A Safe Motherhood for All

How do we address the issues above?

1: We stop women from paying with their lives to give birth.

Childbirth should be a precious, joyous moment — no woman should have to worry that it could be their last.

Of the 800 women who die as a result of giving birth, 99% live in developing countries, where access to skilled health workers and maternal health facilities is scarce. This is a tragedy that can be stopped. By increasing the number of maternal healthcare facilities and midwives available to both rural and urban communities, we can decrease the distance between any mother and the healthcare she needs — and dramatically reduce the risk of any lives being lost during birth.

2: We have a skilled health worker present at every birth.

The chance of a healthy start in life should not be dictated by wealth — yet the poorest households are most at risk of not having a skilled health worker present at birth. In 2015, less than half of the poorest 20% of households globally had skilled health workers attendant at birth.

These households also are most likely to suffer from a dangerous trifecta: lack of proximity to health facilities, lack of access to health workers and lack of communal knowledge of what a healthy birth and start to life requires. By creating maternal health facilities where none previously had existed, and by training both health workers and community members in the intricacies of a safe birth, we can drastically reduce the chance of a woman ever having to give birth without a health worker present — regardless of their economic status.

3: We increase prenatal care — and, with it, the likelihood of a safe birth.

Pregnancy is a long journey, one where health workers should be available whenever needed, not just at birth.

The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of four prenatal visits to ensure that prospective mothers are prepared for their delivery and able to identify any warning signs of health complications in themselves. Through the creation of maternal health facilities and the training of health workers, we can increase the amount of contact between pregnant women and health workers — a critical step toward ensuring a safe motherhood for all.

4: We ensure a safe start to life for both mother and child.

Tragically, every year millions of mothers lose their children before they even reach the age of five, causing unimaginable pain and cutting their motherhood short. Nearly half of these tragic losses are suffered in the 24 hours immediately after giving birth — a time when, without proper postnatal care, infections can prove fatal. By providing postnatal care, we can not only dramatically reduce the risk of complications in the 24 hours after birth but help set the foundation for a healthy start to life.

How do we know this is what it takes to provide a safe motherhood?

Because, thanks to the support of people like you, we’re making it happen:

  • we’re building maternal wards where none previously existed;
  • we’re training midwives, creating a generation of skilled health workers to serve their communities;
  • we’re reaching women in the most remote areas through mobile medical units;
  • we’re providing comprehensive prenatal, delivery and postnatal care to thousands of women; and
  • our nutrition and immunization programs target children under 5, to provide every child with the chance for a healthy start.

Thanks to your support, we are continuing the fight every day to end unsafe childbirth and provide safe motherhood for all.

Together, we can make safe motherhood for all into a reality. You can help make it happen.

You can also be part of #BumpDay, a day dedicated to raising awareness about maternal health needs around the world. Post a picture of your past or current bump on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter on July 17 — spread the word and save a life! Learn more at bumpday.org

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International Medical Corps relieves the suffering of those impacted by conflict, natural disaster and disease by delivering medical relief and training.

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International Med. Corps

International Med. Corps

International Medical Corps relieves the suffering of those impacted by conflict, natural disaster and disease by delivering medical relief and training.

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