Bad News Mamas: The Maternal Mortality Rate in America Is Getting Worse

Bad News Mamas: The Maternal Mortality Rate in America Is Getting Worse – The Commonwealth Fund released the updated numbers for maternal mortality rate from 2019 to 2020… and they’re not looking good! We need to make changes to our healthcare system so mothers are supported during the most challenging time of life: childbirth! Learn more about the common causes for maternal death rate, check out the rising stats, and get involved right here on Newsymom!

It’s no surprise that the state of America has been on the decline in many areas: economy, parental assistance, and infrastructure to name a few of what’s been affecting us as parents. However, for a high-income country, we are also fast-approaching one area of major challenge: maternal mortality.

What is Maternal Mortality?

Maternal mortality is essentially the death of a mother during childbirth or within one year of pregnancy. In 2019, the U.S. numbers for maternal mortality were 20 in every 100,000 births. As of 2020, the numbers rose to 24 per 100,000 and are significantly higher for Black mothers.

This is a snapchat of comparisons of the U.S. with other countries…For more information, check out The U.S. Maternal Mortality Crisis Continues to Worsen: An International Comparison.

What Are the Causes of Maternal Death?

Complications during pregnancy and postpartum are the most common causes. Some of these complications are:

  • severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth)
  • infections (usually after childbirth)
  • high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia)
  • complications from delivery
  • unsafe abortion.

Most maternal deaths are preventable! The most important thing we need to combat maternal mortality is for all women to have access to high-quality healthcare before, during, and after pregnancy.

How Healthcare Prevents Maternal Death

Here are the ways high-quality healthcare from skilled professionals prevents maternal death:

  • Severe bleeding after birth can kill a healthy woman within hours if she is unattended. Injecting oxytocics immediately after childbirth effectively reduces the risk of bleeding.
  • Infection after childbirth can be eliminated if good hygiene is practiced and if early signs of infection are recognized and treated in a timely manner.
  • Pre-eclampsia should be detected and appropriately managed before the onset of convulsions (eclampsia) and other life-threatening complications. Administering drugs such as magnesium sulfate for pre-eclampsia can lower a woman’s risk of developing eclampsia.
  • To avoid maternal deaths, it is also vital to prevent unwanted pregnancies. All women, including adolescents, need access to contraception, safe abortion services to the full extent of the law, and quality post-abortion care.

(Maternal Mortality, WHO)

Abortion Restrictions Have Caused a 62% Rise in Maternal Mortality Rates

The Commonwealth Fund says that in data from 2020, maternal death rates in states that have restricted abortion since the overturning of Roe had a 62% higher maternal death rate than states that currently have no bans.

Both sides of the abortion debate are demanding change. We need a boost in healthcare to aid mothers before, during, and after pregnancy!

Get Involved – Make An Impact!

There are so many ways you can get involved in saving a mother’s life, but the first comes from spreading awareness. This is something you can do from anywhere!

  • Watch the videos of these women who were impacted: Women Impacted
  • Post, post, post on social media! Use the power of social media to spread awareness of the Hear Her campaign. Download and share these graphics on your own websites and platforms!
  • Make complaints to the representatives in our government making high-quality healthcare hard to attain for moms. Do your research and bring the cause to their attention. Demand change!
  • Know urgent maternal warning signs to look for:
These are a summary of the warning signs to watch out for, but for more details, please visit Urgent Maternal Warning Signs on the CDC’s website.

Be the change you want to see! Together, we can make a difference for everyone to have access to the best healthcare we need to thrive.

Melissa Klatt


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