Did you know that May is Maternal Health Awareness Month? While May seems far down the road, those months are coming up quicker than we think, especially for our pregnant mothers out there. At V For Vibes, we realize that maternal health is just as important as sexual health. When you’re waiting for your new family addition, you’re thinking of many things and feeling more stressed about so much. What you’re probably not thinking about, is the high risk level of dying during childbirth.
In the United States, more women die of pregnancy related complications than other developing countries. Based on the findings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 700 women die in childbirth every year, and over 50,000 suffer severe health issues, usually due to complications from severe bleeding. The rate of maternal mortality in the U.S. has been increasing.The trend is showing numbers declining internationally.
Many hospitals do not have effective protocols in place to protect mothers from complications related to childbirth. Medical practitioners often are trained to respond to complications involving the baby instead of the mother, as many issues can arise during birth, such as umbilical cords wrapped around throats. Other reasons may be linked to the rise in C-sections, which can lead to complications like blood clots and hemorrhaging.
The risk of maternal death and morbidity isn’t the same for everyone. Based on findings from the CDC, African American women are 3-4 times more likely to die of complications during pregnancy or birth than White or Hispanic women. Another major factor that could make maternal death more of a risk is the lack of adequate health insurance, or the lack of insurance at all.
The state of New Jersey named January 23rd "Maternal Health Awareness" day to bring awareness to the amount of women who die every year giving birth. California has multiple organizations focusing on women’s maternal and reproductive health, such as the California Latinas for Reproductive Justice organization.
By bringing attention to the rising maternal mortality rate, we can come together to try and make a difference! Pregnancy is stressful enough; it’s time to make a change.