Dr. Vijaya Krishnan

Sanctum inducted as an Endorsing Partner of International Childbirth Initiative (ICI)

International Childbirth Initiative

The International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization (IMBCO) and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) have joined forces to develop a single global initiative or providing safe and respectful maternity care, building upon their previous work, The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative (IMBCI, 2008) and Guidelines to Mother-Baby Friendly Birthing Facilities (FIGO, 2015). These have been merged to create the International Childbirth Initiative (ICI): 12 Steps to Safe and Respectful MotherBaby-Family Maternity Care, incorporating current evidence and insights into what constitutes good and effective maternal and newborn health care and how to achieve it.

The Sanctum is honored to be inducted into the list of Endorsing Partners of the ICI. Since 2008 our team is doing pioneering work to bring safe, healthy birth practices to Indian mothers and babies, which has enabled hundreds of mothers and families experience natural birth in an atmosphere which is loving, safe and empowering.

Launched in 2018, this initiative is aligned with UN and other relevant (inter)national guidelines and recommendations. The ICI Principles and 12 Steps acknowledge the oneness of the MotherBaby, the importance of family inclusion, and the influences of interactions with health care providers and systems on the health and wellbeing of the MotherBaby-Family. The ICI has been endorsed by health professional, development, advocacy and childbirth education organizations, and support is growing.

The 12 Steps include: promoting compassion, dignity and cultural sensitivity and cultural safety in care provision; ensuring cost transparency and access to affordable care; adopting the MotherBaby-Family maternity care model and the midwifery scope of practice; provision of continuous support during labour and birth, appropriate use of non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic pain relief; evidence-based practice, including avoidance of unnecessary potentially harmful routine procedures; measures to prevent illness and enhance wellness; provision of appropriate and effective emergency care; having a supportive human resource policy that ensures staff safety and a positive work environment; providing a continuum of collaborative care among all care levels; and implementation of the 10 steps of the revised Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (2018).

The ICI acknowledges the great variation in resources and access to care around the world. The challenge in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to continue to increase access to skilled caregivers and emergency care where these are still lacking, while increasing the understanding of the physiologic processes of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, decreasing the overuse and underuse of medical interventions and improving the quality of care for mothers and newborns in all maternity care services and in all countries.

The ICI calls for the implementation of the 12 Steps in facilities and practices around the world and provides recommendations and guidance for implementation and self-initiated quality assurance mechanisms that can be used to monitor process, effect and engagement in safe and respectful maternity services.

The Sanctum is honored to be an Endorsing Partner