The study is observational and focuses on the mortality of women shortly after giving birth. According to the author, maternal, mortality has increased to more than double what it was a few decades ago. The increase can be attributed to better administrative practices including the adoption of the new ICD-10 form that captures maternal mortality. Maternal mortality in the U.S. has risen while that of other developed countries continues to decrease. The study also explains that there is a vast divide in maternal mortality amongst the races with the rate being three times higher in black women as compared to white women.
The goal of the study was to find out whether there has been an actual increase in maternal mortality in the U.S. or the change is resulting from better recording practices. The population of the study is American women. The variables of interest in the study included the race of the women who die from maternal mortality. Another variable was the cause of the death which was reported as hemorrhage, obstructed labor, sepsis, and hypertension, abortive outcome, indirect or direct and late. Maternal mortality in the U.S. is highly affected by the postnatal care the mother receives (May 2008). Another variable of interest was a comparison of the maternal mortality of the U.S. about other developed countries.
One of the conclusions from the study is that improved recording methods can only explain a small percentage of the deaths reported during pregnancy and childbirth. Another conclusion is that poor health including overweight, hypertension and diabetes; present in women before their even conceive is a great contributor to maternal mortality (Fine 2015). Another conclusion is that poor prenatal and postnatal care contributes significantly to maternal mortality. A potential flaw in this study is that some of the deaths accepted as maternal mortality may not be childbirth or pregnancy-related. For example, the deaths recorded by the ICD-10 form may have resulted from other causes other than maternal mortality.
May I. (2008). Maternal Death in the United States: A Problem Solved or a Problem Ignored? The Journal of Perinatal Education. 17(2). 9-13.
Fine D. (2015, June 8). Has Maternal Mortality Really Doubled in the U.S.? Scientific American.