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Pregnancy Problems, Maternal Mortality at All-Time High

Are they caused by the COVID Vaccines?

Pregnancy Problems, Maternal Mortality at All-Time High
Pregnancy Problems, Maternal Mortality at All-Time High

On Oct. 29, 2022, Whitney Reising Oliver died. She was 22 weeks pregnant with her first child, a little boy she and her husband had named Felix. Their unborn son also died.

“Whit was so excited to be a mother and raise baby Felix in Chicago, IL—the city she loved, alive with her favorite art, culture, music, and food—and the city she called home for the past 17 years,” her obituary read. Oliver worked with artists with developmental disabilities and loved hiking, cooking, and cuddling her cocker spaniel Magic.

Unexpected, age-inappropriate death of otherwise healthy people is always shocking. But when a pregnant woman like Whitney Oliver and her unborn baby die, it seems even more devastating and tragic.

America’s Subpar Maternity Care

America has a state-of-the-art medical system and some of the best research universities in the world.

Scientists come to the United States from abroad to conduct meticulous medical research and contribute to advancing the art and science of medicine.

Most people don’t realize that for years, the United States has had one of the highest maternal mortality rates of any country in the industrialized world. America has an ignominiously high infant mortality rate as well.

And our abnormally high maternal mortality rates don’t include what experts call “near misses”—pregnancy complications so severe they cause a mom to come close to death.

According to a 2010 Amnesty International report, “Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA,” some 1.7 million women a year—a third of all pregnant women—have pregnancy-related complications, and over 68,000 experience a “near miss.”

But now our already subpar maternity care system (compared to other high-income countries), appears to be getting worse.

Skyrocketing Maternal Death Rate in 2021

According to a new report by the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2021, maternal deaths soared to their highest rates in almost 60 years. There was a 40 percent increase in the number of birthing moms who died during pregnancy or within 42 days of giving birth.

That translates into 1,205 pregnant women and postpartum moms who died in 2021 (over three women a day), compared to 861 women in 2020 and 754 in 2019.

This is the highest rate of maternal demise since 1965, according to newspaper reports.

These numbers are actually more concerning than they may first appear. The birth rate in the United States has been trending downward, so we would expect fewer women to die in or around childbirth in the past few years.

Why Are Birthing Women Dying?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main causes of pregnancy-related deaths are cardiovascular conditions, infection, cardiomyopathy, and hemorrhaging.

In the past, experts have blamed women, saying that the death rates in America are high because American women are overweight, are of “advanced maternal age” (even though being an older mom is also associated with longevity and other positive health outcomes), or don’t seek out enough maternity care.

Other experts, including the late Marsden Wagner, M.D., a perinatologist and epidemiologist who worked for the World Health Organization for 15 years, and California-based obstetrician Stuart Fischbein, M.D., blame the system.

These pundits point out that overly medicalized birth often leads to the worst outcomes; that unnecessary cesarean birth sharply increases maternal mortality; and that systemic racism in the society at large as well as in the medical system, makes birth much riskier for African-American women and people of color.

What do you think?

Written by colinnew

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