Is Your Hospital/Birth Center Mother Friendly?

Nurse and patient advocate Carolyn Rafferty, RN, BSN, can answer your childbirth questions! Send them to her here.
Carolyn Rafferty, RN, BSN

Your question:
I heard something about a hospital being "mother-friendly" what does this mean?

The nurse answers:
"Mother-friendly" is a term that has been applied to maternity care in hospitals that reflects the best information from all the research available as to how women and families should be treated during labor and birth.

A group of professional health organizations, authors and individuals got together and reviewed all the research findings along with the World Health Organization recommendations and developed the "gold standard" of maternity care; the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI). Individuals can find out more about the MFCI by visiting

Many organizations are promoting this "gold standard" as the way for women and families to reclaim their right to normal birth with interventions only applied as truly medically necessary.

Hospitals that have been designated as Mother-Friendly are hospitals that have been through a vigorous self-assessment process to see how they compare to the MFCI "gold standard". Even some maternity nurses are assessing their own care in accordance with the MFCI and making every attempt to provide women with mother-friendly nursing care. All women have a right to this "gold standard" of maternity


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