Talk:Maternal death

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I've heard from multiple places that the number one cause of death among pregnant women is murder. I'm not sure how true this is though.

Here is a couple of links about it:
Homicide is a leading injury-related cause of death among pregnant and postpartum women, second only to motor-vehicle accidents, according to a review of death certificates for U.S. women.
-Shogun 01:23, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Re the stats in this article:

  • please give figures
  • please give a date for when these figure applied
  • please give a cite for the source

-- The Anome 23:58, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

In ratios it says that Iceland has the lowest ratio with 10000 in 100,000 births... seems rather odd, especially as Austria is mentined directly afterwards with 4. Can someone correct this with real figures?

Does maternal death really usually follow "live birth"? Certainly there must be many cases where the fetus dies also. Preeclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, etc. Rmhermen 02:19, Dec 7, 2003 (UTC)

Should a Biblical entry be under "Known deaths"? A friend suggested moving it to "fiction" but that seems potentially offensive; still, calling it historical isn't quite right either.

What inspired me to start this article has to do with my former adventure at the Internet forum of the site Final Fantasy Worlds Apart. My account there was degraded when I posted a thread about maternal death, and they called it "tasteless." I left that board immediately after that. That inspired me to start this article. Decimus Tedius Regio Zanarukando 04:24, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Maternal deaths lists[edit]

All the listed maternal deaths have been moved to the relevant list and combined with the data already in the list. Ekem 15:15, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Other main cause of maternal death[edit]

One notable cause of maternal death is cardiac arrest, also known as heart failure. A major reason why obstetricians recommend a healthy diet with the right amount of daily calories. The major cause of cardiac-related maternal death is low weight gain and the heart has an overload, as it expands its' capacity to provide a larger blood supply to mother and baby/fetus. + 01:51, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

"The maternal mortality ratio is often referred to as the maternal mortality rate. This is actually a misnomer as it is in fact a ratio, and not a rate at all."

Is this sentence not complete nonsense? 13:32, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

The introduction of this article is the most confusing paragraph I've ever read. After reading it, I still do not know exactly what maternal death is. Will someone with knowledge of this subject create a one-sentence definition of maternal death, and then go into a slightly more detailed explanation of it? That seems to be a common way to get knowledge across clearly. Thoroughbred Phoenix 01:46, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

There is a merger proposal on the books and I fail to see what the propositioner thought when making the proposal. Certainly, Maternal health and Maternal death are not the same, and both are subjects in their own right. Oppose merger.Ekem 15:51, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Oppose as well on the same grounds. After nearly seven months and no sign of any support (other than the initial tag), I'm going to remove the merge proposal tag. hateless 07:34, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Ratio vs rate[edit]

I don't understand why there is the paragraph commenting that maternal death ratio is better than maternal death rate, when the reference to rate in Wikipedia shows that rate is a very good way to describe it. The units in the rate are maternal deaths and live births. Ratio includes all rates, but can also be unitless while rates cannot -- something that doesn't apply here.

Freelunch 00:07, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Rate or ratio, it's important to not ignore the relativity.. it's like saying that if in a plane crush 99 out of 100 people have died, there's a 99% mortality rate in all of the plane travel in general. A Prosecutor's fallacy. Or being ignorant to other factors, time periods, etc. Gendalv (talk) 00:00, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Inline citations[edit]

I think this page may be in need of some inline citations. There are some references and External Links at the bottom of the page, but it isn't always clear which references are for what. Limonsoda (talk) 04:35, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


This article seems to have large verbatim sections of this page

I don't know who's copying who. (talk) 22:59, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

According to the Wikipedia article history, Wikipedia was the first one. The article is dated 18 March 2010 but portions of the matching text in Wikipedia are at least one year old. Best regards, --Tomaxer (talk) 23:18, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Getting to the point[edit]

Are we more concerned with citing WHO as our authority, or with explaining what causes mothers to die after giving birth?

Let's get to the point faster. Give a general explanation of maternal death first. Then, if we feel the need to mention the special and particular definition used by that obscure "international body", we can stick it in (somewhere).

What makes women die when their pregnancy comes to term? Are we talking about failed abortion attempts? Infection during birth? Various postpartum complications?

Are there places in the world where men persecute pregnant women and murder them? Maybe Honor killing is a factor here.

What is the rate? Let's mention that in the first few paragraphs. Is giving birth as dangerous as, say, riding cross-country on a motorcycle? Working for an aid organization in a third-world country for a year? Smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day?

  • We should try and find out what historical rates were. Was it always 1% or what? If maternity hospitals increased that rate to 20% or 40%, what caused this? And who figured out the cause? I'm thinking of Ignaz Semmelweis and his "invisible substance" theory, a precursor to Pasteur's Germ theory of disease.
  • How do modern industrial societies compare with the rest of the world? Are we doing something right? (Preventing infection, deciding when to go "Cesarean", etc.) Are we slipping, and becoming just as bad? (Or is it better reporting?) Are differences between democratic and Communist countries, or is Cuba the world's model (as its supporters and fans claim)?

