"Maternal mortality" is a clinical-sounding term that may mask what it describes: Women who die from pregnancy complications, during or shortly after birth, or from health conditions exacerbated by pregnancy.
It's expressed as a rate, a number per-100,000 births. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and it's rising. From 2000 to 2015, U.S. rates rose from 17.1 per 100,000 births, to 25.1 - a 47 percent increase. The reasons are complex, from lack of access to medical care, to demographics, to cultural barriers.
In this edition of HealthConnections, Dr. Carole Myers discusses maternal mortality, and its causes and its effects on the U.S. and Tennessee.