Jan. 23 designated as Maternal Health Awareness Day

Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 4:16 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Each year, approximately 700 women are dying in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The maternal mortality rate, or when a woman dies during pregnancy, childbirth or within one year of birth is higher in the United States than any other resource-rich nation.

Specifically, 44 percent of maternal deaths happen within 42 days of childbirth, according to the CDC. Kentucky’s maternal mortality rate is unfortunately one of the highest in the nation.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, black women experience mortality at a rate three times higher than white women.

Maternal mortality can happen for several different reasons, including postpartum hemorrhage, eclampsia, obstructed labor and sepsis.

Many developing nations lack adequate health care and family planning, resulting in pregnant women having minimal access to skilled labor and emergency care, and unsafe abortions.

“It’s important for women to get care from an obstetric provider to engage with the women about risk factors for complications in pregnancy like monitoring for diabetes and risk of pre term births,” Dr. Lyndsey Neese, obstetrician and medical director of quality for women’s services at Norton Healthcare said. “It’s important to attend your prenatal visits. It’s important to ask questions and share with your provider if something doesn’t feel right.”

The CDC’s Hear Her campaign lists symptoms women and their families should look for up to a year after childbirth including constant severe headaches, vision changes, fever, vomiting and more.

The death of a woman during pregnancy, at delivery, or soon after delivery is a tragedy for her family and for society as a whole.

With the amount of women impacted each year, ACOG observes Maternal Health Awareness Day on Jan. 23 to spread awareness about the urgency of the country’s maternal mortality crisis.

For more information click here.

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