This article is almost useless, needs a complete rewrite. --Uncle Ed (talk) 13:02, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Sure it could use some work, but it has much useful material. I don't think complete rewrite is needed, but some rearrangement and expansion would be good. (Some of the lead material on definitions should be shifted into body, and lead could do better job at summarizing.) Assume disparaging reference to WHO was a joke. Zodon (talk) 18:41, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Unintended pregnancy is a major cause of maternal deaths.[edit]

1. The link is no good. 2. While it may be true that unsafe abortions are the leading cause of the death. The "intention" to stay pregnant or not can in no way be considered to be A CAUSE of death. Consider the women who intends pregnancy but is then bullied into getting unsafe abortion by spouse, boyfriend, family or "friends". Causation has a scientific meaning, which this paragraph ignores. It's like saying the leading cause of death is being born. 3. It is a not so thinly disguised violation of NPOV and should be removed. (talk) 14:03, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

I believe that you need to do some reading. You could start with the source I have offered. The picture you have painted is far from representative of the thousands of unsafe abortions that women are driven to because they have no other choice. The article should not be turned into a discussion about what you believe to be immoral. Gandydancer (talk) 14:50, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Update Maternal Death Numbers[edit]

The sources of the maternal death rates are way out of date, and need to be updated. (talk) 16:32, 2 February 2013 (UTC)


I found the following: [1] “Scotland's Population 2005: The Registrar General's Annual Review of Demographic Trends: 151st Edition”. (GRO = General Register Office (for Scotland), according to [2] “General Register Office for Scotland”.) For 1855, it lists 11,691 infant deaths, at a rate of 125.2 per 1000 live births. This suggests a total of 11,691/0.1252 = 93,400 births. It lists 493 maternal deaths, which suggests a maternal mortality of 493*0.1252/11,691 = 0.528%. Lower than the 1% historical rate suggested by this article.

Btw, some other interesting information. (Of interest mainly to other articles.) Assuming each year's total cases of measles are equal to the total number of births that year, then given the number of births I calculated for 1855 and 1905, and the number of deaths from measles those years, measles has, in 1855 and 1905, a mortality of 1.26% in both years (rounded to 3 significant figures). However, in 1955 (still fair game under my methodology, as measles vaccine did not come out until 1963), it was only 20*0.0304/2811 = 0.0216%, a decline by a factor of more than 55! The relatively high rate of mortality for is odd because the 1.26% isn't less than the ~1% mortality for smallpox (the weak form, variola minor; see Smallpox), and measles isn't thought of as the terrible scourge that smallpox was. Also, the cancer rate in Scotland rises fast, much faster than the rate of people living to reach their 75th birthday.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 08:04, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Potential Revisions[edit]

I am a junior at Rice University. I would like to contribute to this article as an assignment for my course in Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities. After considering the suggested revisions on this talk page and from my own personal notes, I would like to make several additions to the article.

One commenter mentioned that the article draws greater attention to WHOs definition of maternal death than defining the issue as a whole in its much larger context. I plan on establishing a clear and definitive definition of maternal death that incorporates the definition of various academic sources in a succinct and coherent manner. Secondly, I would like to make revisions on the scope of persons impacted by maternal death. The article discusses disparities with regards to the developing vs the developed world but fails to take into account in-country variation. I will resolve this by showing how maternal death is impacted by deficiencies in access to care related to income, educational level, cultural norms/expectations and infrastructure. I would also like to elaborate on some of the underlying pathologies that ultimately result in death including sepsis, peripartum cardiomyopathy, fistula, gestational diabetes and post-partum hemorrhage.

Lastly, I would like to emphasize that maternal death is highly preventable. I will make the case for how medical technologies, policies and public health are playing integral roles in the efforts towards reducing the incidence of maternal death.

Does anyone have advice on how I can include country or regional specific data on maternal deaths? Will it overwhelm the article if I incorporate this? Thanks for your feedback.

