6 Reasons Why U.S. Women Still Die During Childbirth

Maternity deaths in the U.S is higher than most countries with about
19 in 100,000 delivery. The following 6 reasons may be responsible for

1. Record keeping problems:
National data on maternal
mortality is inconsistent, inaccurate and
some health authorities argue
that the increase in maternal deaths is due to
improved detection of
pregnancy-related deaths.
However, MacDorman says the
27% increase observed in her
study is a true rise in maternal
deaths, rather than a reporting

2. More American women are
obese: another reason for the undue increase in maternity death in the
US is that many women there are obese and overweight.
Many pregnant women in the U.S have chronic health problems like
high blood pressure, heart
disease, and diabetes—all of
which put women at a greater
risk for complications during
pregnancy. According to the CDC,
heart-related problems make up
a substantial portion of
pregnancy-related deaths.

3. Changes to
reproductive health services: Between
2000 to 2015, Texas saw a spike
in maternal mortality while the
state also underwent changes to
reproductive health services,
including the closure of several
clinics offering abortions and
other services. In 2011, the
state's family planning budget
was cut by two-thirds. Though, experts
say the lack of access is probably
not solely responsible for the
state's dramatic increase in mortality deaths,
but as The Texas Tribune reports,
it may have exacerbated the
issue. "I've done my best to try to
investigate this as a data error
and I can't find any changes to
account for it," says MacDorman.
"It's very concerning what's
happening in Texas."

4. Racism persist: racial discrimation is another reason for higher
mortality death. For instance, black women in the United States are
up to three times more likely to
die in pregnancy and childbirth
compared to white women.
While they are not significantly
more likely to develop conditions
like hemorrhage and
preeclampsia—which threaten a
women's health during childbirth
—they are more likely to die from

5. Rise in cesarean births: more babies were been born now through
c-section than before. The
rates of c-section deliveries
among American women rose
53% from 1996 to 2007, now
accounting for 32% of births.
Cesarean has its benefit and it
has saved the lives of mothers
and babies, but has its complications
and these can increase the risk
of maternal death. This is because C-sections
require intensive surgery, and
are associated with higher health
and safety risks for mothers and

6. Women are having children
later: older women were known to be
at a greater risk for maternal
mortality, with a couple caveats.
It may be because older women have more
chronic conditions when they
enter pregnancy with more conditions
like obesity, diabetes, and heart

Hospitals in the U.S and the world at large should should focus more
on improving the health
of women before they get
pregnant, and improving the
quality and safety of maternal
health care to reduce maternity deaths to the barest mimimum.


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