Research shows that when you deliver a baby, your chances of experiencing complications or maternal death are higher if you are a minority than if you are white. The risks you and other minority women across Ohio and the nation face when giving birth also increase as you age.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you are a Black, American Indian or Alaska Native female, your chance of dying during childbirth is between two and three times higher than that of a white woman. Research shows that this trend persists nationwide. This raises important questions about what health care systems should do to reduce disparities in maternal mortality rates.
Statistics on pregnancy-related mortality
Statistics show that you face the highest risk of a pregnancy-related death as a non-Hispanic Black or Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native. If you are an American Indian or Alaska Native who is over 30, you face a pregnancy-related mortality rate between four and five times higher than that faced by white women.
Certain pregnancy-related complications, such as cardiomyopathy and certain hypertensive disorders linked to pregnancy, are also more common among Black women than white women.
How health care providers reduce disparities
Health care providers may be able to help reduce disparities among women of different ethnicities by improving the quality of care they provide. Enacting new protocols and standards of care may, too, help. Educating health care workers about implicit bias in health care may also help reduce pregnancy-related death rates among minorities.
Data suggests that the majority of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. Raising awareness about warning signs may help reduce pregnancy-related deaths. Expanding access to quality health care and improving diagnostic rates may do the same.