6 Major Causes of Maternal Mortality in India


6 Major Causes of Maternal Mortality in India

Pregnancy, while a beautiful journey for many, can be a period of physical and mental troubles for some. An increased risk of pregnancy complications can even lead to maternal death. In India, pregnancy-related complications are among the top reasons for death among girls who are in the age group of 15 to 19 years.

If you wish to find out more about the maternal mortality rate in India, what causes death during childbirth, and the causes of maternal mortality, keep reading.

Meaning and Causes of Maternal Mortality

Let us now understand the definition of maternal morbidity. The word ‘maternal’ means mother or motherly, and mortality or morbidity here stands for death. Said to be a health indicator, maternal mortality refers to the death of a woman due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth or during the postpartum period. While some experts consider that maternal death includes only the death that happens within 42 days of the baby’s birth, some suggest that this period cannot capture the deaths correctly. They believe that while the body may return to normal in 4 to 6 weeks, there are many women who take more time.

There is generally more than one cause of maternal morbidity. A high-risk pregnancy can lead to maternal death, and the reasons can be many. From inequities in health care to older-age pregnancies, the causes of maternal mortality in India are varied.

Most Common Cause of Maternal Mortality in India

In a number of cases, pregnancy-related infections, postpartum haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, unsafe abortions, hypertensive disorders and pre-existing illnesses can make things difficult for the mother. However, sometimes, there cannot be a warning, and death can occur during pregnancy or during delivery.

Listed below are some of the major maternal mortality causes in India:

1. Hemorrhage

Excessive bleeding during childbirth or the postpartum period is a leading cause of maternal mortality. It can result from complications like placenta previa, placental abruption, or uterine atony.

2. Infections

In a country like India, where medical services are scarce, especially in rural areas, poor hygiene, inadequate prenatal care, and unclean birthing practices can be a direct cause. Women are more prone to infections when they are carrying a baby. Infections can spread during pregnancy and the postpartum period and lead to maternal mortality.

3. Other Health Issues

If a woman is already suffering from any pre-existing ailments such as anaemia, malnutrition, diabetes, high blood pressure or any hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, there is often an increased risk in pregnancy and childbirth.

4. Advanced Maternal Age

The risk in pregnancy can increase with age. While a number of women over the age of 35 have healthy pregnancies, in obstetrics, such pregnancies are termed advanced maternal age.

5. Covid-19

In the years 2020 and 2021, Covid played a key role in maternal deaths.

6. Cultural and Social Reasons

Even today, cultural practices, traditional beliefs, and social norms can influence maternal care. Familial pressures and lack of resources can also deter women from seeking medical assistance. Poverty and lack of education and awareness can further hinder access to proper healthcare and contribute to maternal mortality.

>> Also Read: Benefits of Maternity Health Insurance: Pre and Post Hospitalization Coverage

Maternal Mortality Rate in India

There is some good news when it comes to the maternal mortality rate in India. As per the reports of the RGI, Registrar General of India, there has been a 10-point fall in the maternal mortality rate. The maternal mortality rate formula India is the number of maternal deaths during a specific time period against 100,000 live births during the same time period.

In states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, there has been a 15% decline in the mortality rate. With a continued plunge, achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) will be possible for India. Under the SDG, India aims to bring the maternal mortality ratio below 70 per 1 lakh live births by the year 2030.

While there is no certainty about maternal deaths, in most cases, they are preventable. Both central and state governments, along with initiatives by UNICEF, are working together to ensure that proper equipment and infrastructure can be made available.

Let’s Conclude

Post a maternal death, in some cases, the baby may survive. However, even then, there is loss, fear and guilt for the other parent and the whole family. While complications in pregnancy can arise without warning, proper care and hygiene can play a role in keeping the mother and her baby safe.

If you or a loved one is planning to start a family soon, investing in suitable maternity health insurance is highly recommended. With Joy Maternity Health Insurance by Care Health Insurance, you can get coverage for all kinds of pregnancy and delivery-related expenses. The right coverage will ensure that you do not have to make compromises when it comes to your loved one’s health and well-being.

We wish you good health and a long life!

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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Q.What are the chances of dying while giving birth?

You can easily buy the mediclaim for high BP online. Go to the Care Health Insurance website, click "Care Freedom," and enter your details on the form. You get the quote with a premium amount. You can pay online through our secure payment gateway and get the policy document online.

Q.What is the waiting period in mediclaim for diabetic patients?

According to data from the United Nations, over 3 lakh women die every year while giving birth.

Q.What is the maternal mortality rate in India?

Sadly, India is a major contributor to maternal deaths globally. Together, India and Nigeria account for ⅓ of the global deaths. While there has been a steady decline, MMR in 2017 was 107.


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