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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Why Black Women Are Suddenly Dying From Pregnancy and Childbirth -- At Alarming Rates

Why Black Women Are Suddenly Dying From Pregnancy and Childbirth - At Alarming Rates
Women are dying now more than ever from childbirth and pregnancy, and the risk is even higher for black women. Yes, right here in the United States. In New York City, for example, black women are 12 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women. Some are calling it a crisis. What is happening?

What is behind this crisis?

In New York City, the death rate for black women has doubled over the years. In Texas, it has reached “levels not seen in other U.S. states,” according to a report compiled for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Texas Department of State Health Services’ Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force reports that while 11.4 percent of Texas births in 2011 and 2012 were by black women, 28.8 percent of pregnancy-related deaths occurred to black mothers.

According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control, 60 percent of childbirth deaths are preventable. The leading causes of childbirth death include hemorrhage and preeclampsia, both conditions associated with high blood pressure. In addition, black women are more likely to have other conditions like anemia, hypertension, diabetes and obesity, all of which can contribute to maternal death.

What needs to be done - now

The solution may lie in doctors working hard to gain the trust of black pregnant women, according to California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), and ensuring that black women receive the same quality care given to white pregnant women.

Other reasons offered for the alarmingly higher death rates among black women are poverty, large numbers of black women who do not have adequate health insurance, and risk factors related to stress and discrimination.

The key is that it is preventable. There should be no reason why, in this day of medical technology, that all American women, black and white, should have to die from pregnancy-related complications, or even suffer from medical problems so severe that they almost die.

Read more about leading causes of maternal death by visiting
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