B4change1 (talk) 02:08, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

I think the article has benefitted greatly from User:B4change1's additions. She has added major additional content and the article is now much more comprehensive than before. I think one potential improvements could be made in the addition of descriptive content where external links are used in the Public health subsection. Additionally, I would recommend some copy editing and an attempt to standardize the formatting of the reference section, although the contribution has significantly improved the article already. Thanks for your edits! GavinCross (talk) 01:07, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

Hi Andra! Great job so far! The additions you’ve made are really helpful to the entire article and really making it comprehensive and more globally and socially focused. You could maybe try like have more than one or two sources for an entire section, as it could become more biased by only relying on one source for a section like the Measurement of Maternal Death section. As always, more sourcing or introducing sources more could help with credibility and therefore neutrality, but it looks pretty good! Cnicholson12 (talk) 05:30, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Animal maternal deaths?[edit]

Have there ever been any animals being victims of pregnancy, real or fictional? (though I do believe it can happen, including egg-laying animals that suffer from Egg binding, a complication just as deadly). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:34, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Updated statistics[edit]

Hi, I am a junior at Rice University and would like to point out some sources of revision. As maternal mortality rates are updated each year, I think the article should represent the most recent statistics. Where is the reference for "The world mortality rate has declined 45% since 1990, but still 800 women die every day from pregnancy or childbirth related causes?" I have added the citation needed references, but these statistics need to be corroborated. Additionally, a bulk of the statistics seem to be from the WHO, but what other organizations are credible to state for maternal mortality statistics?

In reference to the limiting the definition of maternal mortality to that of the WHO, I agree with B4change1 in that the definition should not be limited to one organization.

Further, it would be interesting to separate maternal mortality trends in the developed and underdeveloped worlds. It is also important to emphasize that the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has increased in 48 states from 2000 to 2014 with Texas having the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. ( Sa49 (talk) 00:38, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Maternal mortality ratio, 2015.jpg, this is wrong ratio of South Korea. 11 for 2015 at WHO web Neoper (talk) 14:03, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Maternal mortality RATIOs, PLEASE!!![edit]

This article gives numbers on how many total women are dying from childbirth, and numbers on where, and numbers on why, but does NOT tell the ratios per 100,000 births!!! I want to know, if I give birth in USA, or in the Third World, HOW LIKELY AM I TO SURVIVE THE EXPERIENCE??? I want death rates PER 100,000 childbirths!!! The article, as far as I can see, doesn't give them. This is probably the most important question anyone would access this article in order to ask. FIX THIS PLEASE!!!!! HandsomeMrToad (talk) 09:32, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

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Updating article[edit]

I have just updated Maternal health and this article concurrently based on the December 2017 ProPublica and NPR series. At this time the content I added and references are identical. This will change over time.Oceanflynn (talk) 19:14, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

Edits I suggest[edit]

This is an interesting topic that correlates a lot with the current topic I am editing (Birth Weight) for an Environmental Health Class Project. I think this article could be improved by discussing the gaps in care in developing countries, and what we can do to assist this problem. Also, I think it would be interesting to provide some insight regarding the child's health of maternal deaths, and if there are any long-term effects on the child. Ecostello1213 (talk) 14:35, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Updates needed[edit]

As part of a group project, we plan to update several of the sources within this article, add some citations and add a bit of content reflecting public health issues, including social disadvantages related to maternal mortality. If anyone has any input or suggestions on these changes, please let me know. --Sebaker92 (talk) 18:10, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Updated sections[edit]

This is my first time editing a Wikipedia page, I updated the Severe Maternal Morbidity section and Public Health sections as they were lacking in information and needed some editing as well. Please let me know if there are any suggestions to improve my edits/sources. Sebaker92 (talk) 16:51, 20 November 2018 (UTC)

I am an experienced editor and I've devoted a lot of my time to childbirth related articles. To be quite honest, student editors (in any of our articles) are almost always obviously lazy and try to do as little as possible--and their work shows it. I can only assume that many of them think that this will be an easy credit class. I don't know what's going on here--if it's the school or the teacher or what, but the work that these two students have done is just stunningly good. They most likely learned what I know--just a sentence or two in Wikipedia can take hours of research and attempts to condense the information and get it to sound encyclopedic takes a lot of time as well. Since these two students have nothing to compare themselves to, they most likely think they just did what students usually do. I want them to both know that they did not. They somehow managed to become excellent editors practically overnight.
One more thing, as a matter of fact student editors are not to be totally blamed when their work is not quite up to snuff. I know very well from experience how difficult it can be to "improve" an existing article--much more difficult than even to write a brand new one. These two students deserve an "A+" for their work here. Gandydancer (talk) 17:56, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

Foundations 2 2019, Group 6b Goals[edit]

Update causes Jhum4993 (talk) 22:27, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

I think you could be somewhat more ambitious here. Health policy (talk) 04:45, 31 July 2019 (UTC)
Update definitions that are are related to maternal death. More goals will be posted later today. --Jhum4993 (talk) 21:07, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
I condensed some of the definitions of maternal death due to a few duplications in the first few paragraphs. Since it was already stated in the opening, I deleted the section titled "definitions". Allydiiorio (talk) 17:52, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Nora's Peer Review (Group 6a)[edit]

1. a. Do the group’s edits improve the article as described in the Wikipedia peer review “Guiding framework”? The article is improved as additional information regarding the incidence of maternal death is added. The section “The three delays model” provides additional information that is helpful in determining the risk of maternal death. It completes the article by offering a solution to the problem. The writing style is neutral, and it flows with the entire article.

b. Has the group achieved its overall goals for improvement? There were minimal updates to definitions, however the entire section dedicated to the three delays models is appropriate and provides information that is not provided anywhere else.

