During and following pregnancy, severe bleeding (hemorrhage) and abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension) are leading causes of maternal mortality. About 700 pregnancy-related deaths occur in the United States each year. Every pregnancy-related death is tragic, especially because about two thirds are preventable.
Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women – and this disparity increases with age. For Black women in particular, preeclampsia/eclampsia is the leading cause of maternal death, followed by postpartum cardiomyopathy, embolism, and hemorrhage. Primary reasons for health disparities include the following:
- Distrust of health institutions
- Socioeconomic status
- Variation in quality healthcare
- Access to healthcare
- Underlying chronic conditions
- Racism and implicit bias
- Abortion access
Social determinants of health have historically impacted racial and ethnic minority groups from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health. Social determinants of health are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.
Our mission is to provide better patient outcomes for all women.
How Women’s Health Arizona is Reducing Maternal Mortality
- Through adhering to hemorrhage and hypertension safety protocols that are followed by all Women’s Health Arizona providers and affiliated hospitals
- By helping patients manage chronic conditions
- By listening to pregnant and postpartum concerns and communicating warning signs
- With use of tools to flag warning signs
- By coordinating ongoing healthcare for women before, during, and after pregnancy
- With culturally-congruent care: Being aware and inclusive of our patients’ cultural values, beliefs, and practices when providing ObGyn care and services
Reduce Your Risk
Empower yourself and loved ones to recognize urgent maternal warning signs that could indicate a life-threatening situation.
- Talk to your ObGyn provider about your health concerns
- Seek immediate care if experiencing a severe headache, extreme swelling of hands or face, trouble breathing, heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge, or overwhelming tiredness
- Document and share your pregnancy history during each ObGyn visit until one year after delivery
- Maintain ongoing healthcare and social support systems before, during, and after pregnancy
- Working Together to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality
- Eliminating Preventable Maternal Mortality and Morbidity
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Women’s Health Arizona. As Arizona’s largest ObGyn group, we’re trained and solely dedicated to delivering the best ObGyn experience in convenient and comfortable settings around Phoenix.