2.3 to 2.6 times higher among non-Hispanic Black women than non-Hispanic White women.
These four conditions accounted for 59 percent of the maternal mortality disparity between non-Hispanic Black women and non-Hispanic White women.
“These sobering findings highlight the urgent need to address racial and ethnic disparities in maternal deaths,” Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, says in a statement. “Accurate data are essential to guide efforts to reduce maternal deaths, many of which are preventable, and to improve the equity of healthcare for women during and after pregnancy.”
What can you do?
Reducing the factors that may contribute to pregnancy-related complications and death involves a joint effort of you and your loved ones.
You can do the following to manage your health throughout your pregnancy, and even after, according to the CDC:
- Talk to a healthcare provider if anything doesn’t feel right or is concerning.
- Know and seek immediate care if experiencing urgent maternal warning signs, including severe headache, extreme swelling of hands or face, trouble breathing, heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge, overwhelming tiredness, and more. These symptoms could indicate a potentially life-threatening complication.
- Document and share pregnancy history during each medical care visit for up to one year after delivery.
- Maintain ongoing healthcare and social support systems before, during, and after pregnancy.