When most expectant mothers imagine giving birth, they expect Hollywood depictions of pain followed by pure joy holding their new little one. While this becomes a reality for many women, there are too many U.S. mothers who have a worse experience.
Recent research has shown that American women are more likely than women in any other developed country to die from childbirth, with rates rising since 2000. As experts have scratched their heads wondering what happened and how to fix the problem, one solution has become clear: improve care in hospitals.
More proactive prenatal care
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an essay stating that if hospitals standardized women’s care during labor, it could prevent many of the complications that lead to death or near-death. Standardizations would help improve the quality of care for the three most common complications women face during childbirth:
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- High blood pressure
- Blood clots before or after delivery
The authors suggest that if hospitals checked every patient – regardless of symptoms – for these conditions and follow up those tests with research-backed protocols if treatment is necessary, the high rate of maternal deaths could naturally decrease.
If standardizations are adopted, it may also help families who lose a loved one in childbirth seek compensation in a wrongful death or medical malpractice case, as it would hold doctors accountable if they don’t follow specific testing and treating protocols that are vital for protecting a mother’s life.
Whether a woman is having her first child or has been through labor and delivery before, she deserves a birth experience that prioritizes her health as much as her baby’s, so that they both get to enjoy all the happiness that should come after the little one enters the world.