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Study Reveals Alarming Rate of Postpartum Maternal Deaths in the U.S.

Maternal death rates in the US show an unsettling trend, according to a recent analysis by The Commonwealth Fund. This extensive study found that about two-thirds of maternal-related deaths in the United States happen in the first year after childbirth, using data from 14 developed countries.

Maternal mortality in the United States is 22 deaths per 100,000 live births, far higher than in other wealthy nations, according to researchers who painstakingly analyzed data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The shocking fact that 65% of maternal deaths in the United States occur after delivery—with 12% occurring in the first week following delivery—is cause for serious worry. Complications like severe bleeding, hypertension, and infectious infections are often associated with these deaths.

The study has brought attention to a particularly unsettling fact: the majority of maternal deaths occur among Black moms, with an alarming rate of 49.5 deaths per 100,000 live births. Eight million women in the United States lack insurance due to the lack of a universal healthcare system, which exacerbates gaps in the availability and caliber of maternal treatment.

The study highlights the urgent need to diversify the healthcare workforce and increase the availability of midwifery services in light of these findings, particularly for Black women.

Studies show that home visits by nurses or midwives during the first week after delivery result in better mental health, higher breastfeeding rates, and lower medical costs.

Maternal mortality rates in the United States have somewhat decreased in recent years, but significant efforts are still necessary to protect mothers’ health and welfare during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum phase.

To reduce avoidable maternal mortality and promote maternal health equity for all women, comprehensive maternal healthcare policies must be implemented at the state and federal levels.

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