Maternal Health: Quick Overview

Maternal Health: Quick Overview

By definition, maternal health is the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. It encompasses the health care dimensions of family planning, preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care in order to ensure a positive and fulfilling experience, in most cases, and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality, in other cases (World Health Organization)

Maternal health is far more broad and complex than what it seems. Depending on where you live, the statistics on maternal health determines how well your country is doing. That is how important the quality of maternal health is as an indicator of public health.

Here are the worldwide facts provided by the World Health Organization:

  • Every day in 2017, approximately 810 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. 

  • Between 2000 and 2017, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR, the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) dropped by about 38% worldwide.

  • 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower-middle-income countries.

  • Young adolescents (ages 10-14) face a higher risk of complications and death as a result of pregnancy than other women.

  • Skilled care before, during and after childbirth can save the lives of women and newborns.

To learn more about maternal health disparities, pregnancy complications, and maternal health in the United States, check out Muso Makoi’s blog site at

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