According to a recent study, maternal mortality rates have doubled in the US over the past 20 years, with deaths among black mothers being the highest.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), American Indian and Alaska Native women experienced the biggest increases.
According to the study, maternal mortality rates were highest in southern states regardless of race or ethnicity.
A maternal death is one that occurs during pregnancy or within a year of it.
According to the research, which did not look at data from the pandemic years, there were approximately 12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1999, and in 2019 that number increased to 32.2 deaths per 100,000 live births.
In contrast to other studies, this one tracked five racial and ethnic groups and looked at differences within states rather than national rates.
One of the study's authors, Dr. Allison Bryant, stated that the results should spur people to take action because they "should understand that some of it is about health care and access to health care, but a lot of it is about structural racism.".
Some current laws and practices, according to her, "may prevent people from being healthy.".
According to the study, black women had the highest median maternal death rate per 100,000 live births, and over a 20-year period, it tripled in some northeastern states.
"Southern states are frequently cited as having the highest rates of maternal mortality in the country, while California and Massachusetts have the lowest rates. But that doesn't cover everything, according to Dr. Bryant.
"It's crucial to consider the population gaps that exist even in the "best" states. ".
Statistics showed that while maternal mortality rates in southern states were the highest for any demographic, black women's rates were particularly high.
According to the study, American Indian and Alaskan Native women died at the highest rates in the Midwest and Great Plains states.
A budget bill that includes $4.4m (£3.47m) for a maternal mortality prevention plan was recently signed by Missouri Governor Mike Parson.
Across the socioeconomic spectrum, maternal mortality rates for black women have long been a problem.
US Olympic sprinting champion Tori Bowie passed away in May at the age of 32 due to complications during childbirth, according to her agent.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common causes of death within a year of pregnancy include mental health issues, excessive bleeding, cardiac issues, high blood pressure associated with pregnancy, infections, and blood clots.
The JAMA study had some limitations, including the fact that the cause of maternal death information was not always available to the researchers and that during the course of the study, US death certificates began to reflect maternal deaths differently.
According to Dr. Bryant, there would be a "continued increase in the risk of maternal mortality across all populations" if they were to study the years following 2019 during Covid-19.