NATIONWIDE — According to CNN and a documentary series called Giving Birth in America, every year about 700 to 1,200 women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications in the United States. And, Black women are about three to four times more likely to die of pregnancy or delivery complications than white women.
CNN interviewed Dr. Michael Lindsay, chief of service for gynecology and obstetrics at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and he says that it’s complicated to answer why there has been a rise in deaths and why Black women are more affected than women of other races.
He comments, “The racial divide in maternal deaths has been persistent for decades, so the rate is not something new. It’s something we’ve known for a number of years.”
Other doctors, however, say that have an idea why.
They blame the differences in overall health and chronic illnesses among Black and white women as a driving factor for the disparity. For instance, rates of obesity and high blood pressure (which are major risk factors for pregnancy complications) tend to be higher among Black women.
Others point to differences in socioeconomic status, access to health care, education, insurance coverage, housing, and levels of stress and community health among Black and white women.
To learn more about the organization behind the documentary, visit www.everymothercounts.org