The Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is focused on reducing maternal and child mortality. Globally, countries have been working towards encouraging facility births as one way to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths that occur during childbirth. As more women deliver in health facilities, it is essential that the birthing suite is well equipped with proper technologies and human resources to reduce mortality.
The MNCH team requested assistance from the START team to identify ideal components of a Birthing Suite that support women through childbirth and result in positive outcomes for women and neonates. The START team prepared three country case studies that highlighted the birthing processes and birthing suites in three exemplar countries: Sweden, Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The START team searched published and grey literature and conducted key informant interviews with medical professionals from each country to better understand how pregnancy and birth is managed in each country. The case reports highlighted the birthing philosophies, capacity, and facilities in each country. The case reports were included in pre-read materials for a larger foundation meeting on birthing suites and practices.