Death during childbirth is unusually common in the United States compared to the rate in other developed nations, making it a serious concern for expectant Maryland mothers. Once common, the problem declined greatly in the 20th century thanks to advances in modern medicine. In the last 25 years, however, the number has been rising in the United States.
The rate of women who die due to childbirth has risen from less than 8 deaths per 100,000 births in 1987 to nearly 19 in 2013. From 2003 to 2013, the United States was one of only eight nations to see its rate of deaths due to birth-related complications rise. One theory about why this is happening is that the maternal death count is more accurate now than it once was. States have changed their coding systems for death causes over the years, but this does not fully explain why the number of birth-related deaths continue to rise.