US Struggles with High Maternal Mortality Rates

US Struggles with High Maternal Mortality Rates
US Struggles with High Maternal Mortality Rates. Credit | Getty images

United States: The US still remains the nation with the highest deaths among expectant mothers in the developed world, though there is a slight decline in the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following information was jointly retrieved from a new report by The Commonwealth Fund that examined the approximate U. S. maternal mortality rate of 22 deaths per 100,000 live births to those in other high-income nations in Europe, Asia, South America, and Oceania, as reported by The Hills.

Comparisons with Other Nations

The quantification determined that as of 2022, the current rate in the U. S was still significantly higher than many other comparable affluent nations.

Finland had the lowest maternal mortality ratio, followed by other Nordic countries along with Switzerland, these countries having the lowest number of maternal mortality out of the 17 countries analysed in the report, while Norway recorded no maternal deaths in 2022.

Again, Black women in the United States have the highest likelihood of maternal deaths, and the rate is over two times above the average, according to the report.

Disparities Among Black Women

The analysis also found that over 60 percent of deaths related to pregnancy occur after childbirth, and nearly two-thirds of those occur during the first 24 hours after birth or during the weeks and months that follow what is known as the postpartum period.

“While 2022 saw far fewer postpartum COVID-19 deaths than the years before, which means there were simply fewer maternal deaths that could have been avoided —there is much work to be done to reduce the rate of maternal mortality in the United States,” the report adds.

The report also brought to light other facts such as currently the US has the lowest proportion of midwives and ob-gyns per live births compared to all other high income countries and this has been held accountable for high incidences of maternal mortality in America.

Factors Contributing to High Mortality Rates

Hence, in terms of availability of ob-gyns and midwives both, Chile appears to be the most advanced having 92 ob-gyns and midwives for 1,000 live births in contrast to United States having only 16 ob-gyns and midwives for 1,000 live births as depicted in the given report, as reported by THe Hills.

“Our findings suggest that an undersupply of maternity providers, especially midwives, and lack of access to comprehensive postpartum support, including maternity care coverage and mandated paid maternity leave, are contributing factors,” researchers wrote in the report. “Because both these factors disproportionately affect women of color, centering equity in any future policy changes will be a key to addressing the crisis.”