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Women holding babies on their laps.

Birth shouldn’t be so risky—for moms or their babies

In wealthy countries, having a baby is rarely viewed as a life-risking proposition. The risk of a woman dying from pregnancy or childbirth is 1 in 8,000.

But consider the prospects for women in poorer countries, where that risk can be as scary as 1 in 17.

Infection is a leading cause of maternal deaths. About 57 million women a year give birth without the help of a trained health worker, and often at home, where the risk of infection is high. Nearly a million of their newborns die from infection each year as well.

New mothers and babies, at their most vulnerable, need care, protection, and nurturing. That’s why PATH is working to make sure new moms have a healthy environment in which to give birth, ways to avoid problems such as mother-to-child transmission of HIV and postpartum hemorrhage, and early medical attention. We’re providing culturally relevant technologies and interventions that make this critical time as healthy and safe as possible, no matter where in the world babies are born.

Photo: Wendy Stone.

Mother holding her infant daughter.

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