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Why are More Black Women Dying in Childbirth?

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Yolanda Sangweni for Essence: While America marvels at supermoms like Kate Gosselin and Octomom, new findings from New York City and Amnesty International show that when it comes to giving birth, many Black women aren't so lucky -- and are increasingly dying in childbirth. Reading these statistics, I thought: Dying in childbirth? Really? In one of the world's most industrialized nations? It can't be.

And yet new statistics are slowly revealing a truth we may not want to face -- namely, that a lack of proper healthcare and higher rates of obesity, diabetes and C-section complications are putting Black women at a greater risk of pregnancy-related death.

In New York City, recent vital statistics on maternal mortality show that Black women are eight times more likely than White women to die in childbirth. That's 79 in every 100,000 Black women dying, compared to 10 in every 100,000 White women. Nationwide, Black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth, according to Amnesty International -- despite the U.S. spending more money on maternal health than any other country in the world.

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