Session 5: Preparing for Labor and Delivery

Ideally, pregnant women deliver in well-equipped health facilities with the assistance of a skilled birth attendant. This, along with birth spacing and access to modern contraceptives and timely ANC visits, saves women’s and babies’ lives.[i] Efforts to reach this goal face a reality that nearly 50 million births in developing countries still take place at home without skilled care.[ii] Volunteers can help address delays that affect safe births by improving pregnant women’s and their families’ knowledge of signs indicating labor and the need to seek care; danger signs requiring transport to an emergency obstetric and newborn care facility; and by helping families to develop birth and emergency plans. Note that essential newborn care is addressed in Session 7.

[i] UNFPA. 2014. “Urgent Response: Providing Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care.” Accessed on August 19, 2014.

[ii]  Lawn J., H. Blencowe H., S. Oza, et al. May 20, 2014. “Progress, Priorities and Potential Beyond Survival.” The Lancet. p 10.


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