The number of women who die giving birth in America each year has nearly doubled in the last two decades.

The United States has higher rates of maternal deaths than 45 other countries and is the only developed country with a consistently rising maternal mortality rate.

The U.S. is facing a maternal health crisis.

Provider shortages

Nearly half of all counties in the United States do not have a single obstetrician providing maternity care.

Lack of Insurance

There are 11 million uninsured women ages 19-64 in the U.S.

Chronic Conditions

High blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity create added risks during pregnancy, especially for uninsured women.

Over-medicalization

The United States’s national cesarean section rate is nearly 32%.

Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities

Chronic stress and systemic and interpersonal racism contribute to a higher risk of complications and death for women of color.

Lack of Comprehensive, Coordinated Care

A lack of access to needed support services and a fragmented system contributes to poor outcomes and disparities.

Disrespectful Treatment

Too often, women report being ignored, belittled, or pressured by their care providers.

DR. CRISTINA GAMBOA, OBGYN,

one of many doctors helping women access quality care, provides a prenatal visit for an expectant mother in a clinic on the central coast of California.

We’re putting maternal health on the map.

Click on the map to explore maternal health statistics in each state.

Giving Birth in America: Expert Commentary

As part of our Giving Birth in America series, we created educational videos featuring insights from a variety of health care providers. Hear from OBGYNs, L&D nurses, midwives, family practice doctors, maternal fetal specialists, professors, policy makers, lawyers, researchers, and social workers – as they cover maternal health topics in greater depth. These perspectives help to paint a fuller picture of the contributing factors to the maternal health crisis in the United States. Topics include racism and discrimination, background and explanation on different provider roles, systematic complexities and barriers to providing care, immigration barriers, mental health, collaborative care, insurance barriers, complications in pregnancy and childbirth, and post-partum care.

Rebekah Gee

Rebekah Gee

MD, Ob/Gyn and Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health