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The Lancet: Midwifery matters 'more than ever'
Date:6/22/2014

Midwifery has a crucial part to play in saving the lives of millions of women and children who die during and around the time of pregnancy, according to a major new Series, published in The Lancet.

The Series, produced by an international group of academics, clinicians, professional midwives, policymakers and advocates for women and children, is the most critical, wide-reaching examination of midwifery ever conducted. It shows the scale of the positive impact that can be achieved when effective, high-quality midwifery is available to all women and their babies. Apart from saving lives, it also improves their continuing health and wellbeing and has other long-lasting benefits.

The authors also produce evidence of a trend towards the overmedicalisation of pregnancy, and the use of unnecessary interventions such as caesarean sections, in high-income and lower-income countries, with consequent hazards and costs.

According to Professor Mary Renfrew of the Mother and Infant Research Unit, School of Nursing and Midwifery, at Dundee University, Scotland, one of the Series authors, "Many of the needs of childbearing women, their babies, and families across the world are still not being met, despite long-standing recognition that women and their babies need access to health care which provides more than just emergency interventions for acute medical problems. Although midwifery is already widely acknowledged as making a vital and cost-effective contribution to high-quality maternal and newborn care in many countries, its potential social, economic and health benefits are far from being realised on a global scale."

Every year, nearly 300 000 women are thought to die during pregnancy, childbirth or soon after. Around 2.6 million women suffer stillbirths, and 2.9 million infants die in the first month of life. Millions more women and their families suffer long-term health, financial, and emotional problems, simply because they have not received
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Contact: Thomson Prentice
t.prentice@orange.fr
33-631-863-930
The Lancet
Source:Eurekalert

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