Advocacy, Jennifer's Personal Notes

Failure of maternal mortality reporting

I encourage you to read this commentary on the failure of the United States to adequately report maternal mortality.1 You may know I began my journey from childbirth educator and doula to nurse midwife and researcher because I became aware of the global burden of maternal mortality. Maternal deaths are overwhelmingly unnecessary, even in the United States about half of the maternal deaths could have been prevented with proper treatment.2

When I began my ten year journey in 2007, I fully expected I would be working in a developing country strengthening an under-funded health system and advocating for the right for women to receive care. When I began I had no idea that as the rest of the world reduced their rate of maternal mortality, my country’s rate was increasing. I knew I would be working to train nurses and midwives in places where there were shortages of obstetric care, but I didn’t realize that place would be the United States.

I welcome you to also be part of the solution.  Advocate for real maternal mortality reporting. Here is the latest maternal mortality review from Georgia, where I live.  If your state does not have a review committee, ask your legislature to create one.  If you do have a review committee, get copies of the reports and start talking about this problem.

MacDorman MF, Declercq E. The failure of United States maternal mortality reporting and its impact on women’s lives. B. January 2018. doi: 10.1111/birt12333
Geller SE, Koch AR, Martin NJ, Rosenberg D, Bigger HR. Assessing preventability of maternal mortality in Illinois: 2002-2012. A. 2014;211(6):698.e1-698.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2014.06046
Jennifer (Author)