Happy Mamas, Healthy Babies
Cultivating Trust in Birth. Supporting Informed Choices.
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
A Project of Life is Networking Knowledge (LINK)
To register for our trainings go to: Eventbrite
Download our volunteer application form here: Volunteer Application Form
Who We Are
We are a training and advocacy organization with a grass roots, community-based approach to support direct-service providers to promote the health of mothers, infants, and families. We are maternal-child health professionals and concerned citizens dedicated to improving the quality of maternity care and the experience of childbirth and motherhood for Los Angeles women and their newborns.
Our work is 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. These five principles are:
- 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”.
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; a special and unique time in a woman’s life. We acknowledge that childbirth can be viewed as a sacred rite of passage, when entered into with courage and reverence, facilitated by sensitive, compassionate and skilled care-providers.
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. We are inspired by the potential of childbirth to transform women’s lives, families and communities.
Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California was founded in 1993 as an educational venture by Cordelia Hanna-Cheruiyot (formerly Cordelia Hanna), MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA along with two midwives ( a CNM and a CPM/LM), with the purpose to establish a professional midwifery training program and develop a freestanding birth center serving low-income, disadvantaged communities. This is still our goal, but since then, we have expanded our mission to include the professional development of allied healthcare providers (community health promoters, case managers, nurses, physicians, doulas, health educators, etc.) working with perinatal communities. In 2011, we established the DBA The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health (AWMNH). Mrs. Hanna-Cheruiyot currently serves as the volunteer Executive Director of the organization and oversees all of it’s programs and initiatives, with the support of consultants, and a dedicated team of volunteers.
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.
- 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 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 Marraige and Family Therapists (MFT) and 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, Perinatal Support Specialist Training, Childbirth Education for Maternal-Infant Health Workers, Pre and Intraconception Health Education (PICH), Cultural Awareness and Communication Skills, and Registered Nurse continuing education courses (RN-CEUs).
- Offer prenatal education, childbirth and postpartum support services for pregnant and postpartum women, including labor doula support, postpartum doula support, childbirth education (Lamaze) classes, lactation education, consultation and support for breastfeeding.
- 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 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.
About Life Is Networking Knowledge (LINK), Our Fiscal Agent
Life is Networking Knowledge (LINK) is a California non-profit 501(c) 3 health care and educational organization, provides services that improve and enhance healthcare and wellness education in the underserved communities of South Los Angeles. LINK strives to ensure that patient needs are treated beyond the medical to include mental, social and emotional aspects of their well-being, by developing and supporting innovative programs that improve the quality of life for all persons and families in and around the community.The organization strives to ensure that patient needs are treated beyond the medical to include mental, social and emotional aspects of their well-being, by developing and supporting innovative programs that improve the quality of life for all persons and families in and around the community. The organization operates Pink Lotus Health Care, a Community Health Center in South Los Angeles, to help achieve optimal community health in the communities. As one of the few community health centers in the area, LINK’s strategy includes strong emphasis on prevention, early intervention, rehabilitation, education, and direct care delivery, with an emphasis on teen reproductive health services and health education.
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
- Freestanding Birth Center and School of Midwifery
- The Annual Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative Symposium of Los Angeles County
- The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative of Los Angeles County
- Birth Information and Resources for Teen Health (B.I.R.T.H.) Mother-Mentor Program, which empowers pregnant and parenting teens who are in foster care by providing them with mentorship, support and empowerment and life and leadership skills.
The Association for
Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health
Los Angeles, CA 90050-0630
Telephone: 626.388.2191 Fax: 323.739.9523
Donations are accepted on behalf of AWMNH under Life Is Networking Knowledge (LINK), our fiscal agent.