Within the continuum of care, childbirth care is provided during labor and delivery. Interventions include skilled care at birth, basic and comprehensive obstetric care, and management of preterm births.

It is important that the childbirth care interventions for mother and newborn are seen as a functional unit delivered in a narrow time window by the same healthcare provider (or team) and in the same place, with referral for management of complications including mother and baby together.

1.3m

number of intrapartum stillbirths globally in 2015

3m

number of newborns and women who could be saved each year with high-quality care before and around the time of birth

17

percent of cesarean section deliveries globally 2015 – 2020

All data on this page represents the most recent data available, unless otherwise noted. Please visit our Newborn Numbers page and download the Excel spreadsheet to explore the data further.

More information

The interaction between skilled healthcare workers and mothers before, during, and just after labor is critical for saving lives and ensuring good, healthy birth outcomes. Best practices include ensuring mothers are involved in the decision-making (including where they will give birth) and are provided with supportive care at all stages and that the birth proceeds without intervention as long as labor progresses normally and the woman and baby are well. When complications arise, health workers must be ready to respond appropriately.

Key resources