far too common and these areas require women to travel great distances to obtain health care.
As pregnancy ensues, more visits are required and transportation becomes an issue. Social issues contribute to the steep incline in maternal mortality such as substance abuse, domestic violence and mental health problems.
There is no one answer to the problem of maternal mortality in the Black community. The increase in maternal mortality in the Black community is actually a manifestation of far deeper problems.
Pre-pregnancy consultations are a vital way to evaluate a woman’s health status before conception. For any patient considering conception, especially those with health issues, a pre-pregnancy consultation is important. Some diseases can be treated prior to pregnancy helping to reduce maternal mortality.
Directing patients to community resources for housing, infant care, immunizations, and even postpartum home visits can be beneficial. Ultimately empowering each woman to be an ambassador for her health care is the goal.
I believe that the escalated maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is actually the tip of the iceberg and a greater manifestation of far deeper problems. In order to begin to fix the problem of maternal mortality the situations leading to it should be recognized.
Barbara A. Hannah, M.D., M.S. FACOG is the owner and CEO of Women’s Center/HealthCare Physicians, PLLC.