The United States is one of the most dangerous among wealthy nations for women to give birth.
Disturbingly, it’s even more dangerous for women of color. Black women are about three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, while maternal mortality rates among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) women are two times higher. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbatedthese issues.
Maternal mortality rates underscore this country’s deep-rooted health inequities. Although this problem is endemic, it’s not intractable. In fact, more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable.
The healthcare system must work to address all of the factors that contribute to maternal health disparities, including barriers to care, systemic inequities, and the way health plans communicate with consumers. By breaking down these barriers and improving communication, we can ensure that all women have access to high-quality maternal care.