The United States has the highest rates of maternal mortality and morbidity among all developed countries, with significant disparities by race, ethnicity, and geography. Critically, most maternal deaths are preventable. The inequities in maternal mortality and morbidity are largely caused by social exclusion, economic disadvantage, and political or geographic marginalization, which are embodied throughout not just a person’s life but also across generations.
This paper discusses actions that can be taken to address individuals’ health and social needs, while also addressing the root causes of inequities. The authors highlight promising programs at the local, community, state and federal levels as well.