.
- Sponsor an Annual Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative Symposium and Quarterly Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative Consortium Meetings and Webinars which are opportunities for perinatal professionals to share the opportunities and challenges of implementing evidence-based, mother-centered, humanistic care in the clinic, community and hospital settings.
Highlights of our Annual Conference: “2014 Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative Symposium – Medicine and Midwifery: Bridging the Gap”
The second annual conference was held Tuesday and Wednesday, April 29 & 30, 2014 at California Endowment Center for Healthy Communities in Downtown Los Angeles, California. To learn more and to view pictures of the conference, go to: Overview of Conference
Our keynote speaker was Dr. Robbie Davis-Floyd, Ph.D., Medical and Cultural Anthropologist, Senior Research Fellow from The University of Texas, Austin, author of numerous scholarly papers and books on childbirth, medicine and midwifery. For more information on Dr. Davis-Floyd, go to: http://davis-floyd.com.
Ninety participants attended, including student nurses, student nurse-midwives/nurse-practitioners, student certified professional midwives, Certified Professional Midwives, Licensed Midwives, Doulas, Childbirth Educators, Public Health Professionals, Medical Doctors and researchers. As well, a variety of exhibitors who provide services for pregnant women and babies were present offering wonderful give-aways.
Purpose of The Symposium
To galvanize the perinatal community to harmoniously work together to create multidiscliplinary maternity care teams committed to forwarding the action towards a mother- and baby-centered, collaborative model of maternity care in Los Angeles County.
Goals 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) Enhance maternity care providers ability to apply cultural anthropological perspectives to the study of maternity care and reproduction across cultures.
About The 2014 Symposium Partner Organization: California Nurse-Midwives Association (CNMA)
CNMA’s mission is to facilitate the integration of nurse-midwives into the healthcare system of California, and to promote legislation and regulations that support maternal and child health goals.
Panel Discussion: “Implementing Holistic, Multidiscliplinary Mother- and Baby-Centered Maternity Care Teams in the Hospital, Clinic and Community Setting”
Our Panel Moderator was Dr. Ruth Meilke, CNM, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, California State University Fullerton.
In this session, we explored the role of all of the players on the maternity care team as they work together to deliver cohesive, quality care to pregnant and birthing women, and implement evidence-based maternity care based on the principals and steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative. In addition, we explored pertinent issues in maternal and infant health, i.e.; health equity how the MFCI can address perinatal health disparities. Additionally, we discussed future possibilities for Medical and Midwifery collaboration.
Panel Presenters (Click on Image to Enlarge)
In 2011-2013, we received a grant from the California Community Foundation (CCF) for Hospital Improvements and Nursing Education. In addition, we are supported by The Caroline T. and Laurence H. Tribe Charitable Trust, and private donations from citizens who believe in our mission and work, and fee for services provided such as Childbirth Education Classes, Labor and Postpartum Doula Support, and trainings and consultations for professionals.
AWMNH In the Media
Listen to this Blog Spot Radio interview with Cordelia Hanna-Cheruiyot, MPH , Executive Director of The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health, and Wendy Silvers, founder of Million Mamas Movement, about the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative of Los Angeles County (MFCI-CLAC).
If you BELIEVE in our mission…
CONTRIBUTE your time and talents ….
Make a DONATION…of any amount.
Your donation can be to our organization for general purposes, or can be earmarked for a specific project (either existing or in development).
Projects and Programs Include:
- Community-Based Doula Program
- Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program
- The Annual Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative Symposium of Los Angeles County
- The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative of Los Angeles County
- B.I.R.T.H. (Birth Information and Resources for Teen Health) Mother-Mentor Program
The Association for
Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health
P.O. Box 50630
Los Angeles, CA 90050-0630
Telephone: (626) 388-2191 Fax: (323) 739.9523
Donations are tax-deductible to Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California DBA The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health, a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization, 509 (a) (2) public charity. We are qualified to receive tax-deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the IRS code.