Maternal death is rare in Canada. But it’s not rare enough - André Picard
2022-05-09 from theglobeandmail.com
In a wealthy country like Canada, women shouldn’t be dying bringing a child into the world.
Yet somewhere between 50 and 85 Moms-to-be die each year in childbirth or in the postpartum period. At least half of their babies die, too.
Canada ranks only 39th in the world in maternal mortality, according to the World Health Organization. With roughly 10 maternal deaths per 100,000 births occurring within 42 days of the end of the pregnancy, we are outperformed by such health powerhouses as Belarus and Turkmenistan.
There are many causes of complications during and after birthing, including hemorrhaging, embolisms, superbug infections, and rare cancers that can be triggered by pregnancy, as well as postpartum depression and suicide. Substance misuse can also occur, as studies suggest that drug users often abstain during pregnancy and can overdose when they resume using afterward.
Women are also giving birth at an older age, and with chronic health conditions like diabetes and cancer, that can lead to complications too. A recent coroner’s inquest in Ontario estimated that the maternal death rate had doubled since the late 1990s – to 11.9 per 100,000 births from 5.1 per 100,000 – largely because of more high-risk pregnancies.
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