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Why Are So Many American Women Dying from Childbirth?

Most people would assume that our country is one of the safest, if not the safest, in which to give birth. However, three women die while giving birth every day in the U.S. In fact, maternal mortality has doubled in recent years.

The risk of dying from childbirth, sadly, appears to be linked to race and ethnicity. Latina women are twice as likely to die as white women. Black women are four times more likely to die.

Former supermodel Christy Turlington has been working to increase the safety of pregnancy and childbirth for women through an organization she started five years ago called Every Mother Counts. She began her advocacy own medical scare during the birth of her first child.

One would assume that Turlington and her husband, actor Ed Burns, could afford the best medical care available. However, according to Turlington, when her placenta was removed, she began to hemorrhage. She says that “suddenly going from feeling very empowered to completely disempowered in moments was terrifying.” That experience caused her to become an advocate for the safety of other women during pregnancy and childbirth.

According to Every Mother Counts, most childbirth-related deaths are caused by lack of prenatal care and insurance, obesity-related diabetes and over-medicalization. Further, the group says that 98 percent of these fatalities could be prevented.

This idea of the “over-medicalization” of childbirth is not unique. Others blame the increasing number of Caesarian sections on this phenomenon.

Women place their own lives and the lives of their babies in the hands of medical professionals every day. While in most cases, the childbirth process goes smoothly, things can go wrong. If you or your child were injured during childbirth, you have every right to determine whether that injury could have been prevented by the medical professionals involved, or if it was caused by them, and to hold them accountable.

Source: Daily Kos, “Alarming study reveals 3 women die every day in America—from childbirth,” Nov. 09, 2015

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