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ACOG Statement on Maternal Mortality

May 4, 2015

Washington, DC — Hal C. Lawrence, MD, Executive Vice President and CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding the Save the Children report, “State of the World’s Mothers 2015: The Urban Disadvantage”:

“Today’s report from Save the Children highlights the need for a greater commitment to women’s health worldwide – including in the United States. Unfortunately, maternal mortality rates are on the rise in the U.S. According to one recent study, the U.S. was one of eight countries where maternal death rates worsened between 2003 and 2013.This is unacceptable for women, their children, their families, and society.

“We must do a better job at addressing maternal mortality in the U.S. This means an improved commitment to well-woman care, comprehensive prenatal care and thorough postpartum monitoring. It also means recognizing that a more wide-ranging approach to wellness means screening for intimate partner violence, depression, and substance abuse.

“ACOG is working collaboratively with a variety of partners to lower the maternal mortality rate and to better meet our goal of healthy mothers and healthy babies.

“For example, along with the Health Resources and Services Administration, ACOG is a leading member of the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health, a program from the Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care. The goal of this four-year program is to prevent 100,000 severe complications during delivery hospitalizations and 1,000 maternal deaths through implementing improved approaches to obstetric care.

“The program allows public, private and professional organizations to work together on the development and rollout of patient-focused care bundles of best practices that are proven to improve outcomes. These bundles target key threats to maternal wellness, such as obstetric hemorrhage, severe hypertension, venous thromboembolism, primary cesarean births, and racial disparities during pregnancy.

“We know that it can take time to make a difference, but we also know that it can be done. As women’s health care physicians, we are committed to leading the charge toward healthier pregnancies, safer deliveries, and better lives for women.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998