Women in the United States have a 1-in-4,800 lifetime risk of dying in labor, according to a 2007 United Nations report—much higher than the 1-in-48,000 rate in top-ranked Ireland. In fact, the United States ranked a dismal 41st out of an analysis of 171 nations, which included underdeveloped countries like Sierra Leone. Even more troubling is that our mortality rate is the highest that it has been in decades, according to the latest report from the National Center for Health Statistics.
Both sets of numbers can be pegged generally to the lack of adequate healthcare for many moms in our country, as well as rise in obesity and a rise in the number of c-sections being conducted (many out of convenience) and rising maternal age. Fixing the problem can only be done by addressing the fundamental inadequacies of health care in our country.