By Kathleen Mitchell-Askar, pregnancy and birth editor
For women in our culture, pregnancy and childbirth represent a joyous time: enjoying a growing belly, fantasizing about how the baby will look, shopping for tiny layettes, and taking prenatal yoga classes. But for many women in developing countries, pregnancy and childbirth are risky and sometimes fatal for both mother and newborn.
Save the Children, a nonprofit organization that supports the health and well-being of children and families worldwide, released its “State of the World’s Mothers” report just before Mother’s Day 2010, and its findings indicate a critical need for qualified female health care workers to save the lives of mothers and children during the potentially dangerous times of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.
The report’s findings are alarming: Every year, nearly 9 million newborn babies and young children die before reaching five years of age. Nearly 350,000 women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications, and almost 1 million babies lose their lives during the birth process itself: These infants are stillborn, but were alive in the mother’s womb just minutes or hours before birth. Continue reading State of the World’s Mothers: More Qualified Health Care Workers Needed Worldwide