Maternal Mortality

Can the U.S. reduce its high death rates?


The United States spends more per capita on health care than any other country, but about 50,000 American mothers suffer serious injury or disease during childbirth each year and nearly 700 die during pregnancy or within six weeks of giving birth. That makes the United States the riskiest place among the 10 wealthiest nations to have a baby and the only industrialized country where the death rate for new moms is rising. Moreover, the death rate for black mothers is more than double that of their white counterparts. Experts blame gender and racial bias, a lack of insurance or access to care, inconsistent data and inadequate physician training. Some cite a higher rate of pre-existing conditions among black women that makes having a baby more ...

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