INSIGHT: Two U.S. Organizations with Programs to Reduce Maternal Deaths

Reducing the Risk of Maternal Mortality

Earlier this year, we recognized the rate of maternal mortality around the world is unacceptably high. It is a global issue with over 800 women dying every day. Our INSIGHT: Preventing Maternal Deaths series has focused on defining the main causes and examining interventions to reduce the global rate of maternal mortality.

Today, we will look at two U.S. organizations that have developed resources based on best practices. These programs can help strengthen our ability as nurses and midwives to provide comprehensive care for women before, during, and after pregnancy.

The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, (AWHONN) has developed the POST-BIRTH Warning Signs Education Program. This program was designed to help U.S. healthcare workers educate women on when to obtain care for complications after birth that can be life threatening.

The program has multiple components including an online education course and handouts. Nurses are given a checklist that standardizes the messages to be taught to every postpartum woman regardless of risk. While women are given a Save Your Life handout to take home and reference should they have future complications.

Through their extensive research, the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health, (AIM) has complied a selection of maternal safety bundles – sets of actionable maternity care best practices that have been proven to reduce preventable maternal mortality. Some of the topics include obstetric hemorrhage and severe hypertension in pregnancy.

These initiatives are not just aimed at preventing the leading causes of maternal deaths, but they also look to improve the overall health of women and babies. Improved care for women during pregnancy and after delivery can play a significant role in reducing maternal and newborn mortality rates. An effective spectrum of care includes access to quality care before, during, and after pregnancy.

In our next blog, we will detail how Kenya is mobilizing resources and creating partnerships to improve health outcomes for women and children.

We welcome your feedback and encourage you to share any research or maternal mortality initiatives that you are involved in. If you have follow-up questions or suggestions, please email us at  [email protected]

Yours in Nursing,


Lisa D. Cole, MA, RN
Director
MBF Center for Global Nursing Development