The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) is a coalition of individuals and national organizations with a mutual concern for the care and well-being of mothers, babies, and families. Our members consist of the broader community of childbirth organizations, birth professionals, stakeholders, birth advocates and consumers. CIMS’ mission is to work with the birth and breastfeeding community and our members by encouraging and promoting evidence-based, Mother-and-Baby-Friendly maternity care, as outlined in the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI), the first and only consensus document on U.S. maternity care.
The evidence-based Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) evolved from the collaborative effort of many individuals and more than 26 organizations focused on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding during meetings spanning nearly three years in the 1990's. The MFCI - the cornerstone of our mission - is the first and only consensus document on U.S. maternity care. The MFCI is recognized as an important instrument for change both in this country and abroad. Acknowledging the need to ensure the ongoing education and promotion of the Mother-Friendly childbirth model of care defined in the MFCI, CIMS was established as a non-profit organization in 1997.
Our focus is on supporting both “bottom-up” and “top-down” advocacy for Mother-Friendly Care. From the powerful work of the Grassroots Advocates Committee’s The Birth Survey project, which is mobilizing mothers and volunteers across the country, to the significant contributions of research on the evidence basis for Mother-Friendly Care, CIMS remains committed to providing the guidance and collaboration needed to support the maternity care community and ensure that mothers receive the care they deserve.
CIMS is an active member of the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), a collaborative partnership of organizations dedicated to improving the nation’s health by protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding.
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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.