91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Report: 66 Michigan women died from pregnancy-related causes between 2011 and 2015

Charlie Davidson
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Michigan is rated near the middle of all 50 states in regard to maternal mortality. But officials say this ranking is likely due to high reporting rates in the state.

A new report on maternal deaths in Michigan says 66 deaths between 2011 and 2015 were related to pregnancy.

The report, issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, also says black women in Michigan are three times more likely to have a pregnancy-related death than white women.

Michigan is ranked 27th out of 50 states in its rate of maternal mortality. But Lynette Biery, director of Michigan’s Bureau of Family Health Services, says this ranking is likely due to Michigan's strong commitment to collecting data on this subject.

She says other states are just beginning to report maternal deaths at the rate that Michigan does.

“Are we truly in the bottom half?” she said. “Or are we in the bottom half because in Michigan, we have a 60-plus year history of going out there and beating the pavement and finding all the cases?”

Biery says the MDHHS and other state and local partners are developing a strategy to improve mother and infant health in Michigan to help address inequities and preventable deaths.

The plan will build off of the different initiatives already in the works around the state.  

“When that work launches, we're being simply more intentional about bringing all the different clinical and public and community-based services together,” she said.  

Maya Goldman is a newsroom intern for Michigan Radio. She is currently a student at the University of Michigan, where she studies anthropology and writing. During the school year, Maya also works as a senior news editor and podcast producer for The Michigan Daily.
Related Content