Maternal and newborn health
Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Perinatal health refers to health from 22 completed weeks of gestation until 7 completed days after birth. Newborn health refers to babies’ first month of life. A healthy start during the perinatal period influences infancy, childhood and adulthood.Read more
Top storyBreastfeeding mothers need peer counselling
The WHO European Region has one of the lowest average proportions in the world of children exclusively breastfed at 6 months of age. Strong evidence shows that exclusive breastfeeding is the natural and most efficient method to ensure optimal child growth and development.
- A quarter of all women in the WHO European Region experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner
- Inequalities in maternal and newborn health discussed by the European Parliament
- Strengthening Uzbekistan’s health system through improvement of maternal and child health services
PublicationsImprovement of maternal and child health in Kazakhstan, Entre Nous 74, 2011 More publications
Our focusStrengthening maternal and newborn health in eastern Europe by improving quality of care in primary health facilities
Government of Russian Federation and WHO/Europe invest in improving primary health care for mothers and newborns
WHO/Europe works on maternal and perinatal health in many of the 53 countries in the WHO European Region.Country work
Key resourcesActivities and tools to improve maternal and child health
The aim is to ensure that health systems use evidence-based, cost-effective and appropriate interventions to prevent unnecessary deaths and complications in pregnancy, backed up by norms and regulations that will allow and sustain changes in clinical practice and organization.
Data and statistics
The average maternal mortality ratio for the WHO European Region official figures decreased from an estimated 35 deaths per 100 000 live births in 1990 to 16 in 2008.More data