ICEA and the ICEA Approved Trainer (IAT) agree that the birth of a baby represents the birth of a family. We believe that family-centered maternity care is based on the concept of a “Circle of Care” which centers on the pregnant woman, but also includes her family, healthcare providers, and community resources. Freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives is fundamental to a woman’s autonomy and should be respected by all in her circle of care. We believe that childbirth is a process that can safely take place in hospitals, birth centers, and homes. To provide optimal maternity care healthcare systems and facilities should be based solely on the needs of the mother, child, and family.
A nurtured world through professionals trained in family-centered maternity and newborn care.
To educate, certify, and support the birth professional who believes in freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives in family centered maternity and newborn care.
COMPASSION: We believe approaching maternity care with compassion and a nurturing spirit improves birth outcomes for all families.
COLLABORATION: We practice a culture of collaboration based on the knowledge that mindful engagement with diverse groups advances positive, family-centered maternity care.
CHOICE: We support freedom of choice by training professionals committed to empowering expectant families through informed decision making.
Family-centered maternity care is ICEA’s primary goal and the basis of ICEA philosophy. In 1986 ICEA adopted the McMaster University definition of FCMC:
Philosophy: The birth of a child represents the birth of a family. The person giving birth and the persons significant and close to them are forming a new relationship, with new responsibilities to each other, to the baby, and to society as a whole. Family-centered reproductive care may be defined as care which recognizes the importance of these new relationships and responsibilities, and which has as its goal the best possible health outcome for all members of the family, both as individuals and as a group.
Family-centered care consists of an attitude rather than a protocol. It recognizes a vital life event rather than a medical procedure. It appreciates the importance of that event to the person and to the persons who are important to them. It respects the person’s individuality and their sense of autonomy. It realizes that the decisions they may make are based on many influences of which the expertise of the professional is only one. It requires that all relevant information be made available to the individual to help them achieve their own goals, and that they be guided but not directed by professionals they have chosen to share the responsibility for their care.
Practice: The practice of family-centered maternity care is founded on this philosophy and encompasses birth practitioners, birth places, and maternity-newborn care, as determined by the needs and decisions of each individual and their family.