Having a baby is scary stuff. Not only does your body create, nurture, and develop a sweet little person in less than a year, but then you’re responsible for that little person for, at a minimum, the next 18 years. Even though the rewards are monumental, hearing about the most dangerous place to give birth doesn’t make pregnancy easier — especially when you realize that the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world is actually the United States.
You heard that right. USA Today investigated and reported that 50,000 women are seriously injured by childbirth every year, and 700 women die from the process. Those are the facts that nobody wants to talk about, but they still happen. And since labor is something that’s out of your control (yes, even with a birth plan), many women can feel pretty powerless when the big moment comes.
The publication states that too many hospitals have become negligent, especially with a woman’s aftercare. By now, you might have been clued into the amount of blood you lose after you give birth. (If not, here’s a hint — it’s a lot. And it often doesn’t stop for weeks.) But some women lose too much, and it’s not something that’s actively being monitored.
“Doctors and nurses should be weighing bloody pads to track blood loss so they recognize the danger sooner,” wrote Alison Young from USAToday. “They should be giving medication within an hour of spotting dangerously high blood pressure to fend off strokes. These are not complicated procedures requiring expensive technology.”
By failing to give women proper care, many suffer from blood clots. Others have issues that affect their fertility. Even scarier, some women become paralyzed.
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“The best estimates say that half of these deaths could be prevented and half the injuries reduced or eliminated with better care,” Young continued. “Instead, the U.S. continues to watch other countries improve as it falls behind. Today, this is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth.”
It’s also worth noting that despite medical technology improving, there has been an increase in the number of women dying during childbirth — and black women are three times more likely to die than white women, according to People.
These facts shouldn’t scare you away from having children, if that’s something you envision. But even though you probably want to fill your pregnancy solely with bright moments, this information is important to know.