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.

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Preventing alcohol exposure in pregnancy: examples from Member States

International research shows that, in some countries, up to 82% of pregnant women continue to drink alcohol, despite the fact that there is no known safe limit for drinking during pregnancy. A new WHO/Europe publication shares case studies from countries on raising awareness and providing advice, as well as treatment options for alcohol exposure in pregnancy.

Our focus

Strengthening 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

In countries

WHO/Europe works on maternal and perinatal health in many of the 53 countries in the WHO European Region.

Country work

Key resources

Activities 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.