Every year, 15 million infants are born preterm worldwide. Inequalities in survival rates and outcomes vary widely around the world. Half of the premature babies born at or below 32 weeks in low-income settings don’t survive due to a lack of receiving care such as warmth, breastfeeding support, and basic care for infections and breathing difficulties. Although #BorntooSoon, these newborns aren’t too late to receive respectful and dignified care.
The 15 million premature births are 15 million opportunities to deliver quality, respectful care that gives them the best chance at a healthy life. Their best chance begins when we ensure the mother has access to quality, equitable and dignified care that is consistently given throughout
pregnancy and childbirth. When we ensure women are supported throughout pregnancy and childbirth, we set women AND newborns up for a healthy life.
The Respectful Maternity Care Charter: Universal Rights of Women and Newborns articulates the rights of women and newborns while receiving maternity care within a healthcare facility. Women and newborns’ experiences with caregivers can empower and comfort or inflict lasting damage and emotional trauma, particularly when newborns are separated from their families in the first hours of life.