Women dying in childbirth is not a thing of the past. The shocking number of women who die in the United States is a reminder that this negative, and often preventable, outcome is all too prevalent. According to NPR, “…every year in the U.S., 700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, and some 65,000 nearly die — by many measures, the worst record in the developed world.”
Why in 2017 are women still at risk of dying? And why are those numbers getting worse as we are getting better at saving newborns?
Unlike in every other wealthy country, in America, women are more than three times as likely as Canadian women and six times as likely to die as Scandinaviansto in the maternal period — the start of pregnancy to one year after delivery or termination, as defined by the CDC. In Great Britain, in fact, the rate has declined so dramatically that “a man is more likely to die while his partner is pregnant than she is,” the journal Lancet recently noted.
Could it be as simple that the collective consciousness is that woman aren’t at risk and that pregnancy is not a possibly dangerous condition?