According to a recent report, the United States has seen an increase over the past several years of maternal deaths stemming from childbirth, placing it in the company of nations like Sudan and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, German, Japanese and Czech mothers fare much better on average than their American counterparts. This alarming trend raises questions as to why the danger to mothers is steadily increasing and what can be done about it.
In 1987, the death rate for American mothers from pregnancy complications was approximately eight out of 100,000. By 2013, the rate had increased to 18.5 out of 100,000. One explanation is that states have become better at tracking maternal deaths and the reasons for them.