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Maternal mortality rates reach an all-time high in the U.S.

A new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that American women are now more prone to dying during pregnancy or childbirth than women in developing countries.

Their data also captures how the United States' maternal mortality rate has increased from 17 to 26 per 100,000 between 1990 and 2015. This rate is the highest of all developed countries. Researchers at Harvard University recently tried to make sense of this increase.

One alarming statistic that researchers uncovered and published on the Harvard Health Blog is how American women nowadays have a 50 percent higher risk of dying during childbirth than their own mothers did. The Harvard Medical School professor who drafted the article also wrote that African-American mothers' risk of death is nearly four times that of Caucasian ones regardless of their education or income level.

Pregnant women are more vulnerable now than they have ever been before largely because more of them are being diagnosed with pregnancy-related conditions such as preeclampsia, or high blood pressure. Unless diagnosed and treated, this condition can cause blood clots and other injuries.

Another condition that's on the rise among pregnant women and new mothers is mental illness.

While psychological conditions can't directly kill a pregnant woman, it can lead them to commit suicide. Sleep deprivation, changes in responsibilities and having to return to work can all lead a pregnant woman or new mother with mental health issues down a dangerous path.

Doctors who fail to diagnose and treat a mom with mental health concerns or their pregnancy-related conditions may put their patients at significant risk of injury or death. Any patient that has been affected by their doctor's delayed diagnosis can benefit from discussing their case with a birth injuries attorney who may advise them that they're entitled to compensation for pain and suffering and other related damages.

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