No one could dispute the central place that a mother has in the upbringing of young children particularly in unsophisticated societies.
In Victorian times a pregnant woman would in addition to preparing clothes for the baby prepare her shroud for the strong possibility that she would die during the delivery or shortly after.
In India the Maternal Mortality Rate has fallen over the last 10 years from 407 per 100,000 live births to 301 per 100,000 life births.
Some 77,000 women die a year from causes related to pregnancy. Many could be prevented.
The more remote and less structure the society the higher the death rate. An exception is Kerala which has a high literacy rate and Maternal Mortality Rae of 100 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Critical to the care of these women is awareness of the danger and transport to medical care. Anaemia is widespread
In Aberdeeen in the early 20th century there were many women with a haemoglobin of under 5 g/100ml. Simple iron therapy restored their blood concentrations
Chattergee P,(2007) India addresses maternal deaths in rural areas Lancet vol 370, 1023-4
- Martin Eastwood