Support the news

U.S. Has The Worst Rate Of Maternal Deaths In The Developed World

The story of Lauren Bloomstein illustrates a disparity in our nation's health care system, where primary focus is given to newborn babies, but often ignores the mothers. (Bryan Anselm for ProPublica)
The story of Lauren Bloomstein illustrates a disparity in our nation's health care system, where primary focus is given to newborn babies, but often ignores the mothers. (Bryan Anselm for ProPublica)
This article is more than 2 years old.

NPR and ProPublica teamed up for a six-month long investigation on maternal mortality in the U.S. Among our key findings:

  • More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. Only in the U.S. has the rate of women who die been rising.
  • There's a hodgepodge of hospital protocols for dealing with potentially fatal complications, allowing for treatable complications to become lethal.
  • Hospitals — including those with intensive care units for newborns — can be woefully unprepared for a maternal emergency.
  • Federal and state funding show only 6 percent of block grants for "maternal and child health" actually go to the health of mothers.
  • In the U.S, some doctors entering the growing specialty of maternal-fetal medicine were able to complete that training without ever spending time in a labor-delivery unit.

Read and listen to the full report here.

Nina Martin is a reporter for ProPublica.

Copyright NPR 2019.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news