Data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reported that more women in the U.S. are dying during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth.
In 2021, 1,205 women died of maternal causes, compared with 861 in 2020.
The maternal mortality rate increased across the board in 2021 to about 33 deaths per 100,000 live births.
But the rate for Black women was 2.6 times higher than for white women. The numbers point to well-documented racial disparities in maternal health.
Starting in 2022, a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act gave states the option to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage for a full year after childbirth, to help improve maternal health.
Currently, 29 states including Washington D.C. have implemented the American Rescue Plan extension.
Rates also increased with maternal age, approximately 6.8 times higher for women over 40 compared to women under the age of 25.
The CDC created the Hear Her campaign to prevent pregnancy-related deaths, with an emphasis on listening to pregnant women’s concerns.
The CDC said that knowing the warning signs could help save a life.