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If all women had access to a midwife during pregnancy and labor, not to mention facilities equipped to provide basic emergency care, 1 million lives would be saved every year.As birth attendants, midwives are ideally positioned to save the lives of mothers and children during childbirth. A midwife with the right skills and training can provide 87 percent of the essential health care needed during pregnancy and following birth. Worldwide, 350,000 more midwives are needed to bridge the gap between the health care haves and have-nots.Policies and funding to support midwife education, training, and regulation can produce up to a sixteenfold return on investment, because when midwives are involved in pregnancy and childbirth, mothers are less likely to require expensive emergency interventions such as caesarean sections.With the proper resources, midwives will save lives before, during, and after a woman gives birth, and health care outcomes will be improved across the board.For nearly 100 years, the ICM has advocated for women by supporting the midwives who protect them.
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