Our Vision & Mission
Happy Mamas, Healthy Babies
Working for Social Justice in Maternity and Newborn Care
As Allard Lowenstein said,
“The question should not be is it possible. Rather, the question should be is it worth trying to do.”
To promote awareness, access and availability of MotherBaby-Friendly Maternity Care, and promote evidence-based, respectful, quality maternity care to all childbearing persons.
Marrying the midwifery model of care with public 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 in all settings.
We believe by training more Doulas and Midwives from communities experiencing social inequities and discrimination, we can address persistent ethnic disparities in birth outcomes. Doing so will help America achieve public health objectives for maternal and infant health. We strive to engender a more equitable healthcare system for all childbearing persons and their infants.
We promote a global health approach to address urban health disparities here in the U.S. Throughout the developing world, training programs for traditional birth attendants have been successful in reducing maternal mortality. In the United States, community-doulas and midwives could help to reduce maternal and infant deaths, were they widely accessible. Immigrant, African and Indigenous communities have used traditional practices to care for mothers and newborns, in the absence of dominant culture support. Due to acculturation, systemic racism, colonialism, industrialization, and the institutionalization of birth, these tried and true traditional ways of birthing and motherbaby-care have been nearly lost for generations. A woman and baby-centered approach and community support has ensured child and mother survival for ages. Our Community Doulas and Breastfeeding Peer Counselors are here for our communities.
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 promote Midwifery and promote the Midwives 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. We promote midwives and the midwifery model of care in all settings. We encourage the forward the midwifery profession through integration into public health programs and increased opportunities for persons of color to enter the perinatal professions and serve their communities. We believe doing so will help the U.S. achieve public health objectives for maternal and infant health.
We collaborate with agencies and social service providers.We work with organizations who are dedicated to improving the health of mothers, infants and children they serve. We provide corporate training to organizations to implement Community Based Doula Programs.
To promote the availability and use of skilled maternity care. We offer training and certification programs for Breastfeeding Peer Counselors and Community Doulas and provide continuing education and networking opportunities for health , social service and mental health professionals.
To improve perinatal health outcomes such as neonatal-maternal disability and death. We are working to achieve Healthy People 2030 objectives for maternal-infant health and WHO’s Millennium Development Goal 5: to end maternal deaths, and reduce preterm birth locally and globally.
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, or Doula. Each of these maternity care providers have distinct skills which are valuable and essential for healthy birthing, and should be available for all childbearing persons, regardless of income or insurance status.
Creating opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and vocational development in communities of color.
We work within regions of Los Angeles and Africa where birth outcomes are the worst and provide vocational training for persons who would like careers in maternal and infant health, or to improve the health of their community’s mothers and infants.
Promoting compassionate, harmonic birthing environments for families.
We promote respectful, evidence-based, multi-collaborative care. We promote the integration of midwifery, doula support and midwifery into standard medical care of pregnant women and persons.
Ensuring linkages and solid collaboration.
We are working with ministers of health, health plans, hospitals, physicians, public health entities, academic institutions, clinics, schools and community-based organizations to improve birth outcomes and quality of maternity care locally and globally.
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.
Our services 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. 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:
- Oneness of body-mind-spirit
- The body as an energy system interlinked with other energy systems
- Healing the whole person in whole-life context
- Essential unity of practitioner and client
- Diagnosis and healing from the inside out
- Networking organizational structure that facilitates individualization of care
- Authority and responsibility inherent in each individual
- Science and technology placed at the service of the individual
- A long-term focus on creating and maintaining health and well-being
- Death as a step in a process
- Healing as the focus
- 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.