The following is a student blog post by a Hope Staves
Lack of Prenatal Care
In the USA 23,000 infants die each year ( 2014) 6 out of every 1,000 live births.
For this review, I want to focus on the lack of prenatal care in the USA.
More and more women do not have the resources, income, or understanding of the importance of prenatal care.
Most pregnancies are unplanned there for not all are at a healthy state.
In 1986 the CDC initiated national surveillance of pregnancy-related deaths because more clinical information was needed to fill data gaps about causes of maternal death.
According to a recent World Health Organization study (WHO), for every 100,000 births in the U.S. last year, about 17.8 women died due in large part to medical complications that arose during or after pregnancy—things like congenital heart disease, diabetes, obesity and kidney problems. Meanwhile, maternal mortality rates in other developed countries like Canada, France, and Japan are on the decline. For every 1 woman who dies, 50 suffer from complications.
Researchers believe that the uptick in the U.S. maternal mortality rate is due mainly to three factors: a decline in overall health, including increased rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease, inadequate prenatal care, and inadequate postpartum care. We are suffering from stress, poor diets, not enough physical exercise and not enough support during or after childbirth. We need to eat food not food like products.
For those women who do receive adequate prenatal care, less and less time is spent with a doctor or midwife during visits. Even labor is sped up- or set up for convenience.
Modern medicine for obstetricians is finding and treating the symptoms. We are no longer learning how to deliver breech babies or multiples vaginally.
We have instated the EmOc which covers a basic and a comprehensive signal function.
The EmOc has helped decline the death toll by 47%! So why are we still seeing our numbers increase in America? The answer is preexisting conditions and lack of prenatal care .
Because of our lack of care more and more emergencies take place to protect both mother and child.
We also see more and more mortality rates in the 1st year and postpartum depression rises because most health plans in the United States only cover a single visit to a health care provider around six weeks after birth unless the woman has a recognized complication. It’s kind of crazy when you consider that in many countries in Europe, multiple home visits following birth are standard for all women. Some of these women never receive health care again till they become pregnant again.
In the U.S., however, the focus tends to be almost entirely on the baby. That’s despite the fact that, according to the research, increasing quality postpartum care in the United States would help reduce maternal deaths by preventing complications like infection, deep vein thrombosis, and postpartum hemorrhage that can develop after women have returned home.
So what can WE do? Start by support those you know and love. Offer rides to appointments. Offer them a meal when they have a child. Something I noticed in all the case studies in this course was, every rural country had a community of support. We too need this in the United States. We need to stand and help one another.
Find local resources you can share with those you know. Be kind. Be Brave. Be an advocate for human rights and birth. For every mother, child, and family. For those who are enduring the hardest trials in their lives because the statistics were not on their side.
Our health is so important not only for ourselves but our future generations. We need to fight these preexisting conditions.
We need to give these moms and children a chance to thrive.
Maternal Health is a Human Right
One of my favorite quotes from this course was from Mahmoud Fathalla
“Women are not dying of diseases we can’t treat… They are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving.”
Emory University for the course “Childbirth: A Global Perspective