Maternal and Infant Mortality Rate in the US Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Pregnancy, Death, Risk, Children, United States

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2019/10/11


Losing a loved one is a very painful experience especially when someone is lost through maternal means. As far as culture diversity is concerned, many communities around the world have different expectations when it comes to maternal mortality on whether to lose the baby or the mom. In most communities, they opt for the child to die and the mom to survive while in others, they prefer the baby to survive and lose the mom even though such believers are very minimal around the world. Maternal mortalities of both the mothers and the infants are increasing at a very high level around the world with the United States of America being the best recipient with the highest number of infant mortalities behind Bosnia. Maternal mortality is a situation where a mother succumbs to motilities through hemorrhage hypertension or heart attack at delivery.

According to the experts estimation, there are more than fifty instances that are complication related to pregnancies for each birth Within the first twenty four hours of childbirth in the world, it is reported that approximately two million babies die just few hours after birth and with the United States of America reported to have the second worst highest infant mortality rate in the modern developed world. This is according to the newly released report. During their first months, babies in the United States of America are more likely to die as the ones born in Japan, and infant deaths is two point five times higher in United States than in Iceland, Norway or Finland. This is according to reliable painstaking researches. The only country that beats The United States of America in high infant mortalities is Latvia with 6 deaths out of one thousand birth rates. Given the fact that the United States of America has a high number of neonatologists as well as neonatal intensive care unit beds for each person as compared to the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, its infant mortality rate is on the higher side as compared to any of these countries. A well analyzed and confirmed data from the governments, international agencies and various research institutions discovered higher infant mortality rates among the American disadvantaged groups as well as the minorities.

One hundred and twenty five countries are ranked according to the ten gauges of well being, 6 for mothers and 4 for children; this included objective measures like lifetime mortality risk for the mothers as well as infant mortality rates and even the subjective measures like women’s political status. According to the chief executive officer of save the children, President Charles McCormack, the report card indicated the direct link between the mother’s status and their children’s status. This means that, in governments which mothers do well, their children also do well. The president said this with a report accompanied by a written statement.

Doctor Michael Lu a public health’s a Gynecology and Obstetrics UCLA Associate professor, commenced a presentation at eNews concerning the mortality rates of infants which  he termed as disgraceful with a promise of Africa. He said in that promise that America was failing to in illustrating the extent of its failure concerning the infant mortality rates among black mothers who were termed as the most affected by the mortality rates as compared to the white mothers whereby they were expected to be born as twice under weight as compared to the white children just as they were as well likely to be twice prematurely born and also more likely to lose their lives at infancy. The rate of African American mothers dying during childbirth was also estimated to be at seventy percent reason being the assumption those African-American women were genetically predisposed (Lu,  2010)

According to The Daily Beast reports there is an alarming rise of mortalities of mothers during their child birthing. This occurs through obesity epidemic, hemorrhage and largely through caesarean section. Through its reliable investigator Danielle Friedman, on maternal deaths and their possible causes, She gives an example of a thirty seven year old mother who lost her life after successfully giving birth to a healthy bouncing baby girl due to the carelessness of doctors who assumed that, all was well with the her health because she looked healthy during her pregnancy and therefore neglected to check on her healthy regularly for other complications. She met her death after she unsuccessfully delivered the placenta leading to the unsuccessfully surgery performed on her to remove the placenta but only for the doctors to realize two days later that they had lost her due to hemorrhage. Her sudden death raised so many questions as per to why the doctors paid less attention to her during her pregnancy and after giving birth more so after the operation. Was it not for the carelessness of the doctors, the death would not have occurred, sentiments echoed by her widower Mr. Brian Muffy, when telling The Daily Beast.

According to Friedman, over the past twenty years, maternal mortality rate in the United States of America has almost doubled with each year recording about five hundred deaths of women due to pregnancy-related complications. Shocking still, among the industrialized nations, the United States of America is ranked at terrible position of forty first by the WHO’s list of maternal mortality rates behind states like Bosnia and south Korea even though the US  spends a huge amount of money on maternal care than any country in the world. The daily beast reveals that there are several explanations attached to these mysteries some of them being; Skyrocketing Caesarean Rates whereby, Friedman argues that before caesarean sections were advanced to be as safe as they are purported to be today, and even after the government of America pumping of money into this sector, one out of three women currently give birth through surgical procedures as compared to ten years ago where one out of five maternal women gave birth through caesarean section. Following this, the WHO indicates that America’s caesarian rate should not exceed fifteen percent meaning that more than a half of the Caesarean procedures in America are medically unnecessary sins since these high caesarean rates are related to maternal mortality rates. This is simply because more than eighty percent of women who deliver through surgical births are more likely to undergo re-hospitalization as compared to women who give birth normally through a vagina. Chances are that, the caesarean women are four times more likely to die due to complications like hemorrhage and pulmonary embolism.

