Improvement of maternal and newborn health through midwifery

Lancet. 2014 Sep 27;384(9949):1226-35. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60930-2. Epub 2014 Jun 22.


In the concluding paper of this Series about midwifery, we look at the policy implications from the framework for quality maternal and newborn care, the potential effect of life-saving interventions that fall within the scope of practice of midwives, and the historic sequence of health system changes that made a reduction in maternal mortality possible in countries that have expanded their midwifery workforce. Achievement of better health outcomes for women and newborn infants is possible, but needs improvements in the quality of reproductive, maternal, and newborn care, alongside necessary increases in universal coverage. In this report, we propose three priority research areas and outline how national investment in midwives and in their work environment, education, regulation, and management can improve quality of care. Midwifery and midwives are crucial to the achievement of national and international goals and targets in reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health; now and beyond 2015.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration
  • Maternal Health Services / standards*
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Midwifery / organization & administration
  • Midwifery / standards*
  • Nurse Midwives / supply & distribution
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards
  • Perinatal Care / organization & administration
  • Perinatal Care / standards*
  • Perinatal Mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality of Health Care / standards