Ensuring better health and wellbeing for women, newborns, and infants

The BetterBirth Program is focused on ensuring better health and wellbeing for women, newborns, and infants by improving quality and standards of care, minimizing complications, and ending preventable deaths. We do this through the effective implementation of scalable, evidence-based solutions that work in the real world, both at the frontline of care and in communities.

The BetterBirth Program began with the goal of evaluating the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Safe Childbirth Checklist and identifying opportunities and strategies to support its successful implementation. Since that time, our work has grown to address the complexities across the ecosystem of maternal, newborn, and infant health.

The BetterBirth team leverages our experience in epidemiology, health systems, and quality improvement to design, conduct, and analyze research studies. We are skilled in designing and applying rigorous scientific methods in real life situations, particularly in low-resource settings.

Our Impact & Influence

lives touched
countries using the Safe Childbirth Checklist
active members of our Community of Practice

The Challenge

Globally, we have made great strides in reducing deaths of women and newborns during and after childbirth; however, there is substantial room for improvement in outcomes of care and in ensuring that care is delivered in a dignified manner.

Childbirth remains the second most common cause of death for women of childbearing age. Almost all of these deaths are in low-resource settings, and the vast majority are preventable. Poor quality of childbirth care in health facilities has been recognized as a major contributor to maternal and neonatal deaths; while no single intervention can address the problem, improving the quality of facility-based care during labor and delivery is a critical component to reducing deaths and promoting well-being and dignity for all.

Beyond childbirth, infants born small or prematurely remain at high risk for poor outcomes. While they only account for 14.6% of live births worldwide, low birthweight infants account for 60-80% of global neonatal deaths. These infants also face increased risks for infection and impaired development, as well as challenges with breastfeeding.

Our Strategy

We work on ensuring better health and wellbeing for women, newborns, and infants by improving quality and standards of care, minimizing complications and poor health outcomes, and ending preventable deaths. By generating evidence and working with impacted communities to co-design effective and actionable tools, information, and resources, we aim to equip providers with the support they need to provide safe, compassionate care.

Our strategy includes:

  • Generating rigorous and practical evidence to close gaps in systems of care
  • Building and maintaining local partnerships with frontline providers, implementers, and academic institutions around the world
  • Leveraging data and analytics to drive new insights that inform the design, test, and spread of interventions
  • Collaborating with local partners to co-design innovative solutions that change the experiences of providing and receiving care

Our Projects


Designing approaches to improve implementation and outcomes in maternal and neonatal health around the time of delivery.


Gaining insights on feeding options for low birthweight infants.


Creating tools for effective implementation.



Partnerships play a key role in our global efforts to protect women, their families, and infants; empower providers; and further Ariadne Labs’ mission of reducing suffering and saving lives. Learn about our current partners and opportunities to partner with us.