Safe Births

The experience of birth is a defining moment. A baby whose birth is compromised by poor maternal health or a sudden obstetrical complication may die or be left with grave neurological conditions. Some of these obstetrical complications such as a hemorrhage from a bleeding placenta or multiple seizures from toxemia may also lead to the death of the mother. While these complications can be recognized and treated through modern obstetrical care, there are vast regions in developing countries where this care is not available. In many African countries, the lack of skilled obstetrical care leads to maternal and newborn death rates which are more than 100 times greater than North America and Europe.

Through our Safe Passages program, we provide interactive obstetrical care training that prepares local nurses, midwives, and physicians to recognize and manage the leading causes of maternal and newborn death. The program emphasizes practical interventions which can be used in resource-scarce areas. MLI’s programs emphasize respect for the life and dignity of the human person as the foundation of medical care. We teach healthcare providers and community educators to see a patient with eyes of mercy and not eyes of judgment, and as gifts and persons rather than problems or burdens.

Safe Passages is based on a foundational premise: that all women and babies ought to have a “safe passage,” a pregnancy and birth free of death, serious injury, and disease (like HIV infection). We have provided trainings and basic resources such as “safe birth kits” in multiple countries and have saved the lives of thousands of mothers and children.

Our approach is unique, and uniquely successful, as we build local partnerships, improve healthcare training and facilities, utilize a couple-based approach, and generate new solutions.

The midwives here (in Sierra Leone), Christina and Marian, were thrilled by their participation in the Safe Passages training. They informed us that there have been no maternal or infant deaths in their district since then.
— Safe Passages Sierra Leone