Examining pregnancy from a global viewpoint reveals marked differences in this universal event. Major differences include access to vital healthcare including contraception, prenatal care, safe abortion, and skilled birth attendants. Another stark difference is that while women are at risk of dying from complications of pregnancy and birth all around the world, lifetime risk varies drastically by country and within countries based on socioeconomic factors. To gain a snapshot of the different experiences of pregnancy around the world, this article begins by examining global statistics on pregnancy and recent demographic trends including fertility rates, maternal age, nonmarital childbearing rates, and maternal mortality. A woman's culture plays an integral role in her pregnancy, and thus cultural variations in advice and birthing are discussed, followed by discussion ...

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