Midwives and others with midwifery skills are the single most important cadre for preventing maternal, neonatal deaths and stillbirths.
Annually, 358,000 mothers and more than 800,000 newborns die from complications during childbirth, and an estimated 1.2 million stillbirths occur during labor. Millions more newborn lives are lost in the first 28 days of life.
There is a global critical shortage of 3.5 million health workers, including 350,000 midwives, without whom millions of women and newborns are at risk.
- State of the World's Midwifery 2011: Delivering Health, Saving Lives
- PMNCH Knowledge Summary: Save lives - invest in midwives
- Save the Children: Missing Midwives
- Investing in Midwives and others with midwifery skills: Saving the Lives of Mothers and Newborns and Improving their Health
Global and national statistics: (tip: use data as local as possible; e.g. national or district levels for greater impact)
- Countdown to 2015 country profiles
- National Situation Analyses
- Newborn data
- Stillbirth data
- Link maternal health with stillbirth and neonatal health - makes a stronger argument
- Intrapartum-Related Deaths: Evidence for Action, IJGO supplement
- The Lancet Stillbirth, Neonatal and Maternal Series
Guidelines for programs:
- WHO IMPAC series
- Newborn care charts: management of sick and small newborns in hospital
- Helping Babies Breathe
Policy and Advocacy:
- Save the Children's Every One campaign: midwife mobilizing toolkit
- Partner with your local Save the Children office
- Contact your local Midwifery Association
Learn more - Related content on HNN:
- Video: Stories of Midwives: Voices from the Field
- Photo essay: The impact of the global shortage of midwives
- Video: The mountain midwives of Vietnam
- Blog: A midwife's story - Winner of 2008 Midwife Award
- News: Road to Durban: The world needs more midwives
- News: Midwives can cut deaths in childbirth, but there aren't enough of them
- News: Nursing the vulnerable newborn
- Video interview: Dr. Joy Lawn chats with Global Health TV about the ICM Save the Children Every One Midwife Awards and working with global partners to scale up and evaluate newborn care
The State of the World's Midwifery
Launched at the International Confederation of Midwives 2011 Congress, The State of the World's Midwifery 2011 is the first comprehensive analysis of midwifery services and issues, provides new information and data gathered from 58 countries in all regions of the world. The report unveils new data confirming there is a significant gap between the number of midwives practicing and those needed to save lives.
With the right training and support, midwives and others with midwifery skills could save the lives of 1.3 million newborns, 201,000 mothers and could prevent 1.2 million stillbirths. Prioritizing care at birth is a triple return on investment.