Big drop in mothers dying during childbirth

According to figures from Statistics Netherlands, the chance of women dying during pregnancy or childbirth has become ten times smaller since the 1950's. From 2007 less than ten women die during pregnancy or childbirth per year. 

In 1950 241 women died during pregnancy or childbirth, or 105 per 100 thousand live births. This number declined sharply due to improved prenatal care, obstetric care and maternity care, but also due to the introduction of the oral contraception. From the 70's there were less than 14 deaths per 100 thousand live births annually. Since 2007, less than 5.

The risk of death during pregnancy or childbirth is higher for woman of 35 years or older. In women up to the age of 34, 5.2 women per 100 thousand live births died in the period of 1998 to 2012. In women aged 35 to 40, that number was 10.7 per 100 live births.

The main causes of mortality around pregnancy or child birth over the period 1998 to 2012 were high blood pressure (59 deaths), complications during childbirth (32) and pre-existing disease that were complicated by childbirth and pregnancy (29). Mortality because of high blood pressure decreased significantly between 1998 and 2012. In the last five years complications in childbirth is the most common cause of death.

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