Despite the advances in medical science, about 700 mothers in the United States die from pregnancy or childbirth complications every year.  These deaths are painful in indescribable ways. A day that should have been full of joy, welcoming a new life into the world, is instead filled with agony for everyone involved. The family and friends of the mother who died suffer such overwhelming grief, but they are not the only ones affected by the tragedy.
In the background, there are doctors and nurses who had tried to defy the odds. Although they hide their grief to look professional, they still feel it deeply. One doctor posted a heartbreaking story on a now-deleted Facebook post about a mother who died while giving birth.
Doctor Writes About a Mother Who Died in Childbirth
“Today is the saddest day in my life,” he wrote. “As a doctor, I have dealt with many pregnant women and whenever I am in the labor room, I pray to G-d to protect and bless all mothers. The pain of a woman in labor is intolerable and does not just involve carrying the child for nine months, but the birth of a new life as well. Today we cried bitterly, we lost a woman.”
He went on to tell the woman’s story. She had wanted to conceive for 14 years and had “tried all treatments including injections and artificial insemination.” When she finally became pregnant, the good news was enwrapped with bad news. She was suffering from a large tumor.
“When she was pregnant, this tumor began to melt and everything was fine,” the doctor wrote. “During the time of delivery, the husband rushed to me and stayed for seven hours until we decided to cut her abdomen. She carried her child in her arms and smiled and then departed. The mother died and the child lived, her husband fainted at the news of her death.
“How did this happy day turn into a tragedy?”
He ended his post with a powerful message about respecting mothers for all of their endurance and sacrifice.
“Please respect women because they are dying to bring you new life,” he said. “If you suffer the pain of childbirth for hours and spend long nights raising your children, it is the greatest sacrifice. If you do not talk to your mother for any reason, please go and contact them now. Show your love for women and respect them.” 
Why Do Women Still Die in Childbirth?
Unfortunately, most of these maternal deaths are preventable with the right medical care during pregnancy and birth. These lethal complications include infections and severe bleeding after birth — which are the two most common fatalities. There’s also high blood pressure, obstructed labor, and unsafe abortions.
The majority of maternal deaths in the world happen in developing countries. Two-thirds occur in sub-Saharan Africa, while India and Nigeria account for one-third. Therefore, it’s no surprise that most mothers die in poorer locations with inadequate or inaccessible healthcare. Some women are forced to rely on their relatives to help them through childbirth instead of a health professional. They may also live far from a health center and be unable to pay for transportation.
Adolescent girls are at particularly high risk due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth (because their bodies are not developed enough to give birth) and due to unsafe abortions. Despite efforts to end child marriage, 7.3 million babies are birthed by mothers under 18. Additionally, 18 of the 20 countries with the highest number of child marriages are in Africa, which also has the highest numbers of mothers dying during childbirth and pregnancy. 
How to Prevent a Pregnancy-Related Death
A woman’s body goes through many changes when pregnant. All of this is normal, but it’s important to be on top of them if there are complications. As said before, many of these deaths are sadly preventable. There are many ways to improve the health outcomes from a pregnancy. So it’s important for women to maintain healthy lifestyles by keeping a healthy diet and weight, staying active, stopping substance abuse, etc. Health issues should be dealt with before conceiving. And they should receive good medical care consistently throughout the pregnancy. 
To decrease these maternal mortality numbers, experts recommend more education on the importance of getting medical care during pregnancy and childbirth and teaching health workers how to discern potential complications during labor. Additionally, there needs to be more quality healthcare for women of reproductive age and expecting mothers. 
- “Women dying from pregnancy and childbirth is still a problem in the United States, CDC report shows.” CNN. Jacqueline Howard. January 30, 2020
- “Doctor shares heartbreaking photos of mum who died in childbirth.” Kidspot. Madeline Cox. April 5, 2021
- “Why do women still die giving birth?” The Guardian. Liz Ford. September 24, 2018
- “Reproductive Health: Pregnancy-Related Deaths.” CDC. February 26, 2019
- “Maternal mortality.” WHO. September 19, 2019