The needs of pregnant women and their unborn children are "still not being met" as midwifery care in under-developed, according to one author of a report into the over-medicalisation of childbirth.
Professor Mary Renfrew, a report author from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Dundee in Scotland, said:
Many of the needs of childbearing women, their babies, and families across the world are still not being met, despite long-standing recognition that women and their babies need access to health care which provides more than just emergency interventions for acute medical problems.
Although midwifery is already widely acknowledged as making a vital and cost-effective contribution to high-quality maternal and newborn care in many countries, its potential social, economic and health benefits are far from being realised on a global scale.
More top news
The Queen says she is "deeply touched" by the "selflessness" of medical staff fighting the Ebola outbreak in her annual Christmas speech.
Video of Norman the dog's Scrooge-like disdain of Christmas is becoming a festive hit online as he moans about his owners' singing.
Pope Francis has used his Christmas sermon to condemn the "brutal persecution" of minorities by Islamic State.