According to fresh data, the number of pregnant women who passed away in the United States in 2022 had a considerable decline, marking a significant reduction from a six-decade peak during the epidemic.
According to the final total that was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, more than 1,200 women in the United States passed away in 2021 either during their pregnancy or in the immediate postpartum period. According to preliminary statistics provided by the government, there were 733 maternal fatalities in the year 2022; however, it is anticipated that the final figure will be higher.
According to the officials, the rate of maternal deaths is on course to come near to pre-pandemic levels by the year 2022. Yet, this is not a good thing: the rate that existed prior to COVID-19 was the highest that it had been in many years.
From the very worst to almost as bad as the very worst? Omari Maynard, a resident of New York whose spouse passed away in 2019 after giving birth to their kid, stated that “I wouldn’t really call it an achievement.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps track of the deaths of mothers who pass away before, during, or up to 42 days after giving birth. The most common reasons are excessive bleeding, obstructions in the blood vessels, and infections.
Experts think that COVID-19 was the primary factor responsible for the increase in cases in 2021. The virus poses a particular threat to pregnant women. Some activists believe that overworked physicians may have contributed to the danger by failing to listen to the concerns of pregnant women.
Around 33 mothers passed away for every 100,000 babies that were born alive in the year 2021. 1964 was the most recent year in which the government recorded a rate that was that high.
According to Eugene Declercq, who has studied maternal mortality for a significant amount of time at Boston University, what took place “isn’t that hard to explain.” “COVID was the cause of the increase.”
Previous studies conducted by the government came to the conclusion that the COVID would be responsible for one-fourth of all maternal deaths in the years 2020 and 2021. This means that the entire increase in maternal deaths was caused by coronavirus infections or the pandemic’s broader effect on health care. According to a recent research that was published by BMJ Global Health, pregnant women who were infected with the coronavirus had an almost eight times increased risk of death compared to their counterparts who were not infected with the virus.
Women who are pregnant already have bodies that are under stress, with their hearts having to work harder than normal. Their situation may become more delicate as a result of other health concerns. In addition to this, Dr. Elizabeth Cherot, the chief medical and health officer for the March of Dimes, stated that “COVID is going to make all that much worse.”
The dishearteningly low immunisation rates among pregnant women in 2021, particularly among Black women, did not improve the situation and were a contributing factor. This was due in part to the low quantity of vaccines that were available, as well as the fact that the CDC did not completely recommend vaccinations for pregnant women until August of 2021.
Samantha Griffin, who owns a doula service that primarily assists families of colour in the Washington, District of Columbia area, stated that “initially there was a lot of mistrust of the vaccine in Black communities.” Griffin is quoted as saying that “there was a lot of mistrust of the vaccine in Black communities.”
Yet, there is more to it than that, as she and others pointed out in their comments. In 2021, the rate of maternal mortality for black women was about three times as high as it was for white women. In addition, the maternal mortality rate for Hispanic American women in that year was 54% higher than it had been in 2020, making it higher than the mortality rate for white mothers.
After more than a year of the epidemic, a large number of physicians and nurses were reporting that they were exhausted, and they were also spending less face-to-face contact with patients.
According to Griffin, healthcare providers in those days “were needing to make hasty choices and maybe weren’t listening to their patients as much.” “Ladies were complaining that they didn’t feel listened when they voiced their concerns that they believed anything was amiss.”
Maynard, who is 41 years old and resides in Brooklyn, disclosed that he and his partner had that encounter in 2019.
Shamony Gibson, who was 30 years old and in good health, was about to give birth to their second child. Up until the point where her contractions stopped advancing and she had to undergo a caesarean section, the pregnancy went off without a hitch.
Their baby Khari was delivered in September, despite the fact that the procedure was more complex than they had anticipated. Maynard reported that a few days later, Shamony started complaining of chest problems and had a hard time breathing. According to him, the medical professionals advised her that all she needed to do was unwind and give her body time to recuperate from the pregnancy.
Her condition began to deteriorate more than a week after she had given birth, and she pleaded with her husband to take her to the hospital. Then her heart stopped beating, and those who cared about her phoned for assistance. According to Maynard, the primary concern of the emergency medical personnel and the fire fighters was whether or not Gibson was under the influence of illegal narcotics. She was not.
She was taken to the hospital, but a blood clot in her lungs caused her to pass away the next day. Her newborn boy has 13 days under his belt.
Maynard, an artist who now participates in speaking engagements as an advocate for maternal health, stated that “She was not being heard at all.”