Maternal deaths in America

Caitlin Deerwester, Page Design Editor

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The United States is moving forward in technological and medical innovation, while leaving pregnant women’s health behind. 
CNN reported that the U.S is the only industrialized country with rising maternal mortality rates and the New York Times wrote that an estimated 700-900 maternal deaths occur per year, a rate that is worse compared to 25 years ago. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered the two leading causes of death before, during, and after for woman in childbirth are high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and pre-eclampsia (hypertensive disorder) which have increased 72 percent from 1993-2014. 
These types of deaths can be easily prevented through blood pressure watch and hospital protocols. 
“Mothers especially lacked information about risks in the postpartum period, when medical care is often disjointed or difficult to access and the baby is the focus of attention,” wrote National Public Radio (NPR) on August 3. 
“You do have to increase your food intake, but you should try and do it with healthful foods, eat junk food in moderation and keep yourself active,” said child development teacher Brittany Cieplinski. “A combination of these can help prevent gestational diabetes and high blood pressure along with making mothers more comfortable during their pregnancy.” 
“Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia (seizures that develop after pre-eclampsia) are 60 percent more common in African-American woman and also more severe,” reported the New York Times, April 11. 
These effects may be felt particularly by black women due to the combination of gender and racial discrimination. 
Along with some doctor’s incompetence and indifference to mothers after childbirth, CNN found almost half the counties in the U.S do not have an obstetrician, a doctor who specializes in woman’s reproductive system and pregnancy/childbirth, providing maternal care. 
“We have a couple classes at South that teach about maternal risks and safety. We have Child Development and Parenting,” said Cieplinski. “I do think that if people were more educated on child birth there would lessen some of the problems that occur after birth. It is better to know more so that you can differentiate between issues that are normal and the ones that need attention!” 
To address these problems access to health care combined with reduced stress would help prevent or stop a problem when it arises. 
“Women in America frequently face poor access to healthcare, experience overuse of medical interventions, and enter pregnancy with chronic conditions and limited education,” reported CNN. 
The ability to plan for a pregnancy and ensure the best health beforehand is necessary to lower mortality for mothers; however, as the United Nations wrote, woman would need accessible contraceptives, abortion, and information about pregnancy/child birth. 

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