Maternal and Neonatal Health Technical Update No.1: Promoting Safe Motherhood through Midwife Training and Advocacy
POLICY (June 2006)
Full Document (English)
Each year, nearly 530,000 women and girls die due to pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes and another 8 to 20 million suffer serious injuries and disabilities (WHO, 2003; UNFPA, 2005). The majority of maternal deaths occur immediately after or within one day of delivery, often due to severe hemorrhaging, obstructed labor, infection/sepsis, and eclampsia/hypertension. While proper care and nutrition throughout pregnancy (including regular antenatal checkups) are essential for reducing and identifying risks, researchers, health professionals, and policymakers are increasingly recognizing that skilled delivery assistance, access to emergency obstetric care, and prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage are the most important strategies for preventing maternal and neonatal deaths and disabilities. It is skilled assistance at the critical time of delivery that can make the difference between life and death for thousands of women and their babies around the world.