Maternal Mortality

More women die in the US from pregnancy-related complications than in any other developed country.  The US is the only industrialized nation with a rising maternal mortality rate, and between 2000 and 2014, there was a 26% increase in the maternal mortality rate.i  Racial disparities in maternal mortality are staggering -- black women are three to four times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication than non-Hispanic white women.ii

To address this problem, ACOG supports the establishment of maternal mortality review committees (MMRCs).  These multidisciplinary committees, comprised of local health experts, study cases of maternal deaths and recommend improvements to prevent future adverse outcomes.  Nearly thirty states have an active Maternal Mortality Review Committee in place or in development.  ACOG supports federal legislation that assists state creation or expansion of MMRCs.

ACOG is also taking the lead in working with states and hospitals to reduce maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity as a core partner in the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM).  The purpose of the AIM program is to equip, empower, and embolden every state, perinatal quality collaborative, hospital network/system, birth facility, and maternity care provider in the US to significantly reduce severe maternal morbidity and maternal mortality. This is achieved through proven implementation of consistent maternity care practices that are outlined in maternal safety bundles.

ACOG in the News

Federal Legislation

U.S. Standard Certificates
Fetal Death  

i MacDorman, M., Declercq, E., Cabral, H., Morton, C., “Is the United States Maternal Mortality Rate Increasing? Disentangling trends from measurement issues: Short title: U.S. Maternal Mortality Trends.” Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Sep; 128(3):447-55.  

ii Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at:  

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998