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Global Prayer for Childbirth

Safe Motherhood Facts and Information

As a part of the Global Day of Prayer for Childbirth, your prayer group is asked to pray not only for your local community, but also problems families are experiencing around the world. Because it may be difficult for prayer teams to assess the needs of childbirth globally, this list of online resources has been created.

Feel free to use as many or as few of these resources as your group needs to feel prepared to pray. Your prayer group can choose to pray for a specific topic, a specific area of the world or both, however don't be so focused on the areas you have chosen that you miss the leading of the Spirit.

Some information has been condensed into fact sheets for you in the resources section.

Safe Motherhood

Global Health Facts Breaks down leading indicators of health, including maternal health issues, by country with both tables and maps to display the data.

Care in Normal Birth: A Practical Guide Establishes universal guidelines for the routine care of women during uncomplicated labor and childbirth. Reflecting the consensus reached by an international group of experts, the report responds to the recent proliferation of practices designed to start, augment accelerate, regulate or monitor the physiological process of labor in industrialized and developing countries alike. Recommendations for routine care are based on a critical review of what considerable research has to say about the effectiveness and safety of 59 common procedures and practices. For more information visit the WHO web site.

Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel

Maternal Mortality Estimates 2005 You can find the maternal death rate for your country in this WHO document.

Low Birthweight: Country,Regional and Global Estimates You can find the rate of low birthweight for your country in this WHO document.

Printable information about the CIMS Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative

Preventing unsafe abortion This WHO map lets you see the countries with the highest rates of unsafe abortion (defined by WHO as termination of an unintended pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking the minimal medical standards, or both). This is significant because 68,000 women die every year from complications of an unsafe abortion.

Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome FGM (female circumcision) is estimated to lead to an extra one to two perinatal deaths per 100 deliveries. In the world today there are an estimated 100 million to 140 million girls and women who have been subjected to the operation. Currently, about 3 million girls, the majority under 15 years of age, undergo the procedure every year. Deeply rooted traditions keep these practices in more than 28 countries in Africa and in some countries in Asia and the Middle East.

Cesarean Surgery

VBAC Policies in US Hospitals ICAN allows readers to search for hospital bans on VBAC by state for the United States.

ICAN Position Paper on Elective Cesarean Shares risks to the mother and baby when the decision is made to use surgery for birth when there is no medical indication.

Teen Pregnancy

Wikipedia: Teenage Pregnancy Gives global incidence of teen pregnancy. It is important to note two things with this data. First, there is great variation in incidence among regions even within a country. Second, Africa has the highest rates of teen pregnancy, but women tend to marry younger in Africa than any other part of the world. So while it does pose health risks to young women, it is not the same social and health risks for teenagers in more developed countries.

NCHS Data on Teenage Pregnancy The latest data shows teen sexual activity, abortion and pregnancy rates since 1973.

Teen Sexual Behaviors in the US The Center for Disease Control offers statistics about adolescent sexual behavior.


UNICEF Infant feeding patterns by country Allows readers to discover breastfeeding rates around the world.

World Health Organization Global Data Bank on Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding Search for the breastfeeding rates in your area.

Duration, Intensity, and Exclusivity of Breastfeeding: Recent Research Confirms the Importance of these Variables This research review highlights some of the positive health outcomes of breastfeeding.

Benefits of Breastfeeding This US Department of Health and Human Services report outlines how breastfeeding is beneficial to mothers, babies and societies. It includes a variety of printable resources.


United Nations 5th Report on the World Nutrition Situation Extensive document covering all aspects of nutrition and related problems around the globe.

United Nations World Food Program Learn about activities to secure food for those in poverty.

Drinking Water: Current status and trends This UNICEF chart shows the data regarding progress towards sources of clean water in countries throughout the world.

Violence against pregnant women

Violence against Women during Pregnancy, Postpartum, and Breastfeeding This article reviews some of the research on the effects of violence and abuse on women's childbearing.

Forced Abortion in America This report exposes the high incidence of violence against pregnant women in the United States including forced abortion and murder. Incidentally, murder is the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the United States.

Family Care International has identified gender-based violence as having a devastating impact on women's lives, their families and their societies. Physical and sexual violence entails added risk, such as unwanted pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmissible infections, complications during pregnancy, and chronic reproductive health problems. Violence devastates the lives of women, their children, and their communities. They list some startling statistics on their web site, and you could contact them for more specific information.

Baby Trafficking This web site offers information and resources about human trafficking, including child trafficking and the trafficking of young girls and women for sexual exploitation.