US Has Worse Maternal Mortality Rate of Any Undeveloped Nation


The CDC released new data showing the percentage of babies delivered preterm (before 37 weeks) jumped to nearly 8.7% in 2022. The 12% increase from 2014 represents hundreds of thousands of babies each year and poses a threat: Preterm birth is the leading cause of death and health conditions for infants and children. The study also found Black mothers were almost twice as likely as white mothers to give birth early.

Why is this happening?

It’s not always clear — but experts say giving birth later in life can raise risks. It comes as about one in five women in the US are having their first child after age 35. One expert also reportedly pointed to obesity as a potential factor in rising rates. Obesity doesn’t cause early births but complications associated with it, like preeclampsia, can. Stress can also play a role, and it’s possible other environmental factors can, too. Experts suggest pregnant people should see their doctor sooner if they’re experiencing headaches, changes in urination, and increased blood pressure.

The US has the worst maternal mortality rate of any developed nation. Now, this latest report points to another challenge some new mothers face as more than two million live in counties without access to maternity care.