Vision & Mission

Our Vision & Mission

Happy Mamas, Healthy Babies

Promoting Awareness, Access and Availability of  MotherBaby-Friendly Maternity Care

newborn sleeping on mothers chest

As Allard Lowenstein said,

“The question should not be is it possible. Rather, the question should be is it worth trying to do.”

Cordelia Hanna-Cheruiyot,  MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA

Our Mission

To promote awareness, access and availability of MotherBaby-Friendly Maternity Care.

Our Vision

Marrying the  midwifery model of care with public health promotion. Public  health and midwifery share a holistic view of health, common values and a multidiscliplinary approach to health promotion. With a focus on prevention of disease and the awareness of social, psychological, spiritual aspects of health, midwifery and public health make a perfect marriage.  The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health’s  strategy to  improve maternity care is to  promote the midwifery model of care and forward the midwifery profession.  We believe doing so will help us  achieve public health objectives for maternal and infant health  and engender a more equitable healthcare system for all women and infants.

We promote a global health approach to address urban health disparities here  in the U.S. through revitalization of “traditional” birth attendants from  ethnic communities where health disparities are greatest. In many ethnic communities in the U.S., there was a long and rich history of skilled, mother-to-mother support. This community support has ensured mother and child survival for generations. Due to inculturation, systemic racism, industrialization, and instutionalization of birth, these  tried and true traditional ways of birthing have been forgotten in many communities. We are committed to bringing back knowledge of these ancient ways of supporting vulnerable pregnant mamas and their precious babies. This woman and baby-centered approach has ensured child and mother survival for ages.

We promote evidence-based care. There is now a large body of scientific evidence which support evolutionary approaches to maternal and infant care. In our trainings, we share evidence-based conceptual frameworks and motherbaby-centered practices developed by leading researchers in maternal and infant health. These include: Biological Nurturing (Suzanne Colson, Ph.D., R.M), Attachment Parenting (William Sears, M.D.), Kangaroo Mothercare (Nils Bergman, M.D.), Undisturbed Birth (Sarah Buckley, M.D.), and more.  Through our initiatives, courses and seminars, we  disseminate this information, and help communities rediscover their ancient traditions.

We support midwives and promote the midwifery model of care. The  International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)  and The Federation International of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (FIGO)  joint statement  promotes midwifery care as the solution to addressing  the world’s problem of maternal mortality. Our approach to  improve maternity care is to  promote the midwifery model of care and forward the midwifery profession (including doulas and perinatal community health promoters).  We believe doing so will help us  achieve public health objectives for maternal and infant health such as  lowering rates of maternal death, lowering premature birth rates, lowering  cesarean section rates and increasing rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration.

We collaborate with agencies with maternal-child health programs and social service  providers.We train perinatal  health workers who are dedicated to  improving the health of mothers, infants  and children in their communities and reducing health disparities.  We provide training to organizations  on  “mother-baby friendly” approaches to maternity care.  We mobilize maternity care stakeholders to  implement  “motherbaby-friendly”  policies and programs that will  improve the quality of care and outcomes of pregnancy in Los Angeles County for all women and infants.

Our Purpose

To promote the availability and use of  skilled maternity care  including midwives, and community health promoters. Through the education and professional development of qualified practitioners, we seek to provide wholistic, multidiscliplinary maternity care in varied settings including clinics, private homes, hospitals and freestanding birth centers. We  promote evidence-based maternity and infant  care  to reduce perinatal health disparities and achieve health equity for all mothers and infants.

To  improve perinatal health outcomes and quality of care, reduce health disparities, such as  neonatal and maternal disability and  death. We are working to  achieve Healthy People 2020 objectives for maternal-infant health and  Millennium Development Goal  5:  to  reduce maternal mortality. We are also working to   reduce disparities in prematurity and infant mortality.

Our Goals

Ensuring skilled attendants at all births.

This is considered to be the single most critical intervention for ensuring safe motherhood. When women have access to quality prenatal care they can have healthier pregnancies. While undisturbed birth proceeds normally for the vast majority of women who are in good health, all women deserve to  have a skilled  attendant present to recognize problems early and to intervene and manage complications should they occur. Skilled care can be by physician, midwife, nurse, doula or monitrice. Each of these maternity care providers have distinct skills which are valuable and essential for healthy birthing, and should be available for all women.

Community Health Promoter Graduation Ceremony, 2015

Esperanza Community Health Promoter Graduation Ceremony, Trained as Perinatal Support Specialists. Class of 2015

Creating  opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and vocational development in communities of color.

We  work within  regions of Los Angeles where birth outcomes are the poorest and provide an opportunity for urban renewal and vocational training by providing training opportunities for persons who would like careers in maternal and infant health.

Promoting compassionate, harmonic birthing environments for families.

Our trainings for the  perinatal workforce  embrace cultural diversity and a holistic model of care. We promote multidiscliplinary collaboration and  the integration of medical, midwifery, psychoscocial and spirituality into maternity care.

Ensuring linkages and solid collaboration.

We are working with  hospitals, physicians, public health entities, academic institutions,  clinics, schools and community-based organizations to improve  birth outcomes and quality of maternity care in Los Angeles.

We support increased integration of midwifery and Doula  care.

We support the integration of all kinds of midwives (Licensed Midwives, Certified Professional Midwives, Nurse-Midwives), and Doula Support  into  standard prenatal and postnatal care.

We provide childbirth education and supportive services  for expectant and new parents.bigstock_Joy_Of_Parenthood_1779616

Our  include childbirth education, breastfeeding support, labor doula, postpartum doula support and monitrice support,  referrals to skilled midwifery and MotherBaby-Friendly physicians and maternity care providers.

Addressing Perinatal Health Disparities Through a Wholistic  Model of Care.

Infant health and maternal well-being can be enhanced by the integration of  medicine, midwifery, psychosocial support and spirituality. This culturally-relevant, wholistic, motherbaby-centered care can help reduce  health disparities such as:

  • Maternal Mortality
  • Infant Mortality
  • High Rates of Cesarean Section
  • Read More…

About The Wholistic Model of  Maternity Care

Robbie Davis-Floyd, Ph.D., Medical Anthropologist, in her article The Technocratic, Humanistic, and Holistic Paradigms of Childbirth which appeared  in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (Vol 75, Supplement No. 1, pp. S5-S23, November 2001), described the main components of the [w] holistic model of care as distinct from the other models of care, having the following components:

  1. Oneness of body-mind-spirit
  2. The body as an energy system interlinked with other energy systems
  3. Healing the whole person in whole-life context
  4. Essential unity of practitioner and clientpregnancy-yoga-prayer
  5. Diagnosis and healing from the inside out
  6. Networking organizational structure that facilitates individualization of care
  7. Authority and responsibility inherent in each individual
  8. Science and technology placed at the service of the individual
  9. A long-term focus on creating and maintaining health and well-being
  10. Death as a step in a process
  11. Healing as the focus
  12. Embrace of multiple healing modalities

Basic underlying principles: Connection and integration
Type of thinking: Fluid, multimodal, right-brained

For a thorough comparison of the holistic model of maternity care to the technocratic model of maternity care, which is the dominant model in the U.S., and to the humanistic model of  maternity  care, please reference Davis-Floyd’s article on her website: http://davis-floyd.com.

If you believe in our mission and vision, and want to contribute your talents and expertise, please contact us. We have numerous ways you can get involved, or you can make a tax-deductible donation to support us. 

 

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