BlogHers Act: Important Facts on Maternal Health

BlogHers Act has some great things in the works for our year-long campaign to make a difference in maternal health around the globe. We will have an announcement on our first actions very soon. In the meantime, following are some of the key statistics on the issue. As you can see, this is just the tip of the iceberg with lots of potential to help, and many other project areas we can and will take on. Because the BlogHers are on board, you know it will be a big, effective, action-oriented, productive, inspiring year!

Here are but a few of the facts and issues related to maternal health -- we have lots of work to do.

- The complications of pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death and disability among women of reproductive age in developing countries.

- A woman dies every minute of every day from complications of pregnancy or childbirth.

- It is estimated that around 529,000 women die each year from maternal causes. And for every woman who dies, approximately 20 more suffer injuries, infection and disabilities in pregnancy or childbirth. This means that at least 10 million women a year incur this type of damage.

- The foundations for maternal risk are often laid in girlhood, for example women whose growth has been stunted by chronic malnutrition are vulnerable to obstructed labor.

- The factors that cause maternal morbidity and death also affect the survival chances of the fetus and newborn, leading to an estimated 8 million infant deaths a year (over half of them fetal deaths) occurring just before or during delivery or in the first week of life. Not to mention the survival of the children the mother already has.

- Women are most in need of skilled care during delivery and the immediate postpartum period, when roughly three quarters of all maternal deaths occur. However, only 59% of births in the developing world are attended by a doctor, nurse, or midwife that could provide skilled care.

For more information, check out these links:

Newsweek, Seven Ways to save a mother’s life

Newsweek, Maternal Health

Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health


Center for Research on Women

The Millennium Campaign (Goal # 5 – Improve Maternal Health)

The White Ribbon Alliance

Project Quilt

Medicine for Humanity


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