New report: More women are dying from pregnancy and childbirth

New report: More women are dying from pregnancy and childbirth


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- More women are dying from pregnancy and childbirth each year.

A new CDC report is detailing maternal mortality statistics in the U.S. from 2018 to 2021.

The data shows racial disparities in the numbers.

"It was not overtly surprising to me because we've seen in years past that both non-Hispanic Black patients and Hispanic nonwhite patients have had increased maternal mortality rates in comparison to their white counterparts. I think the reason why is something we're still - something we're trying to figure out," said UW Health's Dr. Michael Beninati.

In total, more than 1,200 women died of maternal causes in 2021. Doctors say this is a sharp increase from years prior.

"We've been watching maternal health for several years prior to the pandemic when we really saw a lot of things come out and maternal health really became the focus of a lot of conversations," said Dr. Nicole Salvo, OBGYN program director, Aurora Health Care.

Dr. Nicole Salvo says increasing age, high rate of caesarian deliveries, chronic illness, and limited access to prenatal health care are all risk factors.

"What we have found is a lot of maternal death in the country. A lot results from missed or delayed opportunities for treatment," said Dr. Salvo.

Doctors say they're focused on providing education and resources to ease the minds of their patients.

"I think that we should be utilizing as much of our time and resources as possible to figure out - one, why it's happening - and two, what we can do to get that trend moving in the right direction for Black patients as well as all patients," said Dr. Beninati.

On the national level, lawmakers have begun introducing policies to address the issue.

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