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

From 2007 - 2014, Pathfinder worked with the government of Burundi to improve maternal and child health in two provinces: Muyinga and Kayanza.


Related Publications

November 2014

Leave No Woman Behind

It was a matter of life and death for Jenelia, who lives in a remote mountain village in Haiti, the most dangerous place to give birth in the Western Hemisphere. This issue of Pathways explores how mobile technology is changing the way community health workers are delivering health services to women like Jenelia.

October 2014

mSante: Pioneering Mobile Technology to Improve Essential Health Services in Haiti

Pathfinder's Services de Santé de Qualité pour Haiti project, in collaboration with the Haitian government and MSPP, integrates the use of mobile tools for health - it incorporates the use of mSanté activities and finance tools to improve the delivery of quality health services for the people of Haiti.

August 2014

Strengthening the Continuum of Care for Fistula Prevention and Repair in Ethiopia

This technical brief explores Pathfinder's Integrated Family Health Program's approach, implementation experience, and lessons learned when addressing obstetric fistula in four program regions of Ethiopia.

August 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

Pathfinder supports WHO's statement on prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth

Pathfinder joins more than 25 organizations in showing support for the World Health Organization's statement on prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth.

Every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth. However, across the world many women experience disrespectful, abusive, or neglectful treatment during childbirth in facilities. These practices can violate women’s rights, deter women from seeking and using maternal health care services and can have implications for their health and well-being.

Photo Journal: There’s an app for that

Kenya’s mobile incentive program improves the health of mothers and children, while offering secure and reliable payment to frontline health workers.

Supported by the US Agency for International Development through Pathfinder International’s APHIAplus Nairobi-Coast program, the mHMtaani project (Swahili for “mobile health for my community”) enables community health workers like Elizabeth to register clients, provide health services, and record data directly via a mobile phone.

Call for Expression of Interest in Reproductive, Maternal, and Neonatal Health Innovation Fund Grants

Ethiopia's Federal Ministry of Health has initiated the Reproductive, Maternal, and Neonatal Health Innovation Fund (RIF). The Fund will finance innovative projects that address demand-side barriers in reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health. Deadline for submission of Expression of Interest to the Federal Ministry of Healthwill be September 15, 2014.

Saving pregnant mother: red flag approach

Pathfinder's Surjer Hashi Clinic (Smiling Sun) has unified Bangladesh's Teknaf community towards one goal: save pregnant mother. Among the many innovations introduced by clinic, one has been the demarcation of houses occupied by pregnant mothers with red flags - enabling neighbors to come together and help that particular family when required.

"As Mariam Bibi, near 30 with two children said in her own words, 'When I was pregnant the second time, my husband, a small trader was unable to take proper care for me. Moreover, our house is so far from upazila health complex, regular check-ups were not possible. In the mean time Surjer Hashi Clinic came forward to help me prevent health problems associated with pregnancy. They hung a red flag atop my house so that everybody could see and understand the need to help pregnant mothers like me.'"

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