Newborn Health

The challenge of accurately documenting maternal mortality

Finding and documenting just how many women die during pregnancy or childbirth in low income countries remains a challenge, according to a new report from the Overseas Development Institute. Describing this ambiguity as a “veil of ignorance”, the authors of the paper stated that one of...

Promoting women’s human rights ‘can reduce maternal mortality’

Placing an emphasis on the importance of women’s human rights is essential in reducing global maternal mortality, an expert has said. Professor Lesley Regan, vice-president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London, UK (FIGO's UK member society), and chair of the...

Childbirth expert Sheila Kitzinger dies aged 86

The world renowned childbirth expert Sheila Kitzinger has passed away at the age of 86, after a short illness. A prolific author, she was best known for promoting natural births and will be remembered for pioneering the concept of a birth plan. She was vociferous in her opinion that the focus...

Global maternal mortality rate falls significantly

The health of girls and women around the world has improved significantly, with the global maternal mortality rate falling by 42 per cent since 1995. This is according to a new report by the Clinton Foundation in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Entitled No Ceilings, the...

Maternal mortality rates in China decrease

China has met its maternal mortality Millennium Development Goal one year ahead of the deadline, the country’s official press agency revealed. Xinhua reported that China’s maternal mortality rate contracted to 21.7 per 100,000 last year, compared to 23.2 per 100,000 in 2013. According...

PAHO and WHO launch new maternal mortality initiative

A new scheme, entitled "Zero maternal deaths from haemorrhage", has been launched by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The focus of the initiative is to boost healthcare access for pregnant women in the Americas and improve the quality of...

Global maternal and child deaths 'dramatically fall'

Major progress has been made in maternal and child death rates, according to the United Nations. It said that its Every Woman, Every Child movement has had a positive impact since it launched in 2010. In every one of the 49 poorest countries in the world, maternal and child death rates fell between...

India's maternal health worse than previously thought

Maternal health in India is far worse than previously thought, according to a new study. Researchers at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs note that 40 per cent of women in the country are underweight when they start pregnancy. This is a worrying...

Pre-conception folic acid cuts risk of undersize births

Taking folic acid before becoming pregnant cuts the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) births, according to a new UK study published in BJOG. Being SGA is linked to higher levels of neonatal mortality, as well as elevated risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, mental...

FIGO reaffirms support on World Prematurity Day

FIGO reaffirms support: World Prematurity Day (17 November 2014) FIGO reaffirms its support for the highlighting of World Prematurity Day on 17 November 2014. One of the main priority areas for FIGO in its efforts to promote women’s health is maternal and newborn care. Prematurity constitutes...