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In Developing World, Most Dangerous Day of Life Is Birth

The woman hung up her phone and delivered a baby into her yellow and orange skirt so quietly it almost escaped the nurses’ notice.

A muffled squawk from under her capulana, a piece of cloth traditionally worn sarong-style, signaled the arrival of the 5-pound boy last month in a flood-damaged hospital of rural Mozambique. The nurses casually lined up balls of cotton wool on a steel dish and drew up a shot of the hormone oxytocin for the mother before noticing the newborn wasn’t breathing.