Every pregnant woman looks forward to the day that she will finally meet the baby she has been growing in her womb. The anticipation and excitement can be heightened by the joy of finally being able to hold the baby in her arms and begin the journey into motherhood. Unfortunately, not all pregnancies come to a happy conclusion. Each year, thousands of pregnant women die, either before or after childbirth. What are the causes of these deaths, and how can they be prevented?
According to verywellhealth, One of the leading causes of pregnant women dying before and after childbirth is high blood pressure, also known as prenatal hypertension. When diagnosed during pregnancy, it is referred to as preeclampsia, and can cause maternal mortality if it is left untreated. Symptoms of preeclampsia include elevated blood pressure, protein in the urine, and swelling in the hands and face. Other complications can include seizures or sudden organ failure. If diagnosed in time, preeclampsia can often be managed with bed rest, good nutrition, and medications.
Another cause of maternal mortality is premature labor and delivery. Premature babies are more likely to suffer from health complications, such as breathing difficulties, and need specialized care. Many of these babies will spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit. In extreme cases, when a mother goes into preterm labor, she may be admitted for emergency care and ultimately, may not survive the labor and delivery.
Risk of maternal mortality also increases if the baby is considered a high-risk birth. Complications such as gestational diabetes, placenta previa, or a birth defect may all contribute to higher death rates for the mother and child. Instances of postpartum hemorrhage, or bleeding in the mother due to the separation of the placenta, can also contribute to maternal death.
Women are at an increased risk of death in certain parts of the world due to cultural, religious, and economic reasons. For example, women in some parts of the world may be unable to access professional medical care due to lack of health insurance, poverty, or other factors. In addition, some cultures may not allow certain medical procedures, such as C-sections, which can be critical during delivery.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the maternal mortality rate. Health care providers should take steps to educate patients on the dangers of high-risk pregnancies and offer appropriate medical interventions to reduce their risk. Women need to be encouraged to access antenatal care and detect any problematic issues early on in the pregnancy. It is also important that healthcare providers take patients’ cultural beliefs into account and respect their wishes when it comes to the type of care they receive.
Making sure that women have access to proper health care, both during and after pregnancy, is essential to addressing the causes of maternal death. Instituting prenatal and postpartum care, as well as education about the common risks for pregnant women, can help reduce the numbers of women who die each year. The World Health Organization has developed a goal of reducing the number of maternal deaths to no more than 70 per 100,000 births by 2030, and has developed strategies to help minimize maternal mortality.
In sum, while every pregnancy carries some degree of risk, it is important to remember that many of the causes of maternal death can be prevented. With proper medical care, education, and resources, mothers can ensure that their pregnancies are as safe and healthy as possible. Taking these steps today can ensure that more pregnant women survive before, during, and after childbirth in the future.
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