The United States is one of the most developed nations in the world — but maternal death rates in this country are on par with many of the least developed nations.
According to studies, up to 900 American women will die this year either in childbirth or shortly after, and another 65,000 will come close — and many will be left with serious injuries that affect their quality of life forever.
The problematic issue of maternal health in the United States
Maternal death rates are declining all over the world — except here. In the U.S., maternal death rates have actually increased between 2000 and 2014.
Experts say that the reason for this is complicated. While mothers in rural areas and mothers of color are at higher risk than others, well-educated women and urban mothers aren’t immune from danger by any means. Some of the problems cited include:
- The increasing age of mothers in the U.S., which corresponds to more complex medical histories and potential complications with delivery
- The fact that roughly half of the pregnancies in this country are unplanned, which means mothers have no chance to get any pre-existing health issues in check
- The frequent use of C-sections for delivery, which are too-often seen as a “safe” procedure instead of a dangerous surgery
- The common problem with gaps in maternal care due to the high cost of medical treatment and issues with insurance
- Complacency within the medical system that overlooks the symptoms of serious medical problems in new mothers (while simultaneously focusing on newborn health)
- Poor communication with mothers about what to do if they experience problems after delivery — and when to seek help
- Doctors who simply fail to provide adequate care for women who have preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and other common-but-treatable pregnancy-related problems
In short: The health care system in this country is failing mothers — and their families.
What to do if you or your loved one suffered from a lack of care
If you were injured or lost a loved one due to poor medical care during pregnancy, delivery or post-delivery, seek experienced guidance today. You have every right to hold the medical providers responsible for their negligent actions.