Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. While motherhood is often a positive and fulfilling experience, for too many women it is associated with suffering, ill-health and even death. The major direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality include haemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion, and obstructed labour.
Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) is the branch of obstetrics which focuses mainly on the medical and surgical management of high-risk pregnancies that includes monitoring and treatment including comprehensive ultrasound, chorionic villus sampling, genetic amniocentesis, and fetal surgery or treatment. Obstetricians who practice maternal-fetal medicine are also known as perinatologists.
Safe motherhood begins before conception with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. It continues with appropriate prenatal care and preventing problems if they arise. The ideal result is a full-term pregnancy without unnecessary interventions, the delivery of a healthy baby, and a healthy postpartum period in a positive environment that supports the physical and emotional needs of the mother, baby, and family.
Pregnancy and childbirth have a huge impact on the physical, mental, emotional, and socioeconomic health of women and their families. Pregnancy-related health outcomes are influenced by a womens health and other factors like race, ethnicity, age, and income.