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Hospitals forget about mothers after childbirth

Childbirth is traumatic for mothers and children, but those children are often the focus for the medical staff. While this makes sense on some levels due to the vulnerability of newborns, some experts have said that the staff won't pay nearly enough attention to mothers, leading to far higher fatalities rates than are necessary.

Some issues don't show up right away, taking lives days or weeks after the mother has been discharged from the hospital. These include issues like cardiomyopathy, blood clots, hemorrhages, infections and more.

The rates are likely surprising to many. About 65,000 women come close to passing away annually in the United States, and anywhere from 700 to 900 of them do. Some have said there is no country with a worse record, at least when looking at those in the developed world.

There are a lot of reasons for the high risk. For example, new mothers used to be younger than they are today. Older woman having children for the first time can have greater risks and extensive medical histories.

Another potential issue is that about 50 percent of the pregnancies are not planned. Women who do plan may have healthy issues they need to plan around or address first, but they can't do it if having a child was not intentional.

However, even with these risks and complications, it's critical for hospitals to provide high-level care and not be negligent when it comes to a mother's health, even if that negligence stems from good intentions to take care of the newborn. When a mother is injured or passes away due to negligence, the young family may need to know what legal options exist.

Source: NPR, "Focus On Infants During Childbirth Leaves U.S. Moms In Danger," Nina Martin and Renee Montagne, May 12, 2017

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