Every day, 800 women die during pregnancy or childbirth, mostly from causes that could have been prevented or treated with proper medical care.

Pregnancy should be a time of joy and happiness but for many women, particularly those who have been forced from their homes by conflict or crisis, it is also a time of great danger. Hundreds of women are dying every day and, even more heartbreakingly, newborns without mothers are ten times more likely to die in their first year of life.

In spite of all we know, not all women are able to get the help and supplies they need to give birth safely and experience the joy of a new baby.
“We have seen mothers delivering without assistance, health services are not there and a lot has happened.”

Giving birth in the world’s most dangerous country for mothers

Kuei is from South Sudan, a country which has been riven by conflict for many years. She and her husband Ruben were expecting their first child when the fighting intensified and, as the shots came closer and closer, they had to flee for their lives to a displacement camp.
With UNICEF’s support, Kuei received regular antenatal check-ups but her baby came earlier than anyone expected. Kuei’s mother-in-law sprang into action with a UNICEF first aid kit and she was able to safely deliver a beautiful, healthy baby boy.
Kuei is one of the lucky ones – one in seven South Sudanese women die in pregnancy or childbirth.
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Every two minutes, a woman dies from a cause related to pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Severe bleeding after childbirth accounts for 27% of maternal deaths worldwide.
  • 11% of mothers die from infection - a complication almost unheard of here in Australia.
  • When mothers give birth alone, obstructed labour can be deadly.
The vast majority of maternal deaths are preventable with simple interventions like a clean environment to give birth and sterile tools to prevent infection. Trained doctors and midwives who can identify and treat complications can also be the difference between life and death for expecting mothers.

UNICEF gives mums the tools and support they need to give birth in a clean environment, even away from homes and hospitals, giving both mothers and their babies the best possible chance.
Please help us give newborn babies the best gift they could ever wish for – their mother.
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