A maternity waiting home (MWH) is a facility within easy reach of a hospital or health centre which provides emergency obstetric care (EmOC). Women may stay in the MWH at the end of their pregnancy and await labour. Once labour starts, women move to the health facility so that labour and giving birth can be assisted by a skilled birth attendant. The aim of the MWH is to improve accessibility to skilled care and thus reduce morbidity and mortality for mother and neonate should complications arise. Some studies report a favourable effect on the outcomes for women and their newborns. Others show that utilisation is low and barriers exist. However, these data are limited in their reliability.