Maternal health

A nurse measures the abdomen of a six months pregnant woman during a prenatal consultation, Mali

Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. While motherhood is often a positive and fulfilling experience, for too many women it is associated with suffering, ill-health and even death. The major direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality include haemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion, and obstructed labour.

UNICEF/Asselin
A mother and her infant.

New programme reporting standards for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes

14 September 2017 – Reporting on health programmes often covers what was done and not how it was done and in what context. This information is key to understanding impact and can facilitate successful replication and scale-up. To address this, WHO is launching new standards for reporting on sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes at this year’s Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.

WHO/WPRO/Y Shimizu

fact buffet

Every day

830830 women, approximately die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Maternal mortality

Almost all

99 %99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.

Maternal mortality

Access to skilled care

78%In 2016 an estimated 78% of all live births benefited from skilled care during delivery.

Skilled attendants at birth

Infographics