“For the first time in decades, researchers are reporting a significant drop worldwide in the number of women dying each year from pregnancy and childbirth, to about 342,900 in 2008 from 526,300 in 1980. The findings, published in the medical journal The Lancet, challenge the prevailing view of maternal mortality as an intractable problem that has defied every effort to solve it.
“The overall message, for the first time in a generation, is one of persistent and welcome progress,” the journal’s editor, Dr. Richard Horton, wrote in a comment accompanying the article, published online on Monday.
The study cited a number of reasons for the improvement: lower pregnancy rates in some countries; higher income, which improves nutrition and access to health care; more education for women; and the increasing availability of “skilled attendants” — people with some medical training — to help women give birth. Improvements in large countries like India and China helped to drive down the overall death rates. ”
–Source Denise Grady NY TIMES