Celebrating the Work of Midwives

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Childbirth is perhaps the riskiest and most miraculous time in a woman’s life. And midwives are truly the unsung heroines of the challenge to reduce the risks women face in bringing forth life. [PHOTO CREDIT]

Now, armed with better skills and training, midwives are increasingly able to deal with life-threatening emergencies and are playing a critical role in making motherhood safer around the world. It is estimated that trained, well-equipped and supported midwives could save the lives of more than 200,000 women each year, and perhaps ten times that many infants.

But midwives do much more than deliver babies: Pregnancy, whether planned or unintended, is often a key entry-point into the health system. And midwives can provide a welcoming gateway. They often introduce women to the healthcare system and ensure that women and their babies receive a continuum of skilled care during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the important days and weeks after birth.

Midwives care for mothers before and after childbirth, they protect the health of newborns, they offer family planning counselling and supplies, they prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and they know when to call for emergency help when complications arise.

Here are some stories about the lives, training, motivations and challenges of midwives who work with UNFPA to deliver for women.

A Multi-pronged Approach to Maternal Health in Lao PDR is Getting Results

midwivesSEPON HOSPITAL, Lao PDR — Twenty-five-year-old Xanya had twirled herself around her husband for comfort in the family tak-tak (an open-air cart attached to a motor by a long set of handlebars) along the 12 kilometres of rocky road from their home to the district hospital.

He held her, hoping his body would absorb the continuous jolts. She had been in labour for more than ten hours. More

READ MORE HERE …

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