Expecting Pennsylvania mothers may be at greater risk than in many other parts of the developed world, according to a recent study. Unlike in most other countries, the mortality rate for mothers giving birth in the U.S. is climbing, from a 1987 low of 8 deaths per 100,000 deliveries to a 2013 rate of 18.5 per 100,000.
Several theories have been postulated for why this is so. One possible explanation is better tracking and monitoring of pregnancy-related deaths caused by medical carelessness and physical problems with the mother. However, because reporting requirements vary by state, underreporting of childbirth-related mortality may be a problem. Additionally, the growing popularity of cesarean section deliveries could be a factor, because of the inherent risks in this type of surgical procedure.