What are the states with the highest rates of maternal mortality?

What Causes Maternal Mortality, and How Is the Government Working to Reduce It?

Mental health conditions accounted for the largest proportion of pregnancy-related deaths (23%), followed by excessive bleeding (14%) and cardiac issues (13%). Other causes included infections, blood clots, and hypertensive disorders.

Primary causes of pregnancy-related death varied by race and ethnicity. Cardiac issues were the main cause for non-Hispanic Black women, mental health conditions for Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women, and hemorrhage for non-Hispanic Asian women. Because of this, the CDC recommends using the leading causes of death by race and ethnicity to create life-saving interventions for pregnant women.

The CDC’s Eliminate Maternal Mortality Program partners with state and local-level Maternal Mortality Review Committees in 39 states. These committees are made up of gynecologists, midwives, nurses, mental health professionals, and patient advocates who collaborate to implement interventions aimed at preventing pregnancy-related deaths.

To learn more about health in the US, read about how states are using doulas to improve birth outcomes. Get the data directly in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter.