International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative

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International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative: 10 Steps to Optimal Maternity Services (IMBCI)  was launched on March 8th  2008, on  International Women’s Day in Orlando, FL at the CIMS Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum.    As a co-chair of the IMBCI I would like to share some of the history of how the IMBCI was born and hope you will join us in celebration and to spread the IMBCI around the world so that all women, babies and families will receive optimal motherbaby maternity care.    The International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization (IMBCO) was established in 2007 in response to international demand for creation of a global initiative based in part on the U.S-based Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative created by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) in 1996. With assistance from CIMS,  Childbirth Connection and from a number of international childbirth- and breastfeeding organizations, and from individual birth and breastfeeding experts, the IMBCO created the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative: 10 Steps to Optimal Maternity Services (IMBCI). This Initiative addresses the needs of all nations and birthing women for evidence-based and humanistic improvements in the quality of maternity care. It is both educational and instrumental in purpose. Its educational purpose is to call global attention to the importance of the quality of the mother’s birth experience and its impact on the outcome, the risks to mother and baby from inappropriate medical interventions, lack of access to care  and the scientific evidence showing the benefits of MotherBaby-centered care based on the normal physiology of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding and on attention to women‚s individual needs.   The instrumental purpose of the IMBCI 10 Steps is to put into worldwide awareness and practice the MotherBaby Model of Care–a woman-centered, non-interventive approach that promotes the health and wellbeing of all women and babies during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, setting the gold standard for excellence and superior outcomes in maternity care. The mission of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization (IMBCO), in partnership with Childbirth Connection and in collaboration with CIMS and other organizations, is to develop, regularly update, and promulgate the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative worldwide to improve care throughout the childbearing continuum, in order to save lives, prevent illness and harm, and promote health for mothers and babies around the world.   For more information, to download and support the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative  please visit

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