Maternal mortality and disparities growing in Mississippi

Maternal mortality and disparities growing in Mississippi

Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, praises the Mississippi Black Women Roundtable legislative agenda including expanding postpartum coverage for Medicaid recipients from the current 60-day term to 12 months , Thursday, January 26, 2023, during a press conference at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson. As a mother of three, Lampkin cites her personal experiences as proof of the need for more maternal health care and support. Credit: AP Photo / Rogelio V. Solis

Death from complications during pregnancy has become more common in Mississippi, and racial disparities in the health of those giving birth have increased, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health. In recent years.

The Mississippi Maternal Death Report showed an 8.8% increase in maternal mortality between 2013-2016 and 2017-2019, with the latter being the most recent period analyzed by the researchers.

Black, non-Hispanic women have four times the rate of white, non-Hispanic women. Meanwhile, the rate increased by 25% for Black women while decreasing by 14% for white women. Afterward mother death directly related to pregnancy, 87.5% were identified as preventable.

The grim numbers come as the state is expected to have more births each year as a result of a US Supreme Court ruling last summer that overturned the Roe v. Wade in 1973, which established nationwide constitutional protection of abortion. The court used a case in Mississippi to overturn the case, a legal effort that state leaders have hailed.

Mississippi’s Republican-controlled state legislature is debating whether to extend Medicaid coverage from 60 days to a year after birth, a policy backed by the State Health Officer. state, Dr. Dan Edney and several other leaders.

“It is imperative that we take care of our most vulnerable populations right now,” Edney said in a statement. “This is the only way we can move Mississippi health condition at the bottom of the chart.”

Governor Delbert Hosemann has also supported expanding postpartum coverage, a view that puts him at odds with House Speaker Philip Gunn, a Republican.

Maternal mortality and disparities growing in Mississippi

Cassandra Welchlin, executive director of the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable, speaks to reporters during a group news conference in which they presented their legislative agenda including expanding coverage of protection. postpartum coverage for Medicaid recipients from the current 60-day period to 12 months, Thursday, January 26, 2023, at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson. Credit: AP Photo / Rogelio V. Solis

“We won the pro-life case and now we don’t want to take care of our mother? I can’t understand how you can make that kind of argument,” Hosemann said at a press conference on 18. January.

State senators voted last year to extend it, but it failed in the House of Representatives due to Gunn’s objections. The speaker said this year that he would only support it if it was supported by the state’s Medicaid Division.

To compile the report released Thursday, a committee of doctors and nurses looked at 93 deaths, 40 of which were determined to be pregnancy-related. It found that 42.5% of identified maternal deaths occurred more than 60 days but less than a year after birth.

In addition, the committee found that 82.5% women those who died from pregnancy complications between 2017 and 2019 were Medicaid recipients.

According to the report, most deaths among black, non-Hispanic mothers are due to cardiovascular disease. Edney says increasing access to healthy foods can reduce the incidence of health problems that lead to cardiovascular disease.

Supporters from the Mississippi Black Women Roundtable, a advocacy groupgathered on Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to expand postpartum coverage.

“Women of color in our state have the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the country,” said Cassandra Welchlin, the group’s executive director. “We will not only change policy, but also save precious lives.”

At a legislative hearing on January 13, Edney said the state doesn’t have the health force to deal with many of the poor’s problems. Health result. Mississippi has the nation’s highest fetal mortality, infant mortality, and preterm birth rates.

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