Putting mothers and babies first: Benefits across a lifetime

The Forum at the Harvard School of Public Health, in collaboration with The GroundTruth Project, held a panel discussion titled “Putting Mothers and Babies First: Benefits Across a Lifetime” on February 26. The discussion was livestreamed on the GroundTruth blog on GlobalPost and was moderated by The GroundTruth Project’s global health editor, Marissa Miley.

One of the smartest investments a society can make is to foster the health and education of its mothers. Healthy mothers raise healthier children, which boosts the productivity and stability of communities and economies. Yet, maternal mortality remains a terrible and disproportionate reality, particularly in developing countries, where 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur. These deaths put the lives of infants and older children at risk.

Traditional approaches address the needs of mothers and children separately, but growing efforts are breaking down those silos — embracing the continuum of mother and child health in the hopes of providing more effective care and resources. The hoped-for result? Health benefits to mothers, children and their families across their lifetimes.

This Forum event explored how to achieve those benefits, including providing basic care such as vaccinations, and how societies stand to thrive as a result. Watch the whole discussion: