Being pregnant and giving birth are exciting times for many mothers. Unfortunately, many women in the US suffer health complications during and after pregnancy. In fact, the rate of maternal mortality (death) in the US increased by approximately 27% from 2000 to 2014. Approximately 700 women die each year from pregnancy or childbirth complications. In 2014, more than 50 thousand women in the US had severe pregnancy complications. Finally, among black women the risk of pregnancy-related death is 3 to 4 times higher than it is for white women.
To help reduce the risk of complications during and after pregnancy, it’s important for women to take steps to manage their health. These may include:
- Receiving care from a healthcare team before, during, and after your pregnancy.
- Sharing your current and past medical history with your team.
- Learning as much as you can about what you need to do to stay healthy and have a healthy baby.
The checklist below may help guide the conversation between you and your healthcare providers during your pregnancy-related visits.