According to the CDC approximately 700 women in the U.S. die from pregnancy and childbirth every year, and most of them are completely preventable.
Most pregnancy-related deaths in the United States are fully preventable — and they can happen up to a year after a woman gives birth, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention cites not only data during pregnancy but that the enormous toll having a baby takes on women’s bodies can last up to a full year, and even longer.
Of the 700 maternal deaths every year, 31 percent die during pregnancy, 36 percent die during childbirth or in the first week postpartum, and 33 percent die at some point in the first year after they give birth.
And the CDC states 60 percent of those deaths could be prevented.
“Every death reflects a web of missed opportunities,” says the CDC, blaming lack of access to health care, missed and delayed diagnoses, and overlooked warning signs.
The CDC defines a pregnancy-related death as one that occurs because of complications from pregnancy or childbirth; because of a chain of events kicked off by a woman’s pregnancy; or because of a seemingly unrelated condition that was worsened by pregnancy.
During delivery severe bleeding and embolisms were the top causes of death . In the first week postpartum, severe bleeding, high blood pressure and infection were the most common causes of death.
Weakened heart muscles caused most deaths that occurred later — at some point in the first year after a woman gave birth. Pregnancy and childbirth tax the heart and circulatory system, increasing blood volume by up to 50 percent. Women with known heart conditions require special, watchful care.
The lack of postpartum support for physical and mental conditions during the first year postpartum is a major factor and The United States is the only developed country in the world where the maternal mortality rate is increasing, particularly among women of color.
“Most working women have no rights to unpaid or unpaid leave in the United States. We are the only high income country in the world without paid maternity leave,” says Lisa Tremayne, Director of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Red Bank, NJ
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists along with Maternal Health advocacy groups and non-profits are working hard to make policy changes requiring significant employers, insurance companies, and hospitals to provide necessary postpartum care for up to a year after women giving birth.
“Our mothers die unnecessarily, we just don’t take care of them.” Lisa Tremayne