Maternal mortality represents deaths to women that occur during the reproductive process, meaning during pregnancy, childbirth, or within 2 months of after the birth of termination of a pregnancy.
The maternal mortality module is not always included in DHS surveys due to the difficulty of collecting the information. The methodology for collecting maternal mortality data is to ask, female respondents to list all their siblings, that is, all the children born to their mother starting with the first born, and whether or not each of these siblings was still alive at the time of the survey. The current age is collected for those who were still alive, and additional information was sought on the year of death and age at death of deceased siblings. To establish whether deaths were maternity-related, respondents are further asked questions for all sisters who died at age 12 or older: "Was [NAME OF SISTER] pregnant when she died?"; and if not, "Did she die during childbirth?"; and if not, "Did she die within two months after the end of a pregnancy or childbirth?"