Did you know that two women in the United States die every day due to pregnancy-related complications? If you are shocked, you are not alone. Most people do not know the serious risks pregnant women face in the U.S. but maternal mortality is a very serious issue that should be discussed more often between doctors and pregnant women.

The U.S. currently ranks 50th in the world for maternal mortality, which is somewhat surprising since the country spends billions every year on pregnancy and childbirth in hospitals across the country. In addition to two women dying from pregnancy-related issues every day, another 93 women have near-misses during their pregnancy and childbirth.

What causes pregnancy-related injuries and fatalities or near-misses in the U.S.? There are several reasons that contribute to pregnancy complications and injuries but they are not often discussed with the public and sometimes not even with pregnant patients unless the women has a high-risk pregnancy.

Some of the common pregnancy complications and illnesses that cause maternal deaths and near-misses include preeclampsia, hemorrhage, HELLP syndrome, ectopic pregnancy, sepsis, pulmonary embolism, amniotic fluid embolism and placenta abruption. These are very serious conditions that can cause a pregnant patient to die or have the potential to cause serious complications in a patient if they don’t die.

While all pregnant women are at risk for suffering from these serious conditions during their pregnancy, not many women are aware of these risks, especially if their pregnancy is not considered high-risk. That is because not all OB-GYNs and primary physicians discuss these risks with pregnant patients because many of these conditions are rare for most pregnancies.

However, the risk is still there for all pregnant women and they should be informed about all the health risks they may face while pregnant and during childbirth to understand what medical action may need to be taken if any of these conditions occur.

Source: Huffington Post, “Save a Mother’s Life – Talk About Maternal Death And Near-Miss in the USA,” Anne Addison, May 20, 2013