Launching the International Childbirth Initiative (ICI)

A new initiative launched by the International Childbirth Initiative (ICI) at the XXII FIGO World Congress in Brazil provides comprehensive guidance and support for safe and respectful maternal care globally.

spotlight - Launch of International Childbirth Initiative at FIGO 2018

Endorsed by a growing number of health professionals, advocacy groups and educational institutions around the world, ‘12 Steps to Safe and Respectful MotherBaby-Family Maternity Care’ is a clear and unifying template for maternal and newborn health (MNH).

Building on ICI’s past work and cutting-edge evidence, the 12 Steps also reflect the best practice of organisations currently working in the field of MNH worldwide.

Introduced on October 16th by André Lalonde alongside a panel of world experts including FIGO President Carlos Fuchtner, the ICI Principles and 12 Steps include:

  • Promoting compassion and dignity in care provision
  • Ensuring access to affordable care
  • Adopting the MotherBaby-Family Model of Care
  • Adopting midwifery scope of practice
  • Provision of continues support during labour and birth
  • Appropriate use of non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic pain relief
  • Evidence-based practice including avoidance of unnecessary routine producers
  • Enhancement of health and wellness
  • Appropriate and effective emergency care

Relevant organisations are encouraged to rally around these 12 Steps, and promote quality of care in a comprehensive way.

Said Dr Lalonde:

“There are many organisations seeking to improve quality of care, but this is often in piecemeal ways due to operational circumstances and limitations. The ICI 12 Steps provide a clear and unifying template.”

ICI recognises that the implementation of evidence-based maternity care is an ongoing process and that context varies around the world. A set of basic performance indicators for each step to monitor progress is included, which are practical, reflective and low-cost, using local assessors.

In addition, ICI promotes a supportive human resource policy ensuring a safe and positive work environment, and fully incorporates the 10 Steps of the revised Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. It also aims to build community, with a global platform for training, sharing and learning that will include data collection and webinars.

The full launch document and a list of endorsing partners is available here. Inquires are encouraged, and should be addressed here.