CDC: Maternal mortalities rates increased by 40% over pandemic

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The CDC recently released a startling new report on maternal health, showing maternal deaths spiked 40% between 2020 and 2021.

This was during the height of the pandemic, so COVID-19 was reported as a large contributor.

But mental health is actually the leading cause. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said this includes conditions like depression, anxiety, or even birth-related PTSD.

Gillibrand said these conditions are all preventable, and many women go untreated.

On top of that, Black maternal deaths are especially on the rise. For these women, the maternal mortality rate rose to 69.9 deaths per 100,000 live births – that’s more than double the national average.

“Women of color and Black women have the highest number of mortality, for a number of reasons, we know there is bias in the medical profession, not listening to Black women’s words, knowing what their pain or symptoms will be,” says Gillibrand.

In light of all this, Gillibrand wants women and their families to know they are not alone. There’s actually a free hotline they can call to have their voices heard.

“Counselors are licensed or certified and have training on how to perform cultural and trauma informed support,” she said.

The hotline is free, and offers services in both English and Spanish. Gillibrand said they have interpreters for 60 languages as well.

To date, the hotline has helped more than 10,000 women, and Gillibrand is calling on a full implementation.

For the link to the report, click here.