Disrespect and Abuse During Childbirth in Ethiopia: Comparing Women’s Reported Experiences and Researchers’ Direct Observations

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By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

According to a new study from Ethiopia, researchers observed substantially higher frequencies of disrespect and abuse (D&A) during interactions between health care providers and women than those reported by women themselves. Notably, the study found that women who experienced any complications or whose newborn faced any complications were over 15 times more likely to report any D&A than women who did not face such complications…read more

In Jamaica, Obesity Is Linked to Higher Risk of Maternal Death

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By: Kayla McGowan, Project Coordinator, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

While Jamaica has seen a slow decline in maternal deaths, “Indirect causes account for an increasing proportion of these deaths,” said Lovney Kanguru, lead author of a recent population based study examining the consequences of overweight and obesity for Jamaican women of reproductive age…read more

Integrating Family Planning Into Postpartum Care: Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

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By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

In a recent paper published in Maternal Health, Neonatology and Perinatology, Margo Harrison and Robert Goldenberg presented an overview of published research on immediate postpartum use of long-acting reversible contracption in low- and middle-income countries…read more

10 Papers That Address Climate Change and Maternal Health

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By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The physical environment has an enormous impact on women’s and maternal health. Climate change in particular has been linked to food insecurity and undernutrition, water scarcity, poor hygienic conditions, infectious disease outbreaks and increased vulnerability to floods, hurricanes, heat waves and other natural disasters—all of which have direct consequences for women’s health during pregnancy, labor and delivery and postpartum…read more

New Blog Series on Noncommunicable Diseases and Maternal Health: Call for Submissions

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By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

As the world continues to undergo the “obstetric transition” from mostly direct causes of maternal mortality to more indirect causes, addressing the effects of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) on maternal health is becoming increasingly urgent. To highlight this issue, the Maternal Health Task Force is curating a new blog series focused on NCDs and maternal health…read more

Stillbirths: Global Causes, Disparities and the Need for Better Reporting

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By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

An estimated 2.6 million stillbirths occur every year across the globe, but many of them are not counted, reviewed or reported. The Every Newborn Action Plan proposed a target for reducing global stillbirths during the Sustainable Development Goal period from 18.4 stillbirths per 1,000 births to 12 or fewer stillbirths per 1,000 births by 2030. However, inaccurate reporting and inconsistencies with definitions are key challenges for tracking progress and achieving this target…read more