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Every second of every day somewhere in the world a woman is being encouraged to push. The result of all that pushing is that every year 130 million babies are born.

In an ideal world every woman would give birth safely, attended by medical staff. But every day 1000 women die while pregnant or giving birth. And every year 4 million babies die before they are 28 days old. 99 per cent of these deaths are in developing countries primarily in Africa and Asia. In Africa 82 babies in every 1000 die. In most developed countries 5 babies in every 1000 die.

In Sierra Leone life expectancy is 49 years, half of the population have no access to clean water, one third of under 5s are malnourished.

In Cambodia life expectancy is 63 years, there are 6 midwives available for every 1000 births, but maternal mortality rates are improving.

In the USA life expectancy is 78 years, it has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world.

The majority of maternal and infant deaths are because of poverty and inequality.

Birth is a short film made from the Why Poverty? film Welcome to the World (

Director: Brian Hill
Producer: Rachel Tierney
Produced by Steps International and Century Films

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