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Childbirth deadlier for Americans, especially Black women, study finds

Childbirth is deadlier in the United States than in any other high-income nation, according to a study released Tuesday by the Commonwealth Fund that underscores the persistence of maternal mortality.

More than 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States are preventable, but factors including a shortage of maternity care providers, limited access to after-birth home visits and lack of guaranteed paid parental leave have increased the risk of maternal mortality, especially for Black people, researchers have found.

In 2022, about 22 maternal deaths happened for every 100,000 live births in the United States. For Black people, that number rose sharply to 49.5 deaths per 100,000, according to the report from the Commonwealth Fund, which conducts independent research on health-care issues. Two out of three maternal deaths occur up to 42 days after birth, highlighting the importance of postpartum care, which only some state Medicaid programs and private health insurers cover.


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