Childbirth can be dangerous for women, particularly poor women. Over 500,000 women die each year from childbirth-related causes, or about one each minute. Deaths result both from direct physical problems and from underlying poverty and gender inequalities. Skilled birth attendants and healthy living conditions contribute to healthier births. Maternal mortality rates in various parts of the world vary from 9 per 100,000 births to 450 per 100,000 births. Maternal mortality is defined as death while pregnant or within 42 days after pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes. Up to 15 percent of all births are complicated by unpredictable, potentially fatal, but usually treatable conditions. If such cases are untreated, the ...

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