Obesity among pregnant moms is also another factor influencing maternal rates in the United States of America. Despite serious risks, obese women in America are giving birth. Centers for disease control in US indicate that one over five women become obese during the beginning of their pregnancies. Such women are at risk of getting more health complications like diabetes, high blood pressure and hypertension which possibly leads to fatal conditions such as preeclampsia. In US, eighteen percent of maternal losses are caused by preeclampsia whereby as compared to the past decade, this condition has deteriorated by growing up to forty percent. Due to soft tissues impeding delivery, sometimes labor becomes difficult among obese women. These women are also at a danger for delivering overweight babies which will need caesarean procedure and also develop heart problems and post partum infections. Another

A disparity in accessing care among pregnant women in the US is also another challenge that causes maternal immortalities. It is reported that one in five of women who are t the age of child bearing, are not insured. Over the past decades, the health care system in the US widely grew forcing the existence of economic disparities. In many states, most of the poor women do qualify for medical cover once they get pregnant to but only to be dropped later. According to the Amnesty International reports, most of these women are dropped just six weeks after giving birth. A maternal health expert Dr. Gene Declercq who is based at the school of public health in Boston University, terms such women as baby delivery vessels due to the limited attention that they are accorded.

According to Kaplan, if a woman develops complications like hypertension and diabetes, in her first pregnancy, the dangerous cycle begin there. On the process, the women’s condition deteriorates since she is not capable of affording the proper medical care for her situation. Worst still, such women are not in positions to afford even to help prevent pregnancies and they usually end up getting pregnancies repeatedly whereby most of the times, they get themselves into greater dangers. This happens until by the time they get back to Medicaid’s for their next pregnancies, they are not in good conditions. The good news to such women in the United States of America is that, approximately fifteen million people are going to access Medicaid’s according to the proposed health-care reforms which are expected to make Medicaid’s easily accessible whereby this will include maternal and prenatal care (Kaplan, 2010)

Another condition that triggers the maternal mortality rate is Unnecessary Medical Interventions such as through Caesarean sections where drugs are induced to sooth labor as well as the devices that are put in place to screen how the condition of the heart and how it beats. All these devices are meant to save women’s lives but sometimes they turn out to complicate lives of those women who are healthy by creating a new problem. When these interventions are unprofessionally applied to a pregnant woman, or rather performed inconveniently or unnecessarily, they can cause Urinal Track Infection to some women. These problems have been highly reported in most of the developed countries since they are technologically advanced. It is also reported that forty percent of women in labor are induced unlike the other developed countries where inducements are only applied as the last option. These drugs trigger lots chains of complications to women aggressive contractions being an example. Loudon reiterates that initially, deliveries that were undertaken at home by trained supervised midwives were lowest as compared to those taken in hospitals (Loudon, 2010)

Older mothers at their forties are as well at risk of maternal mortality rates. Women of thirty five years and above are likely to suffer from gestational diabetes among many other complications since they are most likely to deliver twins or even multiples, usually, multiples are more risky to deliver as compared to a single birth and this applies to both babies and mothers. In this case, moms who are over forty years of age are expected to lose more lives as compared to as compared to those young moms.

Another major reason as per to why higher mortality rates are recorded is due to poor birth education. In the present United States birth is reported to be increasingly medicalized and due to this fact, most women are ignorantly suffering from lack of knowledge in decision making as far as childbirth is concerned. Women who are low income learners do not have enough to money to access proper health care lessons and as a result, they are ignorant of ideal expectant mothers’ medication a well as the type of activities to engage in as well as the activities they should not engage themselves in. Some of these activities are smoking, drinking and even excessive eating some foods that are not good for pregnant moms just to mention a few. It has been also detected that during C- section, women feel powerless to an extent that they even lose control of their birth experience. Due to fatigue, being overworked and weeping repeatedly, these women are not in a good position to direct some the questions to since they cannot be able to make any informed decision.


Lu, M. (2010): Is Racism Behind High Infant Mortality Rates among African-American.

Derived October 6, 2010 from

Friedman, D. (2000): The Beast New York.

Kaplan, D. (2010): Health freedom alliance. Derived October 6, 2010 from

Loudon, (2000): Maternal mortality in the past and its relevance to developing countries today.