Rise in maternal deaths in affluent countries

Worryingly the maternal mortality rate also rose – from almost 10 deaths per 100,000 women who gave birth in 2005–06 to almost 20 per 100,000 in 2010–11.

“Increases in maternal mortality have [also] been reported in several high-income countries including Austria, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the US, although improved detection might be implicated,” according to the authors of a new report. 

“With a background of increasing deliveries and complexity, rising mortality could reflect worsening demographic and medical risk in the pregnant population, excessive strain on the healthcare system, or both.”

Lancet 2012; 379:1198