New Intrapartum Care Guideline from the World Health Organization Focuses on a Positive Childbirth Experience

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

To complement the 2016 antenatal care recommendations, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published new recommendations on intrapartum care for a positive childbirth experience. Notably, the guideline recommends respectful maternity care and companionship of choice during labor and childbirth for all women. WHO also states that unnecessary medical procedures should be avoided if labor is progressing normally and the woman and her baby are in good condition…read more

How Mongolia Revolutionized Reproductive Health for Nomadic Women

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By: Didem Tali, Multimedia Journalist

In the past few decades, Mongolia has made dramatic improvements in maternal health. Through a series of governmental reforms and campaigns, the country has decreased its maternal mortality rate, which tends to be higher in nomadic communities…read more

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

Leading Experts Discuss Fistula, Safe Surgery and the Way Forward

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

While safe surgical practices can improve maternal health outcomes, surgery can pose its own risks and complications. The Maternal Health Task Force’s Kayla McGowan recently had the pleasure of interviewing two leading experts in the field of fistula and safe surgery, Dr. Thomas Raassen and Carrie Ngongo. Read key takeaways for the maternal health community….read more

New Opportunities in Maternal Newborn Health

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By: Staff, Maternal Health Task Force

Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe. In this month’s roundup, we are featuring positions with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Jhpiego, UNFPA and other organizations…read more

New Request for Proposals on Improving Maternal Health Measurement

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By: Staff, Maternal Health Task Force

The Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health is pleased to announce a request for proposals to fund research aimed at testing and validating key maternal health indicators that are not routinely collected and reported at national and global levels. Proposals are due by 28 February 2018…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

Maternal Health Progress in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste

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By: Valerie Wordley, University of Manchester

Timor-Leste should be applauded for its progress in maternal health over the last decade-and-a-half, serving as an inspiring model for other low-income, post-conflict countries to follow. A substantial amount of work remains for Timor-Leste to achieve the maternal mortality targets under the Sustainable Development Goals, but it is clear that the country is on the path to success…read more