News

Midwives Deliver for the Women of the World

2 May 2013
Author: UNFPA

Celebrating the Work of Midwives

Midwives deliver babies — and they do much more. This slide show, created from photographs submitted by UNFPA Country Offices, shows midwives in action in more than 40 countries.

The world needs midwives more than ever

Chidbirth is perhaps the riskiest and most miraculous time in a woman's life. And midwives are truly the unsung heroines of the challenge to reduce the risks women face in bringing forth life.

Now, armed with better skills and training, midwives are increasingly able to deal with life-threatening emergencies and are playing a critical role in making motherhood safer around the world. It is estimated that trained, well-equipped and supported midwives could save the lives of more than  200,000 women each year, and perhaps ten times that many infants.

Midwives care for mothers before and after childbirth, they protect the health of newborns, they offer family planning counselling and supplies, they prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and they know when to call for emergency help when complications arise.But midwives do much more than deliver babies: Pregnancy, whether planned or unintended, is often a key entry-point into the health system. And midwives can provide a welcoming gateway. They often introduce women to the healthcare system and ensure that women and their babies receive a continuum of skilled care during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the important days and weeks after birth.

Afghanistan
Population:
31.3 mil
  • Fertility rate
    5
  • Maternal Mortality Ratio
    400
  • Contraceptives prevalence rate
    23
  • Population aged 10-24
    36%
Youth secondary school enrollment:
Boys 39%
Girls 14%