Every year 300,000 women and 4 million infants die in childbirth, making it the number one cause of death for women and children in low-income countries. Health facilities worldwide are often unprepared for the complications that can arise in childbirth. The BetterBirth Program provides coaching and a birthing checklist that support better communication, preparation and birthing outcomes.

Inspired by the success of the Safe Surgery Checklist, the 31-item Safe Childbirth checklist addresses critical concerns during four stages of childbirth: admission, just before pushing, soon after birth and before discharge.

It is specifically designed to minimize the main causes of death to women and babies in childbirth:

Major causes of maternal death:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Infection
  • Obstructed labor
  • Hypertensive disorders

Major causes of newborn death:

  • Birth asphyxia
  • Infection
  • Complications related to prematurity
  • Pneumonia

In one of the largest facility-based randomized trials ever conducted, Ariadne Labs and its partners are testing whether the BetterBirth Program can improve uptake of essential birth practices and reduce neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality. The study is being conducted in Uttar Pradesh, India where maternal and neonatal death rates far exceed the national average.


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