Mother &  Baby Friendly


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When choosing a doctor, it’s important to find one who is in sync with your values and needs.  Be sure you clarify your values before you choose your doctor. Take our survey. Download PDF: Values Clarification Exercise. Then you can find one who has similar philosophy about  childbirth as you do. We  recommend you find out if your hospital is a Mother-Friendly and/or Baby-Friendly Hospital. We invite you to find out if the doctor you choose practices medicine based on 10-evidence based steps called The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI), a consensus document authored by The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, a coalition of over 45 leading organizations with concern for maternal and infant health and were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Perinatal EducationDownload a copy of the journal: Evidence Basis. 

Please go to The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services website for more information and additional resources at:

Download a copy of “Having A Baby? Ten Questions to Ask” [Available from CIMS website]: Spanish    English  

Birth Planning: Questions to Ask Physicians


A brief summary of the 10 steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI)  is below:

  1. SUPPORT. Unrestricted access to continuous  emotional and physical support from a  family member or a labor-support professional; including access to professional midwifery care.
  2. INFORMATION. Provides accurate descriptive and statistical  information to the public about its  practices and  procedures.
  3. CULTURAL  COMPETENCY. Provides culturally competent care.
  4. FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT. Provides the birthing woman with the freedom to walk, move about, and assume the positions of her choice during labor and birth
  5. COLLABORATION. Has clearly defined policies and procedures for collaborating and consulting throughout the perinatal period with other maternity services;  linking the mother and baby to  appropriate community resources.
  6. EVIDENCE-BASED. Does not routinely employ practices and procedures that are unsupported by scientific evidence, and limits others.
  7. PROMOTES  NON-DRUG  METHODS OF  PAIN RELIEF. Educates staff  in  non-drug  methods of pain relief, and does not promote the use of analgesic or anesthetic drugs not specifically required to correct a complication.
  8. TOUCH.HOLD.BREASTFEED. Encourages all mothers and families, including those with sick or premature newborns or infants with congenital problems, to touch, hold, breastfeed, and care for their babies to the extent compatible with their conditions.
  9. DISCOURAGES  CIRCUMCISION. Discourages non-religious circumcision of the newborn infant.
  10. PROMOTES  BREASTFEEDING. Strives to achieve the WHO-UNICEF “Ten Steps of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative” promoting successful breastfeeding.


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