What are we doing?

How do we tackle Maternal Mortality?

Pregnancy Twinning works via partner organisations in Malawi and Nigeria through teams of ‘Mother Buddies’. Our Mother Buddies are trained, local volunteers who are all living with HIV.

They had to fight to get the maternal health they needed when they were pregnant and are now determined to help other women in the community access vital health services and give birth safely.

The women we work with have with specific vulnerabilities, like living far away from medical support or having HIV. Pregnancy Twinning builds relationships between our Mother Buddies and mums-to-be, so that when advice is given, it is by those who have faced the same challenges and overcome these barriers themselves.

99% of maternal deaths happen in developing countries, most of these are preventable. Here's what we're doing to overcome barriers to a safe birth.

Women in remote villages can’t afford to travel to a clinic for check-ups, medication or advice.

We take the advice to where women live. Their allocated Mother Buddy will visit them eight times at home, building a relationship so that if we do spot any early warning signs they trust us when we guide them to see a doctor and pay for their transport to the clinic.

Women give birth at home with just the help of traditional birth attendants who have no medical training for when things go wrong.

We cover the transport costs of giving birth safely at a health clinic – the presence of a skilled health worker has been shown to cause a 54% reduction in mother or infant mortality.

Conditions like living with HIV give women compromised immune systems. This means infections and minor complications in childbirth could cause a much bigger issues.

We help HIV-positive women to access crucial antiretroviral treatment; this not only helps them manage their condition but almost eliminates the chance of passing on HIV to the baby through childbirth or breastfeeding


1. Mums in our care access better antenatal support.

The number of mums-to-be attending four or more appointments during their pregnancy shot up by 38%. They got antenatal care earlier in their pregnancies, and were more likely to see a doctor because of advice from their Mother Buddy.*

2. They give birth more safely.

Our mums are more likely to have their babies delivered by doctors, and in hospitals rather than at home. Since Mother Buddies have been operating, birth plan usage has increased dramatically from 5% to 67%.

3. They get HIV treatment.

Almost all HIV positive mothers with a Mother Buddy had been given advice about preventing mother to child transmission of HIV, and almost all the HIV positive women were accessing treatment – that’s a 50% improvement.

4. Their families stay healthier.

The proportion of women eating three meals a day was 40% higher among those supported by a Mother Buddy. They were also more likely to have mosquito nets, helping to prevent malaria.

5. Dads are more involved.

69% of women supported by Mother Buddies were accompanied to antenatal care by their partners (compared to only 54% of other local women).

6. Parents are equipped with knowledge.

Women with a Mother Buddy knew more about HIV and maternal health, with 80% showing a comprehensive knowledge.

7. They feel supported.

These women cited their Mother Buddy as their main source of emotional and social support. One woman said: “I do not have the worries about my HIV status that I used to. My Mother Buddy has taught me how to live without worries during pregnancy.”

Since it was launched, this movement has twinned hundreds of pregnancies and raised thousands of pounds, helping hundreds of families beat the odds.

*These stats are from a 2015 full evaluation of the Improving Outcomes for Parents and Children programme in Malawi (IMPACT – the programme Pregnancy Twinning supports). It compared a range of indicators between two groups of women – those who had received our support, and a control group of similar women. 

So what can I do?

By twinning a pregnancy you enable us to deliver this support to one woman, ensuring she doesn't become the next statistic.