After years of health care professionals blaming women for rising maternal mortality rates, new data shows that poor medical response or care is more of a problem. According to the CDC, more than half of maternal deaths are preventable.

Living in one of the world's premiere developed nations should allow pregnant women in Virginia to feel highly confident about the quality of medical care they and their babies receive. Unfortunately, this the facts show that the United States has a serious problem on its hands when it comes to maternal mortality.

More women dying today

According to a report by NPR, the U.S. boasts the worst mortality rate among mothers among all developed nations globally. In addition, America is the only developed country that has been recording an increase in the number of women dying while pregnant, during birth or in the first year after giving birth.

In the 15 years spanning from 1990 to 2015, the nation's maternal mortality rate jumped by more than 26%, with the biggest increase happening in the latter 15 of those 25 years.

At the same time as the United States watched more women die of pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications, Canada, Australia and countries in Western Europe saw their maternal mortality rates fall by as much as nine percent.

It is estimated that over 130 women nationwide every day experience some type of medical complication connected to their pregnancies or the labor and delivery process. That adds up to 50,000 complications in a 12-month period. With two deaths daily, nearly 700 women lose their lives while trying to bring a new life into the world. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three of every five of these maternal deaths need not happen and are preventable.

Reasons women are dying

According to USA Today, many of the maternal deaths involved stroke or heart disease. These factors were noted in deaths that happened during pregnancy, childbirth or after giving birth.

Additional factors that contributed to deaths during birth included excessive hemorrhaging and amniotic fluid being leaked into the mother's bloodstream.

Medical professionals and their role

Reports show that many health care providers fail to adequately identify warning signs and, therefore fail to take proper action to prevent a complication from turning deadly. Lack of diagnostic efforts as well as treatments were noted in many cases.

Virginia mothers and their families deserve help

Women who are expecting babies deserve to have the best care possible. People in Virginia who are concerned about the quality of maternal care they or their loved one has received should contact an attorney for help so that they have someone advocating on their behalf.