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Maternal Mortality

Maternal Mortality is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 1 year of the end of a pregnancy –regardless of the outcome, duration or site of the pregnancy–from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.

According to the CDC, approximately 700 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications, with 47.2% of them being black/African American.


Women die as a result of complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these complications develop during pregnancy and most are preventable or treatable. Other complications may exist before pregnancy but are worsened during pregnancy, especially if not managed as part of the woman’s care.


The major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths are:

  • severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth)

  • infections (usually after childbirth)

  • high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia)

  • complications from delivery

  • unsafe abortion


The remainder are caused by or associated with diseases such as malaria, and AIDS during pregnancy.

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