maternal health care

Photo by Andrea Bruce

Twin newborns in MSF’s hospital in Khost, Afghanistan. The postnatal period is the most dangerous time for mothers and babies: 75% of all neonatal deaths and more than 35% of maternal deaths occur during the first week after birth. Read stories from the field about the challenges to providing pre and postnatal care in Because Tomorrow Needs Her:


Here’s What Giving Birth Looks Like — In Two Very Different Worlds

Nearly one-fifth of all deaths among women ages 15 to 49 in Tanzania are related to pregnancy and labor. In Sweden the maternal mortality rate is one of the world’s lowest — just four women per 100,000 childbirths.

“I had the feeling Swedish women were acting out more, screaming more, even if they had painkillers.”




United Nations Study Finds U.S. Way Behind In Women’s Rights

The U.S. is just one of seven nations that hasn’t yet ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Iran, Somalia and Sudan are some of the other countries on the list. The UN committee reports, “There is a myth that women already enjoy all these rights and protections under US law. However, there are missing rights and protections such as universal paid maternity leave, accessible reproductive health care and equal opportunity in standing for political election.”


Photo by Andrea Bruce

Most newborn & maternal deaths happen in the postnatal period.  Much of MSF’s work is devoted to preventing these types of deaths.  Read about how MSF cares for women and babies by offering pre and postnatal care in Chapter 2 of Because Tomorrow Needs Her:

Midwives talk about the “three delays” that can kill a mother in labor or her baby.The first delay stems from an assumption or hope that they can deliver at home without skilled assistance, so they do not go to a properly resourced medical facility when complications arise. Read more in Because Tomorrow Needs Her:

Bernie Sanders was recently told by a Republic presidential candidate that “I think Bernie Sanders is a great candidate for president — of Norway”. Apart from the fact that Norway is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a prime minister - and not a president - it is the world´s best country to live in, according to the UN. 12 years in a row. A presidential candidate actually used the most successful economic and social policy in the world, the Nordic social democracy - with the highest scoring country on the Gender Equality Index, free higher (and lower) education, paid paternity and maternity leave, free health care and with some of the lowest crime rates in the world, as an insult

Midwives talk about the “three delays” that can kill a mother in labor or her baby. The third delay is an absence of good quality care at a health facility. A mother could arrive at night when no skilled staff are present. There may be staff, but no drugs or equipment or it could be too expensive. Read about how MSF tries to prevent the third delay in Chapter 2 of  Because Tomorrow Needs Her: