Healthy babies start with healthy pregnancies. The United States has a robust healthcare infrastructure, spending more per capita on healthcare than any other nation, but maternal health in this country has lagged behind that of other developed countries.
More than 80% of pregnancy related deaths are preventable, and more than half (53%) happen up to one year after delivery.
More than 1,200 women died in 2021 in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications.
People who are pregnant and live more than 50 miles from a delivery facility are two times more likely to deliver prior to 37 weeks.
23% of pregnancy-related deaths are due to mental health conditions (including deaths to suicide and overdose/poisoning related to substance use disorder).
Factors Affecting Maternal Health
Supporting health holistically through the maternal-child health journey improves community health now and for generations to come. This may be the life stage in which a parent is most willing and likely to engage with the healthcare system.
Research shows that our overall health is determined more by factors such as our ZIP code than our doctor. Social drivers of health are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes. They have a greater impact on our health than we realize. This is especially true before, during, and following pregnancy; taking social drivers into account—along with physical and behavioral drivers—is a key component of our whole-health approach to improving maternal health outcomes.
A steadily increasing maternal mortality rate and widening inequities in maternal-child health outcomes demand a closer look at data to better understand potential gaps and challenges. Elevance Health then finds opportunities to design programs that improve outcomes, advance health equity, and attend to physical, behavioral, and social health needs.
Maternal health is one indicator of community health, and Elevance Health is working toward better maternal and infant health outcomes.”
Turning the Tide on Maternal Health
Healthy babies start with healthy pregnancies. The United States has a robust healthcare infrastructure, spending more per capita on healthcare than any other nation, but U.S. maternal health in this country has lagged behind that of other countries in the developed world. Why?
Q&A: How Does Where You Live Affect Maternal Health?
Maternal health starts before someone gets pregnant. Dr. Tiffany Inglis, Elevance Health medical director of clinical programming and population health, shared how geography can contribute to maternal health disparities before, during, and after pregnancy.
Certified Doula Care Can Help Improve Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes
Certified doulas are trained professionals who support pregnant women before, during and after their babies are born. Learn more about how doula care leads to fewer complications and more healthy births.