Reducing Disparities in Severe Maternal Morbidity and Mortality

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jun;61(2):387-399. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000349.


Significant racial and ethnic disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality exist in the United States. Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die a pregnancy-related death as compared with white women. Growing research indicates that quality of health care, from preconception through postpartum care, may be a critical lever for improving outcomes for racial and ethnic minority women. This article reviews racial and ethnic disparities in severe maternal morbidities and mortality, underlying drivers of these disparities, and potential levers to reduce their occurrence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Cultural Competency
  • Decision Making
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Mortality*
  • Obstetrics
  • Postnatal Care
  • Preconception Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / ethnology
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
  • Prenatal Care
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Racial Groups
  • United States