Lack of midwives, postpartum care underlie high U.S. maternal mortality

A recent released report from the Commonwealth Fund attributes the high rate of maternal mortality in the United States to two principal factors. The nation has few midwives and a shortage of maternity care providers overall, and unlike other developed countries, does not guarantee access to home visits or parental leave during the postpartum period when women remain at risk for maternal death. The National Institutes of Health recently announced it will invest $21 million in research on racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related complications and deaths. African American and American Indian/Alaska Native women are at especially high risk for pregnancy-related deaths, most of which are estimated to be preventable. (Commonwealth Fund report, 11/18/20)