Like Shalon, nearly 700 women die each year in the U.S. as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. 1  More than 60% of these deaths are preventable. 2 During pregnancy, health complications are extremely serious, but health risks remain after giving birth. Post-delivery care is incredibly important as nearly half of all pregnancy-related deaths occur within 42 days of the end of pregnancy. 3 Shalon sought care but her pain and symptoms were not heard and instead were considered a normal part of the postpartum experience.
Black women die at three to four times the rate of non-Hispanic white women from pregnancy-related complications.4 Hypertensive disorders are a leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths.5 Listening to every woman is a critical and invaluable component of improving health outcomes.
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The Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care wishes to thank all of the families who participated in the Voices of Impact project for their willingness to share their experiences with us.

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