Maternal Healthcare: A New CDC Study on Preventing Pregnancy-Related Deaths in the U.S.

pregnant mother at doctor for maternal healthcare exam

When a baby is coming, the delivery room is a flurry of movement, excitement and anticipation for what is to arrive. Healthcare providers, on the other hand, are met with quick decisions, stress and some anxiety if a plan does not go as it should. One of the most devastating complications a family and medical team may come across is the death of a mother during birth. The CDC’s recent study in maternal healthcare states pregnancy-related deaths have increased in the last 3 years with many being preventable with reasonable changes from health providers.

Today, we are breaking down the details of the study and what falls under a medical malpractice lawsuit for maternal death.

Outlining Key Maternal Healthcare Findings

According to the study, more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths were preventable from 2017 to 2019 — capturing the period prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the supreme court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. Among the maternal deaths studied, 22% occurred during pregnancy, 25% during delivery or 7 days after, and 53% occurred between 7 days to a year following their child’s birth.

Many of the leading causes of death fall under the classification of a medical malpractice lawsuit for a maternal death case. These conditions that happen to the mother include: 

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Cardiac and coronary condition
  • Infection
  • Thrombotic embolism
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Preeclampsia and eclampsia
  • Hypertensive disorders

Doctors who follow the standard of maternal healthcare for prenatal care and follow-up after delivery may be able to spot risks for any of these issues during and after pregnancy.

Medical Mistakes Leading to Maternal Death

While all humans make mistakes, many may be avoided during pregnancy care and in the delivery room. Doctors must anticipate and respond to any issues in prenatal checkups and any unplanned changes during delivery.

In order to increase awareness, the CDC created resources for doctors, families and mothers to help pinpoint potential life-threatening situations during and after pregnancy. The urgent maternal warning signs that doctors and loved ones should pay attention to during and after pregnancy are:

  • Headaches that won’t go away or get worse with time;
  • Dizziness or fainting;
  • Vision changes;
  • Fever;
  • Extreme swelling of hands or face;
  • Trouble breathing;
  • Chest pain or rapid heartbeat;
  • Severe nausea or vomiting;
  • Severe belly pain;
  • Baby’s movement stopping or slowing;
  • Vaginal bleeding during or after pregnancy;
  • Swelling of legs and arms; or
  • Excessive tiredness.

Recognizing these symptoms may prevent serious complications for a mother during her pregnancy or plan for timely solutions during delivery that may save her life.

Understanding Negligence in a Maternal Death Case

Doctors have a duty to respond quickly to any changes a mother may experience before, during or after delivery to make sure they are healthy and safe. For example, if your doctor misdiagnoses a common condition called preeclampsia, and it leads to maternal death, they may be negligent for failing to listen to the mother’s concerns, diagnose preeclampsia or follow the standard treatment.

If your doctor is negligent and it results in the death of a loved one, they may be held responsible in a medical malpractice lawsuit for failing to conduct proper maternal healthcare practices.

Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys 

For any family who has experienced maternal death, it is an extremely devastating moment that should have been the happiest in their life. At ZDR, our medical malpractice attorneys are here to guide you through your case and stand with you at every stage. We will fight for you and your family as if it was our own. Contact our team today to start forming your case and set you on the road toward recovery.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


Contact Zevan Davidson Roman today.

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