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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Study Confirms Black Women Are 3-4 Times More Likely to Die During Pregnancy

Black pregnant woman

The death of a woman during pregnancy or after delivery is indeed a tragedy for a family. Unfortunately, more and more pregnant women in the United States die each year due to pregnancy or delivery complications, and black women are more likely to be a victim than white women.
The United States, in general, has a high maternal death rate and the numbers have doubled since the 1990s. For a developed country like the USA, it seems troubling that it has one of the highest rates of maternal death in the world.

According to the CDC, around 50,000 women suffer from pregnancy complications and black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die than white women. There were no particular reasons for the problem, the researchers say. But factors like poverty, inadequate healthcare, and higher risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes are just some causes that impact black women more.

Dr. Elizabeth Howell, the director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, believes that the yet existing racial and ethnic disparities could be the reason for the poor ratings. She says, "I think they've been long-standing disparities in maternal health and they're becoming larger today in certain cities and it's very concerning."

It's a good thing women can actually do something. Researchers advise that women should know their health status and risks in order to understand and support themselves.

Take Serena Williams as an example. She gave birth to her daughter Alexis last September and she shared her experience in an interview with Vogue Magazine. She said she had to explain to her doctors herself her condition. She knew she has a history of blood clots so when she knew something was wrong, she immediately told her doctors. She delivered safely.

In a Facebook post, she tried to inspire every one especially black women, "We have a lot of work to do as a nation and I hope my story can inspire a conversation that gets us to close this gap. Every mother, regardless of race, or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth."
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