Childbirth care in Liberia gets a boost with the addition of a maternal waiting home for mothers who are close to giving birth.

Photo of the Week: Maternal Waiting Home

Photo: Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children

An expectant mother stops in a doorway while at the Maternal Waiting Home in Paterstown clinic in Margibi county, Liberia. 

Despite the rapid urbanization that is occuring across low- and middle-income countries, many rural women give birth at home. Maternal waiting homes give mothers with a supervised and safe place to wait before giving birth at a hospital or health center. The World Health Organization has in several reports recognized the important role that maternal waiting homes can plan in assuring that women do not give birth alone, and do so with a skilled birth attendant. The caveat being that the cost of building and maintaining them needs to be further evaluated along with an accurate assessment of how many women are utilizing them. 

In Liberia, where this photograph was taken, some women have to walk up to eight hours to reach the nearest health clinic. The government’s county health team is working with several partner organizations to provide antenatal and postnatal care services in addition to supporting nutritional feeding programs. 

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