Maternal mortality is a concerning public health problem in the United States. About 700 women die every year due to pregnancy-related complications. Although rare, these deaths are particularly tragic because about two in three deaths could be prevented.
As a healthcare professional, you play a critical role in eliminating preventable maternal mortality. One part of the solution is to really hear women’s concerns during and after pregnancy and engage in an open conversation to make sure any issues are adequately addressed.
Listen to pregnant and postpartum women if they experience concerns. Help your patients understand the urgent maternal warning signs and the need to seek medical attention right away. When patients are engaged in their healthcare, it can lead to improvements in safety and quality. Take steps to make them feel understood and valued during their visit with you. Here are some things that may make a difference:
- Ask questions to better understand your patient and things that may be affecting their lives.
- Help your patients, and those accompanying them, understand the urgent maternal warning signs and when to seek medical attention right away.
- Help patients manage chronic conditions or conditions that may arise during pregnancy like hypertension, diabetes, or depression.
- Recognize unconscious bias in yourself and in your office.
- Provide all patients with respectful care.
- Address any concerns your patients may have.