A Louisiana man’s Facebook post about his fiancée dying after giving birth comes days after many shared the story of a neonatal nurse who died hours after holding her newborn.
On May 10, Jean-Luc Montou posted on Facebook that the mother to his newborn "didn't make it." Montou said Sarah Bertrand was "fine" up until 24 hours after she gave birth when he said she went into cardiac arrest.
“I loved this woman like no other and she died in front of me while I held our son,” he said in the post.
Doctors told Montou Bertrand died from a pulmonary embolism from a blood clot that formed during labor.
These stories are igniting more conversations around the fact that the U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. A study in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology shows the rate of maternal deaths increased by 27% between 2000 and 2014.
Women in the state of Texas are dying of pregnancy-related ailments at a higher rate than the rest of the country and even most other industrialized countries.
A report by the CDC Foundation says nearly 60% of U.S. maternal deaths are preventable. Leading causes of death cited by the report are cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), hemorrhage, infection, mental health conditions, preeclampsia and eclampsia, and blood disorders.
ProPublica and NPR's investigation shows states, which are responsible for mortality reviews, don't have the proper resources to make necessary changes.
Elliott Main, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford and the University of California-San Francisco who witnessed a maternal death, shared with ProPublica and NPR how he developed "toolkits" to improve maternal emergencies.
“Prevention isn’t a magic pill,” Main told them. “It’s actually teamwork [and having] a structured, organized, standardized approach” to care.