Despite the rising costs of prenatal and labor and delivery care, a new infographic FacetheFactsUSA.org illustrates a marked increase in maternal mortality–defined as death during pregnancy, within 42 days of terminating a pregnancy, or from any treatment or complication of pregnancy–over the past 25 years. To date, Greece has the lowest maternal mortality rate at two deaths per 100,000 pregnancies. Afghanistan has the highest rate at 1,400 per 100,000 births. The United States is tied with Saudi Arabia at 24 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies.
The infographic, which pulls its research from the U.S. Census, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization, also states that black women were 3.2 times likelier to die during pregnancy or childbirth than white women and that the U.S. ranked 50th in maternal mortality prevention in 2008. The U.S. numbers come as a shock, since annually, $98 billion is spent on hospitalization for pregnancy and childbirth.
Check out the numbers for yourself:
According to Unicef, “the direct causes of maternal deaths [in many countries] are haemorrhage, infection, obstructed labour, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, and complications of unsafe abortion. There are birth-related disabilities that affect many more women and go untreated like injuries to pelvic muscles, organs or the spinal cord.” The organization goes on to confirm that many pregnancy-related deaths are preventable: }[They are] mainly due to insufficient care during pregnancy and delivery. About 15 per cent of pregnancies and childbirths need emergency obstetric care because of complications that are difficult to predict.”