Black moms three times more likely to die in childbirth than white moms

Giving birth can be dangerous, but a recent study says black moms are three and a half times more likely to die while giving birth than white moms. 

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According to a Vox report, the childbirth mortality rate in the United states is 12 per 100,000 live births for white women, while it is 40 per 100,000 live births for black mothers. 

Why is the gap so large?

Black women experience unique stress levels that white women do not, analysts said. They also believe race disparities and underlying health differences between the two groups play a role.

Despite the national issue, North Carolina has found a way to combat the problem. As of 2013, the childbirth mortality rates for white and black women were both 23 per 100,000 live births. 

The state’s Medicaid-run program called Pregnancy Medical Home makes it unique. The initiative, which focuses on low-income pregnant women, aims to prevent preterm birth. 

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Thanks to Medicaid financial reimbursements, any mom-to-be on Medicaid is screened for issues that could put her in danger. If doctors determine she is high risk, the patient is then connected with a pregnancy care manager, who find ways to reduce her health risks. 

“By tackling women’s health problems before she goes into labor, we mitigate her risk,” Kathryn Menard, director of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of North Carolina, told Vox. 

North Carolina’s Perinatal Quality Collaborative is also popular. It’s a program that works to improve mom and baby care.

But it isn’t the only state tackling childbirth deaths. California’s Maternal Quality Care Collaborative provides “toolkits” to health care professionals to help manage complications that could come along with child delivery.

Want to learn more? Read the full report here

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