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Why are U.S. maternal mortality rates on the rise?

| Mar 26, 2019 | medical negligence

As you prepare to give birth in Montana, you may find yourself concerned with matters such as whether you will be a good mother and whether you will get enough sleep in the aftermath of childbirth. Chances are, you might not feel too concerned with whether your own life will be at stake during your labor or delivery, although, regrettably, maternal mortality rates are on the rise across the nation.

According to Psychology Today, about 700 U.S. women lose their lives due to pregnancy-related causes every year, and this figure continues to rise, despite the fact that researchers are making new medical advancements and improvements virtually every day. Furthermore, statistics show that African-American women face an especially high risk of maternal mortality, and that they are between three and four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

To put this in perspective, between 2011 and 2013, white women suffered 12.7 deaths for every 100,000 births. Black women, however, experienced 43.5 deaths for every 100,000 births within that same two-year period, shining a spotlight on the racial disparity that exists with maternal mortality rates. So, why do maternal mortality rates continue to rise across the nation?

Arguably one of the biggest factors affecting U.S. maternal mortality rates is a lack of access to quality prenatal care. When obstetrics and gynecology units close in low-income areas, for example, many women have no way of getting prenatal care, and they instead go without, which can have a strong impact on mortality rates. Limited health insurance plans also likely contribute to the problem, because they keep some women from seeking care due to concerns about costs.

This information about U.S. maternal mortality rates is educational in nature and not a replacement for legal advice.

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