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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Maternal Mortality Rates Rising in California

New Study Shows More Women are Dying After Childbirth, but Most Deaths are Preventable

March 4, 2010

It is something we take for granted in the United States. A woman enters the hospital to give birth and she emerges a couple of days later with a beautiful bundle of joy.

That is how it usually goes. But this story is about the rare exception -- women who die within 42 days of childbirth. In the health care community it's called simply "maternal mortality." And in the U.S., many experts believe it is on the rise.

According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranks behind more than 40 other countries when it comes to maternal death rates, with 11 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies when measured in 2005. More women die in the U.S. after giving birth than die in countries including Poland, Croatia, Italy and Canada, to name a few.

A new report out of California found the number of women who died in the state after giving birth has nearly tripled over the past decade, from 5.6 deaths per 100,000 to 16.9 per 100,000 in 2006. The report was commissioned by the California Department of Health but has not yet been publically released. ABC News first learned of its existence from a watchdog group called "California Watch."

Death after childbirth is still rare, but experts say many of those deaths could have been prevented. "We've been able to double-check the data so we can truly say there is a rise," said Dr. Elliott Main, chairman of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, which worked on the report…

1 comment:

  1. Deadly Delivery: The Right to Maternal Health

    Every minute one woman dies as a consequence of complications during birth or pregnancy. That's more than 500,000 women a year, 1 woman every minute of every day. These women do not die of diseases that can't be treated or complications that can't be prevented. To quote Mahmoud Fathalla, former president of the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “they die because societies have yet to determine that their lives are worth saving”.

    Join us on April 19th 6:30pm at Riverside Church in New York for a Discussion about Maternal Mortality

    Speakers Include:
    Jennifer Dohrn, Certified Nurse Midwife Bronx & South Africa
    Larry Cox, Amnesty International Executive Director USA as well as
    Amnesty International Executive Directors from Sierra Leone, Peru and Burkina Faso

    The rights of all women and girls matter!

    Learn the truth about the world's missing mothers

    For more information contact: 212.633.4215/

    Sponsored by: Amnesty International, The Education Ministry;Social Justice Ministry; and Theatre of the Oppressed of The Riverside Church