The needless childbirth deaths in US

It is scandalous that the richest country in the world has such a high mortality rate of women giving birth. While politicians and religious people on the right loudly pontificate about how they value life, their words are exposed as hollow when it comes to how little they do to curb the massive number of avoidable deaths that occur when women, especially Black women, give birth and the number who die due to the easy availability of guns.

Samantha Bee discusses how the high rates of childbirth deaths could be easily reduced.

This is one area where having a single payer health care system could make a huge and immediate difference. Spared from the waste and profit motive that plagues the current private health care system, one could easily build small birthing and pre-natal care centers in local communities that provide check ups to pregnant women and doulas and midwives in their neighborhoods that aid in the actual birth. These centers would be much cheaper to run than big hospitals, which is why of course the current system does not do it. There is little profit to be made from providing basic health care to underprivileged groups.


  1. K says

    Profit doesn’t play into it. The US medical system believes that women are hysterical imbeciles who have zero understanding of their own bodies. Pregnant women 10x that. Look at Serena Williams, who can afford the very best medical care. After giving birth, she felt the beginnings of a pulmonary embolism, notified her medical team that she’s prone to them and was starting to clot…and was patted on the head and told she was just imagining things.

    Doulas may or may not be any better. A pregnant woman might get stuck with a doula that believes the power of positive thinking can overcome any medical event. There’s a reason homebirths are so much more deadly than hospital births…and as you pointed out, hospital births are no great experience, either.

  2. Heidi Nemeth says

    Healthy women who give birth at home with trained midwives and hospital backup if necessary have better outcomes than healthy women who give birth in hospitals. My daughter Dulcy was a certified nurse-midwife. She showed me studies in 2010 -- 2012 to this effect. (The studies were not done in the USA.) As a result of the studies, England decided to train a lot more midwives so home births would be routine there and most hospital births avoided.

    Another of my daughters had a home birth in New York City 2 years ago. Her insurance through her employer, a large US bank, would not pay for the midwives’ care, though the cost was much below what the cost would have been had she had a normal American hospital birth.

    I have the utmost respect for the midwife my 3rd daughter had for her 3 home births in Germany. The care the midwife gave my daughter and newborn grandchildren was unimaginable here in the USA. I didn’t see any of the births, and only one of the prenatal visits. But I saw a lot of the midwife. Postpartum, instead of my daughter seeking out all kinds of specialists (obstetrician, pediatrician, lactation consultant, etc.) the midwife brought all care to my daughter’s bedside at home. The midwife was as well trained in postpartum care as she was in prenatal care and birth. Her comprehensive postpartum visits were an hour or more long, daily for the first week postpartum, tapering off to one visit in the 6th week.

    I wish I had had that kind of care when I had my children.

    Doulas are meant to give the laboring woman support during birth. They are not trained to deliver babies nor give prenatal nor postnatal care.

  3. says

    Heidi Nemeth @2 — “Healthy women who give birth at home with trained midwives and hospital backup if necessary have better outcomes than healthy women who give birth in hospitals.”

    Massive [CITATION NEEDED]. Homebirths are incredibly risky and end in dead women and babies.

  4. K says

    The Skeptical OB ( has made it her life’s work to document issues surrounding childbirth. Her latest is a good read: Hundreds of babies are dead and UK midwives feel sorry for … THEMSELVES, talks about what’s really going on in the UK.

    I lived in Holland and can confirm what she says about Holland’s system--once women were granted the right to give birth in hospitals instead of at home, women were overjoyed. That right had been denied on the say-so of a charismatic and anti-woman doctor. Homebirths are not best for every situation and depend heavily on support for the postpartum woman--things that aren’t a given in the USA.

    In the USA, we can see the chaos and the dead babies when fundagelicals like the Duggar women with no real education take on the role of midwife because that’s the only profession allowed to them.

  5. Katydid says

    Diapers were in short supply, baby formula is in short supply…and so are women’s feminine hygiene products. See a commonality between the three?

    Regarding the formula issue: it boils down to capitalism and a monopoly. The factory was so very filthy that its product was killing infants. The problem was so egregious that the only solution was to close it down, clean it up, and then open up again (just like the ice cream plant in Texas a decade ago). Notice it’s been months and they’re still not open?

    The agency charged with inspecting factories to keep this from occurring has been gutted.

    In a gallows humor sort of way, I find it hilarious that the people screaming, “keep the gummit hands off…” is now screaming for Biden to do something. So, which is it they want?

  6. jenorafeuer says

    While politicians and religious people on the right loudly pontificate about how they value life […]

    Which, of course, they never did. As folks have been saying for years, it wasn’t actually originally about abortion. Within living memory, evangelicals considered abortion ‘a Catholic issue’ and ‘an unfortunate necessity’. The real reason the evangelical leadership wanted to stack the Supreme Court wasn’t to overturn Roe v Wade, it was to overturn Brown v Board of Education… they just talked about Roe v Wade because it was a lot easier to get people riled up about it without looking like horrible people. The people at the top controlling the narrative never cared about any lives other than their own.

    Of course, the people running things now are the ones who never realized they were being sold a cover story and a bill of goods for the last few decades…

  7. brightmoon says

    Well I’ve been seeing for years now, fundies calling for biblical based slavery. Lying to themselves and saying that it was ok . Also not understanding that enslaved women and non Jews were never freed . Only in the 21 century the Jews, non binaries, progressive Christians, other non Christians and ethnic ( racial) minorities are the ones who will be abused under a Christian theocracy that only cares about white cis het male fundies

  8. brightmoon says

    My niece just gave birth to her 3rd child prematurely . They let her stay in labor for a day and a half with little progress before finally giving her a Caesarian . This could have turned out poorly since her water had already broken. I was like wtf ! Why’d they let her stay like that for so long?!?!?! . My sister was a nurse she should have said something and probably did.

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