With 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, women die as a result of childbirth much more than in backward places. In Western Europe, the average is 7.2. The trend is getting worse since the 90s
As the pregnancy had been so difficult-in bed for the last two months, three weeks hospitalized-and delivery, an emergency cesarean, all attention was focused on the baby Madeline Logeline, premature. At 27 hours after the intervention, they told Elizabeth Logelin, the mother, that she could see the newborn baby; the father, Matt Logelin, told him that at that time he had learned to change diapers. But on the way between her bed and the wheelchair, barely two steps from her standing, Elizabeth Logelin died of a pulmonary embolism.
Although he had a family history of blood clots, and the two months he had spent at rest increased his risk, no one thought about it. He did not receive anticoagulants or circulatory exercises. He died instantly, as a result of the birth of his daughter, the site Quartz summarized this case.
Dying because of childbirth is something that sounds like a past, or to backward countries. And the case of Logelin could be considered as bad practice if it were not because before it enters into a staggering statistic: with 26.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the United States is the industrialized society with the highest maternal mortality.
“And by far”, analyzed the author of the text, Annalisa Merelli. “In Canada, the rate is 7.3, in Western Europe the average is 7.2, with many countries like Italy, Norway, Sweden and Austria with rates around 4. In the United States more women die from causes linked to childbirth in Iran (20.8), Lebanon (15.3), Turkey (15.8), Puerto Rico (15.1), China (17.7) and many other places. ” It is believed that a healthy person like Logelin, a young woman who did not smoke, had a higher education and had health insurance, could not happen something like that. In addition, in the last three decades, campaigns have been carried out in the world that have reduced maternal mortality. “But the United States is one of a handful of countries where the problem got worse, and significantly,” according to Quartz.
The figures in the report indicate that between 700 and 1,200 women die every year in that country due to complications of pregnancy or childbirth. Some 50,000 are at risk of death and another 100,000 become seriously ill during or after pregnancy. Until 2017, moreover, when a woman died, her death certificate did not always indicate whether she was pregnant or had given birth. It depended on each state.
Since the end of World War II and until the end of the 1980s, maternal mortality rates fell in the United States, as in most other developed countries. Then, the trend changed, and by the turn of the millennium it was indisputable that something bad would happen. While by 2015 global maternal mortality decreased -30% according to conservative estimates, 45% according to the United Nations (UN) – in the United States increased by almost 60%. “Other related trends became visible in the period 1990-2015,” Merelli wrote. “In particular, notable increases in obesity and diabetes rates.” At that time, too, women postponed motherhood. Thus they arrived at pregnancy with more age, more weight and / or more health problems.
However, that also happened in other parts of the world. “Obesity among white mothers almost doubled in the world between 1980 and the beginning of the decade of 2010. Maternity deaths were reduced by almost half,” according to the article “In some parts of the world – the Scandinavian countries and Europe Western, in particular – the emphasis on greater care before, during and after delivery has yielded very different results. ” Female health care does not escape the general discrimination suffered by women. “They expect more to see doctors than men, their pain is usually minimized and although they tend to consult less than men, their symptoms are often dismissed: for example, they are mistakenly attributed to psychological rather than physiological causes.”
In the case of pregnancy, in addition, the focus is on the baby, as happened to the Logelin. While in countries like the United Kingdom social security covers nurses and midwives who help the brand new mother, in the United States maternity leave is not even mandatory and the first exam covered by health insurance is six weeks after birth , with which half of the cases of postpartum depression are not diagnosed. Another important factor is ethnicity: black mothers are three times more likely than white mothers to die or suffer from diseases related to pregnancy or childbirth. Native mothers, twice. Hispanic women, on the other hand, are less at risk than the US maternal population as a whole.
One visible reason is socioeconomic: African-Americans are three times poorer than whites, and suffer the consequences that living below the poverty line produces in health. Civil rights organizations have denounced racism, which probably begins with the shortage of African-American health professionals: only 6% of doctors and 4% of gynecologists are, while the black population represents 12% of the country . “Establishing exactly why so many mothers die for, or suffer during, pregnancy and childbirth is a huge public health puzzle,” Merelli summarized. “There is no single reason, but a complex mixture of factors that, as a whole, point to problems that run through the health system and the country’s social system.”