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What we learned about maternal health this month

United Nations Photo

Over the past month, Global Citizen has had a focus on maternal health issues. We learned that for many women, motherhood and bringing a child into this world is a very positive and fulfilling experience. However, for too many mothers, and especially those living in the developing world, this is not the case.

Here is a re-cap of some of the biggest takeaways from what we learned together:

We discovered where the best and worst places to be a mother are

best worst - Alex Proimos.jpgImage: Flickr: Alex Proimos

The verdict: Best place, Norway. Worst place, Somalia. 

From the perspective of a Midwife, we learned about how essential maternal-child health care is

MH 4 Gates Foundation .jpgImage: Gates Foundation

“Nutrition, exercise, education, social support, love, -- these are the basics of health for each person, society and our planet.When those basics are not supported - the delayed cost is much higher. A society that values the future provides accessible maternal-child health care and education for all.” - Gina Catena, Midwife 

We learned that poor sanitation threatens maternal health in a big way

MH 2 Gates Foundation .jpgImage: Gates Foundation

Water and sanitation are so important when it comes to providing basic health needs for people. It makes poor mothers and children even more susceptible to disease. Health is obviously a primary concern for pregnant women and newborn children. But when they don’t have access to proper sanitation, crowded situations such as slum-living, create a higher risk for contagion for any infectious disease.

We learned about innovative ways that countries are ensuring a good start to a child’s life

Visa Kopu.jpgImage: Visa Kopu

Finland’s government has been giving free “starter-kit-boxes” to expecting parents since 1938. Each and every mother, no matter her economic background, receives a maternity box when her little one arrives.  

We learned about the value of motherhood

MH 1 UN Photo .jpgImage: United Nations

We learned about the importance and normalcy of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is crucial to a newborn’s development. It can reduce the risk of allergies, respiratory infection, and so many other things that put babies' lives at risk.

We learned about how critical education is in regards to maternal newborn and child health


One major result from better education is more trained health workers. Additionally, children who receive an education benefit by building self-esteem and healthy behaviors and habits that will aid them down the line. For instance, they are more likely to marry and have children later, practice family planning, seek medical care when needed, and vaccinate themselves and their children.

And we learned 10 super important facts that you need to know about maternal health

MH 3 Gates Foundation .jpgImage: Gates Foundation

Like the fact that every day, almost 800 women die because of complications during pregnancy and childbirth and that most of the maternal deaths that happen can be prevented.

We learned a lot this month, and as the year goes on we'll have plenty more to share with you about maternal health. For now, let's take a moment to remember that this topic is incredibly important and that if we work together we can change things. What can you do right now? Tell the G7 to take note, and support the health of mothers and children by signing the petition in TAKE ACTION NOW.