The Challenge

Each year, 350,000 mothers and nearly 2 million babies die during childbirth; 99 % of these deaths occur in low resource settings.

Such inequity is found in no other area of health care, with mothers in developing countries having up to 500 times higher life time risk of dying giving birth. In response to this inequity, the UN has established Millenium Development Goals Numbers 4 and 5 to reduce child mortality by two thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015.

The Opportunity

Appropriately trained and equipped birth attendants can save over a million lives annually from the main killers at birth—asphyxia and postpartum hemorrhage.

Two new initiatives will facilitate effective training of many more health workers in basic emergency obstetric and newborn care.

Helping Babies Breathe was introduced in 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Its implementation is supported by an alliance with the U.S. Agency for International Development, National Institutes of Health, Save the Children, AAP and Laerdal as partners.

Helping Mothers Survive bleeding after birth is a complementary program developed by Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with Laerdal.

Helping Mothers Survive

Helping Mothers Survive bleeding after birth focuses on control of postpartum hemorrhage and communication
tra ining.

The course materials are very visual and interactive, and highly affordable. They are currently undergoing field-testing and are expected to be available by the end of 2011.


MamaNatalie is a birthing simulator that allows the instructor to create very compelling simulations of normal to more complex birthing scenarios.

The simulator is particularly realistic for training in the control of postpartum hemorrhage—the number one cause of maternal death during childbirth— and communication with the mother.

MamaNatalie gives birth to NeoNatalie, a highly realistic newborn simulator which is included in every kit.


The pool of donated MamaNatalies will be given to programs working in collaboration with AAP and other development partners that meet the following criteria:

  • Countries in-low resource settings with high maternal and infant mortality rates
  • Programs initiating competency-based trainings
  • Programs and schools educating midwives, nurses, physicians and community health workers

The MamaNatalie models will be shipped by Laerdal.
Laerdal Global Health has been established as a
non-profit affiliate of Laerdal Medical to help reduce
maternal and newborn deaths.

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