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The First 1000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Their Babies

by | Jun 15, 2023

WASHINGTON – In a newly updated document, 1 to 1000: How to ensure the health and flourishing of women, children, and society, National Right to Life and Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO) released new findings during the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.

As noted in 1 to 1000, “the first 1,000 days in the life of a human being—from conception to the second birthday—dramatically shape the rest of a child’s life. They are also critical to the well-being of mothers. Prioritizing this window of time will save lives, improve health, and contribute substantially to sustainable development.”

“Research has shown that the first 1,000 days are critical for both mother and child,” stated MCCL GO President Scott Fischbach. “Quality health care for mothers and babies needs to be prioritized before and during pregnancy, childbirth, and for two years afterward.”

This year’s theme at the World Health Assembly was “health for all” but, as the document notes, health care is elusive for millions of children and their mothers.

According to the report, worldwide it is “estimated 2.4 million children died within the first month of life in 2020, and most of those deaths were preventable.”

The document also draws attention to the tragic number of maternal deaths, estimated at 287,000 in 2020, with

“[M]ost of them in the developing world and especially in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia. These deaths can be prevented with basic care before, during and after childbirth—including antenatal care and nutrition, skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care, sanitation and clean water.”

“When the focus is on clean water, sanitation, nutrition, and access to good medical care, mothers and their children thrive,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.

The document, produced by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO), a U.N.-accredited non-governmental organization, was released jointly with the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund, a U.N.-accredited non-governmental organization.

The document is available in English and in Spanish.

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