Need To Know: A Global Perspective on U.S. Maternal Mortality

Issue No. 4: Black Maternal Health
Words - Maria Teresa Alzuru: MA
Illustration - Alexandra Folino

Maternal health in the United States is in crisis. The United States ranks 46th in the world in maternal mortality. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that, while the rest of the world is trending in the direction of improving maternal health outcomes, the United States is seeing more deaths related to childbirth than we did two decades ago.

For Black mothers, these numbers often double or triple. As doctors and researchers strive to address worsening maternal health outcomes in the United States, it is imperative that they prioritize understanding the causes of death among Black mothers who bear most of this burden.

Both globally and in the U.S., there is little to no data about how the intersections of sexual orientation and gender may affect maternal mortality. More research is needed on the health of Black mothers in same sex relationships and Black trans or non-binary birth parents.