November 1, 2016
BirthNetwork National has joined forces with the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS), the national organization most known for creating the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) and ImprovingBirth, the nation's largest maternity care consumer advocacy organization.
Together, we are laying the groundwork to become a powerful, change-making national organization. The new direction for the organization will focus on training birth advocates to engage deeply with the families, providers and hospitals in their areas, through a Community Advocate Training Program. The new organization also intends to bring the principles of the MFCI to life by creating a nationwide Mother-Friendly Provider Designationas well as a Mother-Friendly Hospital Certification program, making this distinction meaningful and sought-after.
Dawn Thompson, the founder of Improving Birth: "We’re incredibly excited about broadening and deepening our work here in the United States. We will continue to shed light on pressing issues that affect maternity care like evidence-based are, obstetric violence, informed consent, access to midwifery care, access to vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), and racial and economic disparities, while helping local communities make the changes that best work for their own populations.”
The History of BNN
BirthNetwork National began in October 1999 when five mothers began brainstorming on how to improve maternity care in their local community. They formed a non-profit organization to support anyone seeking information, resources and support for healthy, respectful maternity care. Soon after, they discovered the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI), which was created by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS), and realized that it was the evidence "backbone" to support the intuition behind their mission. BirthNetwork National is based on the MFCI, which outlines the principles of Mother-Friendly care in order to promote the safest, healthiest and most cost-effective maternity care. BirthNetwork National has evolved from one chapter in Southeast Michigan into a national organization with many chapters across the country. BNN became a part of a growing movement of birth activists striving to bring peace and dignity to birth by helping empower women to make informed choices about their maternity care.