Among the industrialized countries, the US has the most maternal deaths, with 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. How can this rate be so high in a country that has access to clean water, sanitation, food, healthcare, and education? Some studies suggest race could be a factor; other research cites age and health factors of US mothers.
While the rate of maternal deaths appears to have risen, the reporting of these deaths is likely part of the issue. Between 1990 and 2015, maternal deaths decreased worldwide by between 30% and 45% depending on which estimates are used. During that same period, in the United States, the rate increased by 60%. The data collection could be a factor, since some states did not require death certificates to indicate if a woman had given birth or been pregnant before she died.The best way to reduce maternal deaths seems to be to listen to mothers when they are pregnant or have just given birth. Many women report that medical staff and others don’t listen when they say they don’t feel well or when they report symptoms of an infection, blood clot or other complication.