The U.S. Maternal Health Crisis

IT’S TIME TO REVERSE THE TREND

The United States is one of few high-income countries where deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth are on the rise, and nearly 60% of these deaths are preventable. Leading causes of maternal death include excessive bleeding, high blood pressure, and blood clots. The rise in chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity is also contributing to pregnancy and childbirth complications. In addition, there are persistent and stark racial disparities in maternal mortality; a Black woman in the U.S. is three to four times more likely to die than a White woman. Given that most maternal deaths are preventable, we need to understand why women are dying to help save lives. Let’s work together to turn awareness into action, and help moms everywhere.


Five Steps You Can Take to Reverse the Rise in U.S. Maternal Deaths:

1. Find Out Why Maternal Deaths and Complications Occur: More than half of maternal deaths happen after childbirth during the postpartum period. Educate yourself, new parents and others in your community about the signs of a potential complication and how to advocate for yourself.

2. Learn About What Your State Is Doing: Not all states review maternal deaths but all should. Find out if your state has a maternal mortality review committee.

3. Raise Awareness: Whether in-person or on social media, start conversations about the U.S. maternal mortality crisis and ask others to take action. Click here to learn more and watch a short film “Reverse,” an emotional, generational passage based on real experiences of women across the U.S. on their journey to motherhood. Be sure to use #EndMaternalMortality.

4. Share Your Story and Time: If you’re a survivor or impacted family-member, get involved with advocacy groups, including the Preeclampsia Foundation, who are forming a national coalition of patient organizations and individuals to improve maternal health outcomes for all women. In Pennsylvania, volunteer at organizations like the Maternity Care Coalition.

5. Encourage Your Local Communities to Take Action:  The Merck for Mothers “Safer Childbirth Cities” initiative is supporting cities across the country to help women have a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth. Encourage your local maternal health organizations to join efforts.

The PA Conference for Women would like to thank Merck for Mothers for their organization’s leadership on this important topic, and for educating our conference community about the ways each of us can help solve the problem.

To learn more, stop by the Merck booth (#1313) in the Exhibit Hall.