Black Women are 3 to 4 Times More Likely to Die During Pregnancy or Delivery

Black Women are 3 to 4 Times More Likely to Die During Pregnancy or Delivery
May 6, 2019

While the number of women dying during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased overall, a disproportionate number of black women are dying during child delivery or soon thereafter. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recently found that between 700 and 1,200 women die each year in the United States due to complications from pregnancy. However, data from the CDC tells the story of racial disparity, noting that black women have a three to four times greater chance of dying from these complications.

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution recently wrote about this disparity and noted that it is happening regardless of the woman’s income level or education. As an example, the article discussed famed tennis star Serena Williams’ recent experience. Serena is prone to blood clots and when she started having shortness of breath the day after giving birth, she told a nurse she needed blood thinners. Despite her status as a high-profile athlete, her concerns were initially dismissed. It was only after her insistence that doctors explored further and found that she had numerous small blood clots in her lungs.

As a country, we can and should do better. All moms giving birth deserve to have their concerns listened to and addressed. Most healthcare providers do this and more, but sometimes the concerns of new mothers, and especially black mothers, are disregarded. When this happens it can cause significant pain and suffering, and in the worst cases, death. If you or a family member have had such an experience, please call the Warshauer Woodward Atkins for a free consultation.