Taking a deeper look into the challenges after childbirth

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When you think about childbirth, your mind might jump to the love, happiness, and joy that comes with bringing new life into this world.

The process of childbirth does not always go as planned, but not every woman has a smooth birthing experience; some will experience complications that can result in maternal motility!

“It is the death of any mother, regardless of cause during the pregnancy or any time up until the six weeks after having a delivery. So 42 days after delivery of any type cesarean, vaginal miscarriage. If a woman dies, then she is considered to be in the statistics of maternal death or mortality,” says Dr. Verna Thornton, MD, an OBGYN at Community Memorial Hospital.

Some women for different reasons may decide to wait and have children, but Dr. Thornton explains how waiting can increase your chances of maternal mortality.

“Women who achieve pregnancy and wish to deliver after age 40 have a maternal mortality rate of approximately eight times greater than that of the other women who were pregnant and delivering below age 25. Some of those reasons are pretty obvious. The longer we live, we have more of an opportunity to get chronic disorders such as kidney disease, lung disease, heart disease, hypertension, so forth and so on. So that is what puts women at risk. The majority of them more so than women under the age of 25.”

When it comes to the health of the new mom; Dr, Thornton shares how the first 42-days are the most important for maternal mortality.

“We know that access to health care is the number one and rate-limiting factor as to outcomes not only for mothers but also for babies. We also know that maternal mortality is affected by access to health care. Whether or not we are insured, women are insured or have access to states that provide expansion of Medicaid. We know that women who live in rural areas have less access to maternal care.”

Hemorrhage (19.7%), Cardiomyopathies (14.5), and Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (12.8) are the top three causes that are factored into childbirth complications.

According to worldpopulationreview.com, in Minnesota, 11.8 per 100,000 childbirths result in the mother losing her life, and the chances of a black women dying is two to three times higher.

In the United States, death rates during or after childbirth have increased significantly in the last five years, more for Black, Indigenous, and Non-Hispanic women.

“Within the whole spectrum of health care disparities, the pain and complaints of nonwhite women are disproportionately discounted said, Dr. Thornton. And by that, I mean women who complain of pain, women who complain of something as simple as a headache or a swollen lower extremity or legs or pain in their legs are more often than not dismissed than their white counterparts. And that goes along with just a heritage of and a history of black women and other minorities not experiencing the same levels of discomfort as comparing it with our white mothers.”

As maternal mortality complications can happen to any woman during childbirth, Dr. Thornton shares that women should be in a health care system with a certified OBGYN. If that is not easily accessible, a Family Care Doctor will be good long before they consider getting pregnant.