Until the 1930s, roughly 1 percent of American mothers died during childbirth. While medical advances reduced that rate to about eight deaths per 100,000 births by 1987, since that time the rate of mortality during childbirth has increased to about 18.5 deaths per 100,000 births. These figures are based on mothers who passed away within 42 days of giving birth to their child.
Between 2003 and 2013, America was one of eight countries including Afghanistan and the South Sudan to see this number increase. There are two reasons as to why the rate is increasing so dramatically. First, those who study the issue believe that a new cause-of-death coding system has made it easier to keep track of deaths during pregnancy. Second, it may be due to the fact that women are having babies later in life.
In a five-year period from 2006 to 2010, women over the age of 35 made up 27 percent of pregnancy-related deaths despite only making up 15 percent of live births. Ultimately, physicians say that women may be in poorer health before and during their pregnancy, which may put them at a higher risk while pregnant. In some cases, pregnant women are unable to get access to the care that they need or are limited in the amount of care that they do have access to.
Doctors who are not able to diagnose an issue during a pregnancy that leads to pregnancy-related injuries could be held liable for their actions. Families who find themselves in this type of a situation may wish to speak with a medical malpractice attorney in order to determine the remedies that they may have.