A new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concludes that the number of pregnancy-related deaths in the...
A new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concludes that the number of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States has been increasing. The study found that there were 14.5 deaths per 1,000 live births between 1998 and 2005. While that is an increase over the previous few decades, the study does note that the manner in which deaths are reported could be partially responsible.
However, it is also possible that part of the increase is "real." According to the new data, deaths from chronic medical conditions that are exacerbated by pregnancy, including heart disease, appear to account for a growing number of pregnancy-related deaths. (Source: Reuters)
That's the bad news. The good news is that the number of deaths resulting from obstetric complications, such as hemorrhaging, has declined.
The absolute risk of a U.S. woman dying from pregnancy-related problems is still "very small," lead researcher Dr. Cynthia J. Berg, of the CDC's division of reproductive health, said in an interview. But, she added, the new findings do underscore the importance of women "making sure they are in the best possible health before pregnancy."
Dr. Berg suggests that women see their doctors before becoming pregnant whenever possible and take measures to control their weight and chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The conclusion seems to be that death as a result of pregnancy related complications occurs less frequently, but death as a result of chronic conditions that are often worsened by pregnancy is occurring more frequently. I have a few autoimmune chronic medical conditions -- none that I could have done anything to prevent - and those partly influenced my decision not to have biological children. What I did know is that had I wanted to become pregnant, I would have to work very hard to take care of myself. To me, this study just reinforces that. Pregnancy isn't a disease or a medical condition in and of itself, but it can affect a woman's health, particularly if she has any pre-existing health issues. If you are planning to conceive, talk to your doctor to determine if there is anything you should to prepare your body.

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