Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum Brings Leading Experts in Maternity Care to San Diego

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Leading maternity care experts will address more than 175 maternity care professionals and childbirth advocates at the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services' (CIMS) 2009 Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum and Annual Meeting, March 5-7, in San Diego, Calif. The final program includes recognized experts, well-known authors, and leaders of the nation's most effective childbirth organizations.

The Forum provides substantive data and practical educational materials that health professionals, educators, and birth advocates need to help women achieve healthy births.

Leading experts in the field of maternity care will address the challenges of delivering evidence-based maternity care and breastfeeding support to mothers in the United States at the 2009 Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum and Annual Meeting hosted by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS). The 2009 CIMS Forum will take place March 5-7, in San Diego, California, at the Handlery Hotel and Resort. The program includes 24 sessions that will cover a broad range of issues affecting childbearing women.

"Today, more than ever, costly and excessive medical interventions may interfere with a woman's ability to have a normal birth and establish successful breastfeeding," said Ruth Wilf, CNM, PhD, chair of the CIMS Forum Committee. "The Forum provides substantive data and practical educational materials that health professionals, educators, and birth advocates need to help women achieve healthy births."

The 2009 CIMS Forum will cover topics ranging from "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Birth Outcomes," to the findings of a new national report, "New Mothers Speak Out," on the physical and mental health challenges faced by new mothers, to "The Case Against Elective Repeat Cesarean Surgery," to "Why Transparency in Maternity Care Matters."

In addition, for the first time, CIMS will host a special meeting of representatives of CIMS member organizations to discuss opportunities for collaboration through the CIMS One Voice Campaign to promote evidence-based Mother-Friendly Care.

Program Highlights

Maureen P. Corry, MPH, executive director of Childbirth Connection and vice-chair of the National Quality Forum's Consumer Council, will give the keynote address, "Transforming Maternity Care: We're All in It Together," during the Opening Session on Thursday, March 5. Following her keynote address, CIMS will honor Maureen with the Annual Sharron S. Humenick Award in recognition of her outstanding national leadership in the advancement of Mother-Friendly Care.

Laurence M. Grummer-Strawn, MPA, MA, PhD, branch chief, Nutrition Branch, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at Centers for Disease Control, will report on the 2007 CDC National Survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC). The CDC survey showed that many hospitals still have birth practices or policies that make it more difficult for mothers to initiate and continue breastfeeding.

Michael C. Lu, MD, MS, MPH, associate professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and associate professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health, will present "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Birth Outcomes: A Life-Course Perspective." Dr. Lu will also speak on behalf of the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign. Dr. Lu will report on the increasing numbers of inductions and planned cesarean sections that have contributed to the rise in prematurity.

Pam England, MA, CNM, is a well-known childbirth educator and the author of "Birthing from Within: an Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation." She will speak on how informed parents make decisions about their wishes for their childbirth experience--often on emotion, not data.

Transparency in health care is one of the key recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine to improve the health status of Americans. This means providing expectant mothers with the accurate and comprehensive information they need to make informed decisions about care providers and birth facilities. Amy Romano, MSN, CNM, a regular contributor to the Journal of Perinatal Education, will present "Why Transparency in Maternity Care Matters: Bringing Birth Out of the Dark to Improve Outcomes."

For more information about the 2009 CIMS Forum in San Diego visit or call 1-888-282-CIMS (2467).

About the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services: The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) is a coalition of individuals and national organizations with concern for the care and well-being of mothers, babies, and families. Our mission is to promote a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and substantially reduce costs. This evidence-based mother-, baby-, and family-friendly model focuses on prevention and wellness as the alternatives to high-cost screening, diagnosis, and treatment programs. For more information, log on to


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