Saturday, January 21, 2012

US Maternal Mortality Crisis?


Back in '08 I wrote about this book I still feel every person should read.
Every person.
Required reading for college freshman seminar.
That's how important this book is.
Did I say required?

I continue to be passionate about birth (I was told this passion would subside the further from that stage of life I was ... I now don't have the opportunity to pull out my soap box regularly but I still feel passionate!).

On the Pushed blog there was recently this frightening image from Amnesty International with statistics backing the term "The U.S. Maternal Health Care Crisis".

Now, I know there are concerns about maternal health care in this country - but a "crisis"?
Well, if one considers a pregnant woman nearly dies every 15 minutes in this country due to pregnancy related complications a high frequency
that 49 countries have a lower maternal mortality ratios than this country is ridiculous (and yet, according to Science and Sensibility the average cost of maternal health care is twice as high in the US as any other country) (An additional side note: the US has the highest maternity related deaths when compared to all developed nations. Countries with lower maternal mortality include Kuwait, Bulgaria, Croatia, Turkey, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, and more, obviously)

as stated on the amnesty U.S. maternal health care website 6.6 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 and in 2006 there were 13.3 deaths per 100,000 live births

that's sounds pretty critical to me.

The solution? How are other countries saving more of their moms and babies?
Pregnancy does not always end in a live baby or a live mother.
But we can obviously increase the chances of healthy mom and baby.
But how?

There's a growing demand for home births.
This seems like the place to start.
Obstetricians dictionary definition: "A physician or surgeon qualified to practice in obstetrics"
Wait, a surgeon? At birth?
98% of pregnancies are healthy.
So why are less than 1% of pregnancies experiencing minimal intervention through a home birth?
It doesn't make sense to me that a qualified surgeon would spend their time sitting patiently with women while they go through their birth process.

What do you think the solution is? Is there a solution for this country? Is the above even a crisis? We may be listed as 49 but the maternal death rates are so so low when ranking the top countries, does it matter?

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