Plan Your Pregnancy

We've stopped tracking small pox, but it's not time to stop tracking maternal deaths. The CDC reported that our USA maternal mortality rates were 13.3 deaths in moms per 100,000 babies born alive in 2006. But in 1996 we only had a rate of 7.6.  But now we have a rate of over 17 per 100,000. Rates of maternal deaths are going up. Those rates don't publish women with very serious 'close calls.". And there are some indications out of smaller studies like the California Maternal Quality Care Cooperative , that just reported the rates of maternal mortality in California, that the rates are going even higher. And many states, like Illinois, have enacted programs to specifically address risks to mom, such as conditions of acute bleeding or having a blood clot in your leg or lungs around the time of a birth. Other programs look at risks in sub populations, like African Americans who are at more risk than other ethnic groups. Physicians have to go through programs, help run drills, answer questions, and repeat the follow up programs for each hospital in which they do obstetrics as part of team approach that should see the rare event of maternal mortality become even rarer. The newest program is Merck for Mothers which is going to donate money to programs around the world and in the US to prevent deaths from pregnancy.Before pregnancy, go to your gyno, get evaluated for diseases, including genetic problems you may not know that you have. When you are pregnant see your gyno promptly as prenatal care is the best way to avoid many of these medical problems.

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