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.
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 by training more Doulas and Midwives from communities experiencing social inequities and discrimination, we can address persistent ethnic disparities in birth outcomes. 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 childbearing persons and their 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 the U.S. context, that means Doulas and Midwives. 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 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. Our approach to improve maternity care is to promote the midwifery model of care and forward the midwifery profession through integration into public health programs We believe doing so will help the U.S. achieve public health objectives for maternal and infant health: 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 and mobilize maternity care stakeholders to implement “motherbaby-friendly” policies and programs that will improve the quality of care and outcomes of pregnancy locally and globally.
To promote the availability and use of skilled maternity care through training and professional development of qualified practitioners, we seek to provide holistic, 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 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, 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 childbearing persons.
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 poorest and provide an opportunity for vocational training for persons who would like careers in maternal and infant health, including our signature program, The Perinatal Support Specialist Training and Certification Program.
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, doula support and psychoscocial and spirituality into maternity care.
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.