Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Stillbirths and maternal and neonatal deaths

Counting and reviewing every birth and death is key to preventing future tragedies

16 August 2016 -- Every day, women die during childbirth and babies are born stillborn. With quality health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth, many of these deaths could be prevented, but countries often lack the knowledge and capacity needed to take actions to stop other women and babies dying in the same way. To address this issue WHO is today launching two new tools to help countries improve their data on stillbirths and neonatal deaths as well as a report on the global status of implementation of maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR), a key strategy for reducing preventable maternal mortality.

News release and feature stories


Time to respond: a report on the global implementation of maternal death surveillance and review (MDSR)

This describes the global status of implementation of maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR), a process that helps countries strengthen their maternal mortality review process in hospitals and clinics.

Making every baby count: audit and review of stillbirths and neonatal deaths

To help countries review and investigate individual deaths so that they can recommend and implement solutions to prevent deaths from similar causes in future.

WHO Application of the International Classification of Disease-10 to deaths during the perinatal period (ICD-PM)

This standardized system for classifying stillbirths and neonatal deaths, aims to help countries link stillbirths and neonatal deaths to contributing conditions in pregnant women to identify the required interventions to prevent future deaths and enable comparisons within and between diverse settings.

Policy brief


Better data to save mothers' and babies' lives

Infographic showing that every year 303,000 mothers die in childbirth, 2.7 million babies die during the first 28 days of life and 2.6 million stillbirths occur.