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(Updated December, 2015)
The CIMS document that defines the ten steps of Mother-Friendly care. A must-read for all childbirth professionals, advocates and families. Read more about the history of the MFCI at About CIMS.
Evidence Basis for the Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care in the Journal of Perinatal Education, 2007, Issue 16, a Special Supplement
The result of a 2-year research project by a team of maternity care experts, this important work reviews 15 years worth of scientific studies which and found that the evidence supports complying with each aspect of the ten steps of Mother-Friendly Care.
Mother-Friendly Childbirth: Highlights of the Evidence
This is a summary of the Evidence Basis document (above) contributed by consumer groups BirthNetwork National and Citizens for Midwifery that makes it possible to see at a glance the results of the research in a easy to comprehend, quick presentation. Great for educating others!
Having a Baby? Ten Questions To Ask
Ten questions for prospective mothers to ask of their chosen birth center, hospital, or home birth service. These ten issues will help you determine whether the people assisting you in your birth support the philosophy of Mother-Friendly care.
CIMS Fact Sheet: Breastfeeding is Priceless
This fact sheet lists the short- and long-term benefits of breastfeeding for babies, premature infants, children, and mothers. The fact sheet also covers the costs of not breastfeeding. Includes references.
The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) is concerned about the dramatic increase and ongoing overuse of induction of labor. Despite modern techniques, induction of labor still introduces considerable risk compared with natural onset of labor, and many, if not most, inductions are done for reasons that are not supported by sound medical research.
Cesarean section is the most common major surgical procedure performed in the United States. The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) is concerned about the dramatic increase and ongoing overuse of cesarean section. The surgical procedure poses short- and long-term health risks to mothers and infants, and a scarred uterus poses risks to all future pregnancies and deliveries. For these reasons, CIMS recommends that cesarean surgery be reserved for situations when potential benefits clearly outweigh potential harms. This resource includes an important companion document, “A Checklist for Expectant Mothers to Read During Pregnancy.”
The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI), drafted in 1996, was an evidence-based consensus document ahead of its time. Since then, research, professional guidelines, state–wide health care directives, hospital systems, health care quality improvement initiatives, and federal and state-level maternity care legislation have identified many aspects of the MFCI and the Ten Steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative as key factors to improving maternal-infant health outcomes. This document provides the evidence to show that the MFCI can be used as a guide to meet professional and federal guidelines to make childbirth safer, less costly, and more satisfying to childbearing women and their families. Includes references.
This two-page document outlines national, state, and hospital quality improvement guidelines as well as legislative initiatives that reflect the philosophical principles and ten steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative. For the rationale and references that support the Summary, readers are referred to the complete document, Making the Case for Mother-Friendly Birth Practices.
Check out this video made especially for CIMS by Dr. Michael Lu.
Dr. Michael C. Lu, MD, MS, MPH is the Associate Administrator of Maternal and Child Health at the Health Resources and Services Administration (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). He created this video for a previous CIMS Forum, the theme of which was "Health Disparities in Maternity Care; Using Mother-Friendly and Baby-Friendly to Build Health Equity".
In the video, Dr. Lu acknowledged that the CIMS' Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) is an important tool that contributes to quality improvement in maternity care. He said, "You've been the champions of quality and safety for maternity services in our nation."
Dr. Lu also stated his support of the philosophical principles of the MFCI: "...no woman should be subjected to unnecessary interventions and... every woman should be cared for in a system that respects her autonomy and upholds the principles of Empowerment, Do No Harm, and Responsibility and be given the choice of Mother-Friendly maternity services that you all champion...I applaud the leadership you've shown in promoting health equity over the years and want to commend you for confronting the theme of your Forum (Health Disparities in Maternity Care) this year."
Dr. Lu recognized CIMS' efforts since the MFCI was created: "You remind me of what Dr. (Martin Luther) King said about human progress. He said, ' ...human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable...Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concerns of dedicated individuals' like yourselves."
The Leadership Team of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services is very grateful to Dr. Lu for creating this video for our organization and for being a tireless advocate for women and their families Please share this video far and wide!