There are Too Many Preventable Deaths among New Moms
March 30, 2010
Pregnancy-related deaths appear to have risen in the U.S. over the past decade, nearly tripling in California, the state with the most careful count. The maternal mortality rate is four times higher than a goal the federal government set for this year.
Maternal mortality gets little public attention in the U.S. Among the leading preventable causes are hemorrhage, DVT-caused pulmonary emboli and uncontrolled blood pressure.
It's not clear what's fueling the overall increase, but there are some suspects:
- A jump in cesarean deliveries that now account for almost a third of births
- One in five pregnant women is obese, spurring high blood pressure and diabetes
- More women are having babies in their late 30s and beyond