Approximately 700 women die each year in the United States during pregnancy or the first year following. What’s going on? Approximately a dozen studies and reports have been published since 2016 in an effort to understand what is contributing to the rising rate of maternal mortality. Two key issues are emerging from these reports:
- Women of color are disproportionately affected. Black women die at THREE TIMES the rate of white women, and American Native / Alaskan Indian women die at TWICE the rate of white women.
- Suicide is a leading cause of death. In studies that include self-harm and extend the full year postpartum, suicide and overdose combined are the leading cause of death.