Governments and health organizations have made remarkable gains in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity rates around the world. Much of those gains have been driven by increasing capacity, directing more women in hospitals and clinics to ensure they get modern medical care. Increasingly, however, experts are realizing that this push has brought challenges of its own.
We have these huge numbers of women going into hospitals with three to a bed and overcrowded hospitals and terrible conditions, and we have not improved the outcomes,” says Saraswathi Vedam, an associate professor and lead investigator at the University of British Columbia’s Birth Place Lab, in this week’s podcast. “Institutional birth has not been shown to be the answer,” she says. Instead, “it’s about skilled attendants and respectful care.”