North Dakota is the state with the sixth most people living in maternity care “deserts”
STACKER: Compared to other developed nations, the United States consistently ranks among the worst countries for maternal and child health outcomes. Birth outcomes are often linked to the circumstances of the birthing parents, leading to large disparities across geographic, demographic, and income levels.
Research has shown that access to prenatal care, family planning services, and other contraceptive resources decrease maternal and infant mortality. However, an increasing number of counties across the country are losing access to obstetric care. An aging population, limited staff, and low reimbursement rates for Medicaid patients are factors that have made rural hospital maternity units expensive to operate.
Stacker Following The March of Dimes definition from a desert of maternity care, including counties without hospitals with obstetric care, OB/GYNs, or certified nurse midwives. To identify the affected counties, Stacker analyzed the area health resource files of the Health Resources and Services Administration and combined this data with county-level birth data collected by the National Vital Statistics System to calculate how many births in each state are to parents living in maternal health deserts.
Also Used Stacker Population data from the 2020 census to calculate what percentage of a state’s population lives in counties without access to maternal health care. Although maternal health care deserts have a disproportionate impact on people ages 15-44 who may become pregnant, Stacker used population data across all sexes and ages to include county-level demographic data and compare more deeply racial disparities.
Read on to learn about the challenges facing maternal health care in your state and how state policies and community-driven programs aim to bridge rural and demographic health care disparities, or search the national list. therme.
North Dakota in numbers
– Percentage of births in the state to parents living in maternal health deserts: 19.7% (2,072 births)
– Population living in the maternal health desert: 21.1%
— 21.6% of the state’s white population
— 3.8% of the state’s black population
— 36.0% of the state’s Native American population
— 15.6% of the state’s Hispanic population
— 7.4% of the state’s Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander population
— 6.7% of the state’s Asian population
In 2016 from North Dakota Health Assessment Report, the state outlined priority areas to address maternal and child health, including reducing tobacco use among pregnant people, increasing the rate of breastfeeding, and reducing disparities in child mortality. Data from 2014 to 2018 showed that Native American babies in the state were twice as likely to die as white babies. North Dakota Native Americans were also less likely to receive maternal care in the first trimester than whites, and at least 6% of pregnant Native Americans received no prenatal care at all.
Even in areas with access to maternal care, other challenges such as poverty, limited transit, lack of insurance, and systemic racism can put families at risk of poor maternal and child health outcomes. CDC estimates show that 60% of pregnancy-related deaths in the US are preventable, but inadequate treatment and identification of health risks contribute to hundreds of maternal deaths annually.
Pregnant Black people face disproportionate risks when giving birth. The infant mortality rate for black children in the US is twice the rate for white children. Maternal mortality rates show similarly bleak patterns, with 44 deaths per 100,000 live births among blacks compared to 17.9 per 100,000 live births among whites.
Read on to see the states that have the most and fewest people living in maternal health care deserts.
States where most people live in maternal health care deserts
#1. Mississippi: 23.6% of the state’s births to parents living in maternal health care deserts (8,484 births)
#two. South Dakota: 23.2% of the state’s births to parents living in maternal health care deserts (2,715 births)
#3. Kentucky: 22.4% of the state’s births to parents living in maternal health care deserts (11,821 births)
States with the fewest people living in maternal health care deserts
#1. California: 0.3% of the state’s births to parents living in maternal health care deserts (1,127 births)
#two. New York: 0.3% of the state’s births to parents living in maternal health care deserts (730 births)
#3. Arizona: 0.4% of the state’s births to parents living in maternal health care deserts (311 births)
This article originally appeared on Stacker and was distributed through a partnership with Stacker Studio. This article has been republished pursuant to a CC License for NC 4.0.