What is Mother-Friendly Care?

A Mother-Friendly hospital, birth center, or home birth service that:

Lets birthing women decide who will be with them during the birth, including their partner, children, family members, and friends.

Allows women to have physical and emotional support from a doula or labor support professional throughout their labor and birth.

Provides accurate information to people about what they do and how they care for women during birth, including interventions and outcomes.

Provides care that is respectful of the mother’s beliefs, values, and customs of her race and religion.

Has plans for how caregivers will work together even when mother must transfer from one birth site to another.

Lets the birthing woman walk, move around, and choose which positions are best for her during labor and birth, unless there is a problem that needs to be fixed by being in a certain position.

Does not routinely do things to women that are not supported by scientific evidence.

Staff encourages family members to hold, touch, and care for their baby, including premature or sick infants.

Teaches nurses, midwives, and doctors ways to relieve pain without using drugs.

Discourages non-religious circumcision.

Gives mothers information and support for breastfeeding, and lets mothers and babies stay together all the time, unless a specific medical problem prevents it.

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