Maternal & Newborn Health

Sarhar Yamar survived postpartum hemorrhage, and now holds her daughter, thanks to good medical care. According to her nurse, “Without the training, I would not have been able to save Sarhar. In my village I can say, I saved the patient’s life. I am very proud.”

Pathfinder strengthens the skills of providers, like this Community Health Extension Worker at the Charanchi Comprehensive Health Center in Nigeria, so they can deliver quality prenatal care, skilled delivery, and postpartum care.

In India, an expectant mother named Munaina Devi meets with a Pathfinder-trained community health worker. Together, they discuss prenatal care and make a birth plan—deciding who will transport Munaina to a facility, who will donate blood if she needs it, etc.

In Yemen, a woman learns about healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy. Pathfinder promotes practices, such as family planning and delaying early marriage, that can protect and the health of mothers and newborns.

Pathfinder collaborates with communities to overcome delays in an emergency. For example, thanks to new transportation systems, women with obstetric complications can be sure to reach a facility in time to save their lives.

One woman dies every 90 seconds during pregnancy or childbirth. More than 10 million women a year suffer severe, long-lasting illnesses or disabilities caused by complications of pregnancy or childbirth. And with the health and wellbeing of mother and child heavily intertwined, obstetric complications account for the majority of neonatal mortality.

Throughout our history, Pathfinder has supported integrated and comprehensive services for maternal and newborn care. Our community interventions to improve healthy practices such as delaying early marriage and, promoting healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy, expanding access to contraception and family planning, and increasing the availability of prenatal care, skilled delivery, and postpartum care, are widely respected. Pathfinder’s contributions to postabortion care—both at the service delivery and community level—are globally recognized.

In recent years, Pathfinder has escalated its maternal and newborn care work, initiating programs that include training midwives and skilled birth attendants to help ensure safe pregnancies and deliveries; promoting life-saving, emergency obstetric care to address complications such as postpartum hemorrhage; and supporting engaged communities to ensure that they are aware of danger signs and can transport women to facilities where emergency care is available.

The goal of Pathfinder’s maternal and newborn work is developing a replicable continuum of care model so that mothers and their newborns have access to help and information at every point during pregnancy and childbirth—from the household to the hospital—and then safely home. Currently, Pathfinder has a range of projects dedicated to improving maternal and newborn health around the world.

Related Projects

A Healthy Malaria-Free Life

The project initiative was to improve maternal health outcomes in the communities neighboring two new maternity health centers built by Pathfinder in two municipalities

Access to Primary Healthcare Project

Access to Primary Healthcare Project

Pathfinder works to improve primary healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo by supporting reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health services.

Burundi Maternal Child Health Project

Pathfinder works with the government of Burundi to improve maternal and child health in two provinces in Burundi: Muyinga and Kayanza.


Related Publications

July 2014

mHMtaani: Mobile Health for Our Communities in Kenya

Under the USAID-funded APHIAplus Nairobi-Coast project, Pathfinder launched mHMtaani or “Mobile health for our communities” to promote healthier communities by using mobile technology to monitor and track the health of pregnant mothers.

July 2014

m4Change + mCCT: Using Mobile Technology to Support Nigeria's SURE-P Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Maternal and Child Health

This fact sheet covers the use of mobile technology to support a conditional cash transfer program for maternal and child health in Nigeria.

June 2014

Beginning with Sustainable Scale Up in Mind: Initial Results from a Population, Health, and Environment Project in East Africa

This paper shows how ExpandNet's approach to scale-up is being applied and the initial lessons from its use in the Health of People and Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin Project.

June 2014

Research and Evaluation Working Paper Series

The purpose of the Working Paper Series is to disseminate work in progress by Pathfinder International staff on critical issues of population, reproductive health, and development.


Related News

Delivering quality maternal health services in rural India, the role of the private sector

World Health Partners and Pathfinder International are partnering, using a social franchising approach, to leverage rural human resources in order to extend maternal health coverage.

Dr. Mengistu Asnake Elected President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations

Mengistu Asnake
On May 18, 2014, Dr. Mengistu Asnake, Pathfinder International’s Country Representative in Ethiopia and Chief of Party for the Integrated Family Health Program, was elected President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

Mothers Against Malnutrition

In Burundi, most of the population is affected by acute food insecurity, climate hazards and limited access to land. Pathfinder is one organization working to address the resulting malnutrition.

In recognition of the crucial role of mothers in reducing Burundi's shocking malnutrition rates, Pathfinder International has launched the Mamans Lumières programme in June 2011, to empower mothers to improve the health of their children.

One Step to Saving a Million Lives

Pathfinder's m4Change project contributes to the government of Nigeria's goal to save one million lives in three years using a mobile phone application.

Pathfinder International embarked on a project designed to help Nigeria get to that goal. It began equipping community health extension workers with CommCare, a mobile phone app that collects information needed to determine the kind of antenatal health services provided to mothers.

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