This year Safe Motherhood Week is highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on maternal health and reproductive care, as well as the need to reduce the information gap on the safety of medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Investing in maternal health means investing in a better future for everyone. However, maternal care is often undervalued and under-resourced. Maternal health is often not considered a priority, and this has been further brought to light in the current pandemic. The difficult challenges faced by women during the pandemic have been further complicated with the lack of information available on the safety of medicines and vaccines for women and newborns.

Last year Safe Motherhood Week conducted a survey of 416 women and 88 health care providers to identify how the needs and preferences of women and health care providers in reproductive care are changing, especially since the Coronavirus outbreak.
The survey was translated into 8 languages to reach women from a variety of backgrounds and we received heartfelt responses from women from over 30 countries around the world who wanted their stories to be heard.
Overall, the survey identified a change in the reproductive care of women during the coronavirus outbreak. Remote care services such as telephone or video consultations with the doctor or midwife were used significantly more and the pregnancy experience of the majority was further impacted. Most of the women were not happy with their experience, and we received several heartbreaking stories about the difficulties they faced, too often alone.
Interested to know more? Sign up now and be the first one to receive the survey report once published.

Another difficulty in maternal healthcare is the lack of information available on the safety of medicines used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

We are helping to raise awareness of this important gap in reproductive care through our participation in IMI ConcePTION, a landmark public-private partnership that is aiming to reduce uncertainty about the effects of medicines used during pregnancy and breastfeeding for women and healthcare professionals.

Painting a picture of what the pregnancy experience looked like during the COVID-19 crisis


Perspectives from the healthcare professionals:
“Community staff were not seeing women and doing their basic observations and blood tests to protect themselves. But in the hospital, we were more exposed because we had to pick up what hadn’t been done which put us at a greater risk. We were overloaded with work. Also, the hospital leadership further bombarded us with extra studying and even more paperwork, changes to guidelines and introduction to additional screening. The job is now impossible and making us ill. “
“My workload has increased due to high levels of anxiety-causing more visits to triage “
“​​More work because many parents (especially during the first lockdown) were abandoned by the health service. Breastfeeding was not a priority”
“My hours have unofficially increased, remote consultations take longer, there is more admin and documentation, there is less support from management (they are working from home) less staff due to increased sickness (not just Covid) and isolation”
Testimonials from women:

I am 14 weeks pregnant and I haven’t seen a midwife or spoken to anyone other than the lady at my 12 weeks scan.

“No health visitor has come to the house. Being a first-time mother is when you would require a bit more support or guidance i.e. breastfeeding.”

“Virtual sessions are no substitute for an actual appointment. They are awkward and rushed and provide substandard care. If I could, I would never have had one and never will again.”

“As a first time mum after 2 miscarriages, I really wanted to join a face to face group to feel like a mum, and to share the support of other breastfeeding mums.”

“Virtual sessions are no substitute for an actual appointment. They are awkward and rushed and provide substandard care. If I could, I would never have had one and never will again.”

“Accessing the right services was already a problem pre-covid, now it seems to be impossible.”
“During the pregnancy, I couldn’t sleep thinking about the lack of support I would have when the baby was born.”

“I found it very unfortunate that reproductive care was the first to be scaled down during the pandemic and the waiting lists increased as a result.”

“I am scared because my husband will not be allowed to any antenatal appointments.”
“Over the phone, I felt more pressured and a bit awkward.”

Social media activities, latest news and maternal health hot topics

28 Oct 2021
The Motherhood Collective Impact Program is pleased to announce the launch of Safe Motherhood Week 2021, the annual awareness week on maternal and neonatal health.
12 Feb 2020
Bridging the knowledge gap for pregnant and…
9 Oct 2020
Filling the knowledge gap

9 Oct 2020
Positive pregnancy experience in the COVID era – what will be the new normal?

Are you a maternal healthcare expert? Join Synapse to find everything related to maternal health and make your work available to the community.

Safe Motherhood Week 2021 in numbers



(36% growth compared to 2019)



(Social media, survey, web page)


Number of languages survey is translated to


Survey responses

Our partners

Subscribe to get the latest updates

Get the latest information on Motherhood Collective Impact Program and stay connected with our activities.