A new report is out today from Save the Children on the “Missing Midwives.” They identify a shortage of 350,000 midwives globally resulting in higher maternal and neonatal mortality. The report focuses on the consequences of this shortage on children, but the findings are of interest to the maternal health community as well. Increasing the number of midwives and the number of births attended by skilled professionals would have beneficial impacts on mothers.
From the report:
The global shortage of 350,000 midwives means that many women and babies die from complications that could easily be prevented by a health worker with the right skills, the right equipment and the right support. There are 358,000 maternal deaths annually, and more than 800,000 babies die during childbirth each year. Millions more newborn lives are lost in the first month of life. if births were routinely attended by midwives and skilled birth attendants with the right training and support, the lives of 1.3 million newborn babies a year could be saved.
The International Day of the Midwife is coming up on May 5 which will “celebrate midwifery and bring awareness of the importance of midwives’ work to as many people as possible.”