Covid-19 has been a game-changer. While health disparities faced by women and children worldwide have reached a new level of urgency, women’s leadership has shone. Maternal and Infant Health Canada's panel discussion, co-organised with the Global Health Centre, sheds light on this global crisis through dynamic and thoughtful discussion among experts in global women’s health and social issues. Women in communities all over the world have illustrated the public health principle that women uplift communities so it is vital to support women’s education and human rights. Our speakers will address the strengths that women have brought to this time of crisis, offering visions of a more egalitarian post-pandemic world.

In 1991, the WHO and UNICEF launched the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) to promote quality breastfeeding care and to increase breastfeeding rates worldwide. The BFHI outlines 10 steps hospitals must follow to be awarded the title of Baby Friendly and is the gold standard for breastfeeding care in hospitals. This webinar will explore the effect of baby-friendly hospital steps and other maternity care practices on breastfeeding outcomes using the findings of several large longitudinal cohort studies among pregnant Chinese women. Greater adherence to the baby-friendly steps, even in the absence of BFHI designation, improves exclusive breastfeeding rates and overall breastfeeding duration.


Dr. Brenda Leung (ND, PhD) presents on Whole Systems research, Patient-Oriented research, as well as the use of acupuncture in the treatment of adolescent anxiety.


Speaker: Dr. Emilie Salomons (Dr. TCM, R.Ac, FABORM, OBAAM, Doula). Dr. Emilie Salomons introduces the role that Traditional Medicine and it's practitioners can play in improving maternal and infant health, especially in the global south.


Speaker: Dr. Jerilynn Prior (BA, MD, FRCPC)


Dr. Dorothy Shaw discusses why advancements are needed for improving maternal and infant health and the necessity of continued focus on the reduction of preventable maternal and infant mortality.


Dr. Arun Garg shares the role of Ayurveda in improving and maintaining optimal health using an integrative system of medicine in India.
Dr. Nerges Mistry (PhD, BSc) is the joint director of the Foundation for Medical Research in Mumbai. Her research studies include basic and public health aspects of tuberculosis and leprosy. Recently, her research has focused on multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, community immuno-epidemiology of waterborne diseases, and operation research into community-based healthcare systems in rural area of India.

The work of Dr. Mistry and her collegues is leading to innovations at the intersections of scientific and traditional medicine. Under Dr. Mistry's guidance, doctors at the Foundation for Medical Research are reaching new understandings of how some traditional medical treatments work for the human body, and are providing support for the continuation of effective tradional medicine among the people who use them.

Dr. Patti Janssen (BSN, MPH, PhD in Epidemiology) introduces SmartMom: a prenatal education program for Canadian moms-to-be that text-messages you information you can trust to help guide you through the weeks of your pregnancy.
The recent pandemic of COVID19 has affected almost all the countries in the world and led to a large number of disease and deaths due to coronavirus. Mortality due to COVID19 was higher among older age groups and those with comorbidities. Only a few countries were able to effectively to control the spread of COVID19 pandemic. Kerala, the southern state of India, has successfully addressed the pandemic through a variety of public health and social mobilization measures. Kerala's achievements are built on a strong foundation of the primary health care system, decentralization, involvement of neighborhood groups like Kudumabashree, past experience in dealing with public health crises like a nipah outbreak, strong political leadership and effective communication.
Mothers in rural and remote areas of Nepal lack access to skilled birth attendants. Human resources are few and often not trained to the level that international professional organizations recommend. Families living in remote mountainous areas of Nepal are geographically marginalized, and travel to urban maternity services is expensive and not feasible for many families. To provide needed services, the government of Nepal has established birthing centers in communities in eastern Nepal’s remote, mountainous region of lower Solukhumbu with at least one skilled birth attendant in each facility. However, the birthing centers are not well utilized. A mixed methods study investigated mothers’, maternity staff and community members’ experiences with birth through semi-structured interviews. The skills of attending nurses, and the enabling factors such as infrastructure, equipment, and supplies in three levels of maternity facilities were examined through two surveys.

The experience of pain during childbirth can be amplified by emotional, physical and psychological factors. There is a growing interest in utilizing non-invasive, non-pharmacological methods of pain management, including the use of acupressure. Pain management in labour through non-pharmacological means offers many benefits to both the patient and the medical facility. Acupressure offers a tool that is simple enough to be taught to partners, doulas and birth support workers via an afternoon workshop, or one on one in conjunction with prenatal visits. Preliminary reviews show that acupressure can be a helpful tool in the management and experience of pain in labour, that it is cost effective, that it does not require equipment and most importantly, that it is safe.

This course will review the current body of evidence for acupressure in labour as well as review the techniques and functions of each point and how to properly administer acupressure as cervical ripening and birth preparation, as well as in labour.