2. Person C. Are the edits formatted consistent with Wikipedia’s manual of style? If not, specify… The edits under “The Three Delays Model” stylistically flow with the rest of the article. The numbered series makes the section more organized and easier to read. Each sentence is cited which also makes the section more credible. The information under “Lifetime risk of maternal death” appears to not be important enough to have its own section. It can probably be combined with the “Severe maternal morbidity (SMM) section.

NoraCortez (talk) 06:21, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks Nora! I agree that the lifetime risk of maternal death could be included in another section. I moved it to the measurement section. Allydiiorio (talk) 17:50, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Sabrina's peer review (Group 6A)[edit]

1. A) Do the group’s edits improve the article as described in the Wikipedia peer review “Guiding framework”?

The lead section gives a clear definition and lay language to understand the idea of maternal death. There was no edits made in the lead section. There is a clear structure that is logical such as section "Medical Technologies" followed by "Medications". There is a balanced coverage-- they added the "Medication" section which covers multiple types of treatment-- technology, medication, public health, etc. The content is neutral and derived from reliable sources such as WHO. The information in Wikipedia is based on scientific studies and guidelines.

B) Has the group achieved its overall goals for improvement? Update causes , Update definitions that are are related to maternal death The group did expand information for causes; they added additional unsafe abortion practices. They also added information of how to prevent unsafe abortion. The group added a section "The Three Delays Model" which gave further information of delaying maternal health care.

2. Is there any evidence of plagiarism or copyright violation? No, the information is accurate, but it does not have evidence of plagiarism.

Sabrinabulla (talk) 16:26, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Amanda's Peer Review - Group 6a[edit]

1a. Do the group’s edits improve the article as described in the Wikipedia peer review “Guiding framework”? The leading section does a good job of giving an intro to the topic and stating what the article is going to cover. However, it seems that the leading section and the definition section are repeating each other. The section on lifetime risk of maternal defines what it is but doesn't show how the calculation is done. I think an example or more explanation of this would be beneficial. The article is written in a neutral tone. The sources used are reliable.

1b. Has the group achieved its overall goals for improvement? I think this article had a good amount of improvement although the goals for improvement were pretty vague. I liked the addition of the three delays model and the medication section.

2. Are the points included verifiable with cited secondary sources that are freely available? If not, specify… The points added are verifiable and they are secondary sources that were written within the last 5 years.

Amandabair (talk) 17:09, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for your review Amanda! I agree that the definition and intro paragraph are redundant. I condensed the two sections to be more concise! Allydiiorio (talk) 23:03, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

UCSF Foundations 2 2019, Group 6a: Kim Chi's Peer Review[edit]

1a: Do the group’s edits improve the article as described in the Wikipedia peer review “Guiding framework”?

  • This article is already quite extensive, but the addition of the Three Delays Model and the Medications to prevent maternal death was very insightful and appropriate for the article. Flow made sense and structure was organized in a way that made it easier to read.

1b: Has the group achieved its overall goals for improvement?

  • At this point in time the goals have not been updated, and are vague. However, the article has had many edits, including aforementioned Three Delays Model and Medications, in addition to reorganization of content and statistics, so this is a simple fix.

2a: Does the draft submission reflect a neutral point of view? If not, specify…

  • The draft reflects a neutral point of view and has references that are readily accessible by the public.

Knguyen525 (talk) 17:58, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Discussion Question and Evaluation[edit]

The article's overall status is that it is still developing but provides information that is needed right now. The article's strengths include its ability to clearly define different terms that are related to maternal death and it's detailing in some of the important discusses of maternal death. I think the article could be improved by including ethical issues of maternal death and expanding more into the importance of public health. I also believe the article needs to work on its numerical facts more and double-check those with scholarly research. The article is in the process of being developed. It is still missing key parts of the topic that should be included, but it is at a good starting point.

Discussion Question: How have different communities been affected by maternal death, such as black women and the working class? -Mbgthinks (talk) 01:18, 30 October 2019 (UTC)

Black Women and Maternal Death[edit]

How should racial disparities be addressed as it pertains to black women and maternal death? There seems to be an acknowledgment of the gap between the rate of black women and white women but there is no further explanation behind why that is. I think because this article is a start page/being developed that is a good starting point but is inherent to include a paragraph or more about the racial disparities in health care. Mbgthinks (talk) 01:36, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

"20th century/Maternal death rates" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect 20th century/Maternal death rates. Please participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. 1234qwer1234qwer4 (talk) 12:43, 15 April 2020 (UTC)