The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rates among developed countries. A new government study highlights that disparities in pregnancy care might be a factor.
1 in 5 mothers experienced mistreatment by healthcare providers during maternal care — reporting verbal abuse, invasion of physical privacy, and threats to withhold treatment, according to a new U.S. government survey.
Key details: The U.S. is considered an outlier in maternal mortality rates. The average maternal mortality rate in high-income countries in 2020 was 12 deaths per 100,000 live births. However, the number was nearly 24 deaths in the U.S.
Maternal death rates in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2018 and 2021, growing from 17.4 to 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to a CDC report.
According to the new survey, of the 2,400 women surveyed, Black, multiracial, and Hispanic women reported higher rates of discrimination.
The reasons for increased maternal mortality include getting pregnant at older ages, the rise in chronic health conditions like obesity, and inequities in healthcare.
Takeaway: The CDC recommends health care systems hire a diverse workforce and train all healthcare staff to recognize unconscious bias and stigma.