10 facts on midwifery
Updated May 2013
Midwifery services are key to a healthy and safe pregnancy and childbirth. Worldwide, approximately 287 000 women die every year due to pregnancy and childbirth related complications. Most of these largely preventable deaths occur in low-income countries and in poor and rural areas. WHO supports countries' efforts to make sure that every women and every newborn baby receive the best possible health care. Many maternal and newborn deaths can be prevented if competent midwives assist women before, during and after childbirth and are able to refer them to emergency obstetric care when severe complications arise.