Washington: A new series has revealed that midwifery has a crucial part to play in saving the lives of millions of women and children who die during and around the time of pregnancy.
According to the researchers, it also improves their continuing health and wellbeing and has other long-lasting benefits.
Professor Mary Renfrew of the Mother and Infant Research Unit, School of Nursing and Midwifery, at Dundee University, Scotland, one of the Series authors said that many of the needs of childbearing women, their babies, and families across the world are still not being met, despite long-standing recognition that women and their babies need access to health care which provides more than just emergency interventions for acute medical problems.
Renfew added that although midwifery is already widely acknowledged as making a vital and cost-effective contribution to high-quality maternal and newborn care in many countries, its potential social, economic and health benefits are far from being realised on a global scale.
The Series suggest that in the countries with the highest burden of infant and maternal deaths, over three quarters of stillbirths and maternal and newborn deaths could be prevented in the next 15 years if effective.
Scientists also said that both under-use and overuse of medical interventions in pregnancy contribute to short- and long-term illness for an estimated 20 million childbearing women.
The researchers added that this not only effects their health and wellbeing, but may also result in their needing to pay for ongoing health-care costs, and on the ability of their families to escape poverty."
The Series was published in The Lancet.