I came across a Time magazine article that was titled, ”U.S. Ranks Worst Developed Country for Maternal Health”. I was reading the article because I wanted more information about the topic of maternal health and how it relates to the livelihood of women. However, what stood out to me was the fact that women in the United States are at a much higher risk of dying from complications from pregnancy. Thus it is important to find ways to reduce the rates of pregnancy related deaths facing women, who reside in this country.
This topic fascinates me because I studying to be a nurse. Anything related to the medical field intrigues my interest because I want to enter the field and find ways to improve the health of others. To read about America’s ailing healthcare system and women’s maternal health hit a nerve with me. According to this article, America ranked number 33 out of 179 countries in maternal health and children’s well being. America also ranked last in first world, industrialized countries when it comes to maternal health. America ranks number 42 when it comes to children’s well being, number 61 on maternal health and number 89 for political status, such as women participating in government. American children under the age of five years old are just as likely to die as children the same age in countries like Bosnia and Slovakia. Though America has a higher rate of maternal health than countries in Central and West Africa, it is dead last among industrialized nations when it comes to healthcare. If America’s healthcare system has been proven to be inferior compared to other nations, what about the healthcare system across the nations?
Washington D.C. has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the nation. In cities like Detroit and Cleveland, the rates of infant mortality is even higher. Minorities such as Black Americans have higher infant mortality rates than White Americans due to the fact that lower economic conditions lower the quality of life Black Americans have. But other factors such as prematurity of the birth of the child plays a role in this as well. And babies born to unwed, impoverished Black American mothers were much more likely to be more premature than babies born to White American mothers. A Black American mother is much more likely to face an unexpected death of an infant than her White American counterpart.
Often times, many Black American women have less access to adequate health than White American mothers. Many of these women live in impoverished conditions that make access to adequate healthcare almost impossible. These women are stuck with not having access to healthcare though many of them do whatever they can to take care of their health and the health of their fetus. Worst of all, if there is access to adequate healthcare providers, many of these women don’t have the money to pay for such healthcare. Many hospitals and clinics refuse to take patients, who don’t have the money to pay for check ups and hospital visits. Again, it is not to say that all Black American mothers are disadvantaged or poor but the ones who are tend to have a hard time having access to healthcare.
What can be done to help alleviate the rates of infant mortality and maternal health in the United States?
There is a program called Save the Children is a non profit, global organization that seeks to alleviate the causes of poor maternal health. Save the Children factors in things that plays a role in the rates of infant mortality: maternal health, children’s well-being, and education, economic, and political status. This is factored in and compared the number of deaths of infant mortality and compared it with other nations. That was how the rate of infant mortality was measured in the United States. These statistics were implemented so that this organization can help law makers and legislation pass laws that help reduce infant mortality and improve the maternal health of mothers living in the United States and other countries around the world.
What do I think one should do to improve maternal health for women in the United States?
I believe that there needs to be a reform of the healthcare system in the United States of America. Many people, who are poor, don’t have the money to pay for checks at a local clinic or pay for hospital visits. Often times, many states don’t offer paid maternal leave for working mothers. This puts women at risk for losing their jobs and not being paid during the time that they are off because many employers expect their workers to be present at work at all times. And pregnant women can’t offer to be working at all times especially when they have to think about how working can put the health of their fetus at risk. Personally, I believe that there should be a type of healthcare insurance available for people of low income bracket to attain so that this type of insurance can help pay for health related costs. This way, people of lower income bracket can have access to adequate healthcare and be able to afford check ups from the doctor and hospital visits.
I also believe that American should have a paid maternal leave for working mothers. Paid maternal leave would be an excellent step in ensuring that working mothers are still being paid while taking time off to rest during pregnancy. That way, these women don’t lose their jobs or miss a paycheck due to pregnancy. Having paid maternal leave also ensures that working mothers have enough money to pay for whatever living expenses that they are responsible for. Plus such benefits will be beneficial to the healthcare system in this country because it will ensure that the system is doing whatever they can to make sure that the health and livelihood of motherhood is protected and cherished above all.
Most of all, I believe that there are other and many other solutions to the problem of healthcare in this country. Some people have different solutions to this problem while others see it as a nonissue. At the end of the day, it is important that everyone has access to affordable healthcare and that their health is protected and covered by the government.
Links to the page: