Within the continuum of care, care during childbirth 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 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.


number of intrapartum stillbirths that occur per year


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


percent of under-5 deaths related to childbirth complications occur in low income countries

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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.

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