Maternal mortality rates on the rise across the nation

When you prepare to give birth at a Kentucky hospital, you are likely most concerned with delivering a healthy baby. You would be wise to also consider the risks you face as a mother during delivery. Sadly, the maternal mortality rate in the United States continues to rise, even though medical advancements are underway all the time designed to make the process of delivering a child safer and easier for everyone.

According to Psychology Today, about 700 American women die every year because of pregnancy-related issues, which can include any number of problems or health issues that develop during pregnancy, or within one year of the end of a pregnancy. Some American women, however, are more likely to die due to pregnancy-related causes than others.

Maternal mortality statistics

Nowadays, Black women face far higher maternal mortality risks than white women. In fact, Black women are between three and four times more likely to succumb to pregnancy-related health issues than white women.

Why may this disparity exist? While Black women are more likely to die due to pregnancy-related causes regardless of where they live, a study in the Washington, D.C., area reveals some troubling information about the disproportionate number of Black women dying due to pregnancy-related complications. Between 2014 and 2016, 75% of maternal deaths in the Washington, D.C., area involved Black women, with this area seeing the nation's highest maternal mortality rates during this timeline.

Part of the problem likely lies in the fact that women in certain areas lack access to quality prenatal care. In the Washington, D.C., area specifically, many women of lower socioeconomic status do not have adequate insurance or quality medical care nearby. They also lack the transportation necessary to travel to doctors who live further away.

Statistics show that, while there is a clear disparity between the number of white and Black women dying during childbirth, or due to pregnancy-related causes, all women giving birth face at least some degree of risk.

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