Maternal Mortality and Post-Delivery Warning Signs

Unlike women in the rest of the developed world, women in the United States are at greater risk of dying from childbirth-related complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 700 women die each year in the United States due to childbirth-related complications. The CDC’s National Vital Statistics System ranks the United States 46th in the world for maternal mortality. Arkansas’ maternal death rate is the fifth highest in the nation with 44.5 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births annually. The national average is 29.6 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Post-delivery is an important time to make sure mom and baby are healthy. It is important for women and their family members to be educated about the warning signs that can potentially cause maternal death. Education is vital to successfully reduce and prevent maternal mortality and morbidity.

Moms need to be aware of the many changes their body goes through during pregnancy and delivery. While there will be discomfort, soreness and fatigue, they must understand that some conditions need medical attention. New mothers should be empowered to know and understand post-birth warning signs and encouraged to trust their instincts about their bodies. Together, we can make a difference and decrease the number of families tragically affected by maternal mortality.

Kamilah’s Story

Web Resources

America’s Health Rankings: Health of Women and Children Report, 2019

America’s Health Rankings: Maternal Mortality Trend in Arkansas, 2019

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)

California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC)

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System

Institute for Perinatal Quality Improvement (PQI)

March of Dimes

MERCK For Mothers

National Public Radio (NPR)

Special Series- Lost Mothers: Maternal Mortality in the U.S.

‘Near Miss’ Mothers: The Risk of Childbirth in America │ NPR

Review to Action

Working Together to Prevent Maternal Mortality

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Women’s Health Physicians (ACOG)

(The new ACOG website works best on current web browsers Firefox, Chrome, and Edge)[Maternal%20mortality]

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Patient Education

University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System (ANGELS) Provider Education, Programs and Services

Washington Post

Hundreds of women die each year from pregnancy issues. Most of the deaths could be prevented. – By Lindsay Bever, May 8 2019


Reviewed and Revised April 2020