As US maternal mortality rates rise, California's fall: 3 takeaways

While the U.S. maternal mortality rate has risen from 9.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in 1999 to 22 in 2013, California's rate is only 7.3 per 100,00, according to Vox.

The U.S. is one of only a few developed nations to see its national maternal mortality rate rise in that time, partially due to a lack of research on what causes deaths related to pregnancy. However, Stanford University has created the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative in an effort to identify the most common problems that occur during childbirth and institute standardized protocols to address them.

The collaborative includes physicians, nurses, hospital administrators and researchers who collect data and distribute it to physicians in an effort to cut down on unnecessary surgeries or other procedures that might lead to an increased risk of maternal mortality.

While California has shown an interest in lowering maternal mortality rates, almost half of states do not formally review causes of maternal death in order to find if they were preventable. On the federal level, the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics hasn't published an official investigation into rising maternal mortality rates since 2007.

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