Annually, an average of 61 Missouri women die while pregnant or within one year of pregnancy. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is leading the nation in launching the first statewide, interactive dashboard displaying maternal mortality data.
“The road to becoming a mother is not always easy. DHSS and the PAMR Board are looking to help ease what should be a joyful journey from becoming one of grief and loss,” said Paula Nickelson, acting director for DHSS. “Focusing on increasing awareness of new mothers’ needs and providing postpartum care are a few factors that can impact another new mother from becoming a mortality statistic. With the dashboard, DHSS is hoping to further awareness, discussions, and the need to improve obtainable resources for mothers to prevent these tragic deaths.”
From a global standpoint, the United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality among 11 developed nations. Additionally, Black women are greater than three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.
The dashboard summarizes three years (2017-2019) of data from the state Maternal Mortality Review Committee. The Committee operates using a standardized, comprehensive, and evolving system to understand the context and causes surrounding a woman’s death. Accompanying visualizations of data highlight the information aiding in comprehension of the following:
- Two leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths are mental health conditions and cardiovascular disease.
- The majority of all maternal deaths occur in the period between 43 days to one year postpartum.
The PAMR Board continues to review cases and provide recommendations for prevention. View the online PAMR dashboard and the latest PAMR annual report at this link. Women’s health resources supported by DHSS can be located at this link.