Midwives: Making Childbirth Safe for Moms and Babies

By EGPAF | June 10, 2014

A midwife comforts a newborn infant. Midwives can provide about 90 percent of the essential care women and newborns need during and after childbirth.

Jhpiego/Kate Holt

Around the world, midwives play a critical role in making sure childbirth is safe for women and their babies. As a new report from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), and the World Health Organization (WHO) shows, well-trained midwives can provide about 90 percent of the essential care women and newborns need during and after childbirth. The report also found that midwives can potentially reduce maternal and newborn deaths by as much as two-thirds.

Midwives do more than deliver babies; they are trusted members of their communities who offer a range of comprehensive sexual reproductive health services, including family planning counseling and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services. However, only four of the 73 low and middle income countries included in the report have an adequate midwife workforce to meet health care needs.

At the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), we know that midwives are essential to our efforts to achieve an AIDS-free future. That’s why we are working with local communities and ministries of health in countries such as Malawi to provide midwives with the proper education and training to ensure they can help women in their communities have safe deliveries and that their babies are born HIV-free.

Check out this infographic to learn more about how midwives help prevent maternal and child deaths worldwide.

And be sure to read the full State of the World's Midwifery report