Abstract As part of the MASCOT/WOTRO multinational team conducting the maternal health literature mapping, four Latin American researchers were particularly interested in analysing information specific to their region. The mapping started with 45,959 papers uploaded from MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, LILACAS, PopLINE, PsycINFO and Web of Knowledge. From these, 4175 full texts were reviewed and 2295 papers were subsequently included. Latin America experienced an average maternal mortality decline of 40% between 1990 and 2013. Nevertheless, the region’s performance was below the global average and short of the 75% reduction set in Millennium Development Goal 5 for 2015. The main outcomes show that research on maternal health in the countries where the most impoverished populations of the world are living is not always aligned with their compelling needs. From another perspective, the review made it possible to recognize that research funding as well as the amount of scientific literature produced concentrate on issues that are not necessarily among the main causes of maternal deaths. Even though research on maternal health in Latin America has grown from an average of 92.5 publications per year in 2000-2003 to 236.7 between 2008 and 2012, it’s not satisfactorily keeping pace with other regions. In conclusion, it is critical to effectively orient research funding and production to respond to the health needs of the population. At the same time, there is a need for innovative mechanisms to strengthen the production and uptake of scientific evidence that can properly inform public health decision making.