Join Us to Find Out What Explains the United States’ Dismal Maternal Mortality Rates

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Join us in Washington, D.C. at the Wilson Center (and online!) next Thursday, November 19 from 10a-12p EST to hear from experts from the federal to local level about what is driving the rising maternal mortality ratio and why African American women are faring the worst. From 1990 to 2013, the maternal mortality more than doubled in the United States from 12 to 28 deaths per 100,000 live births. Globally, the United States ranks worse than most developed nations, at 65th in the world. Contributing to these dismal numbers are deep inequities in health across race, socioeconomic status, and geography. Black women die at a rate that ranges from three to four times the rate of their white counterparts, a difference that has remained largely unchanged over six decades… read more

A Different Approach to Improving Childbirth

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By: Neel Shah, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, Associate Faculty at the Ariadne Labs for Health Systems Innovation and General Obstetrician-Gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

By Neel Shah, Associate Faculty at the Ariadne Labs for Health Systems Innovation

When it comes to childbirth, the United States of America seems to combine the problems of the third world and the first world into a perfect storm. On one hand, 50% of U.S. counties lack a qualified childbirth provider. No midwife. No obstetrician. No family medicine doctor that delivers babies. In broad swaths of the country, women routinely drive several hours to get to a hospital with a maternity ward. Currently, childbirth is the most common reason for hospitalization in the United States, and cesarean delivery is now the most common major surgery performed on Americans (one out of every three births). At the same time, nearly half of cesareans performed in the United States appear to be unnecessary with significant consequences for the safety, affordability and experience of care… read more