With the right care, it’s very possible Gibson and her infant would have survived. But without a skilled birth attendant, Gibson’s delivery played out in a way that is all too common among women around the globe who give birth: death by hemorrhage.
In the United States, a nation that spends more on health care than its industrialized peers, Black women die from pregnancy-related causes at rates three to four times higher than their white counterparts. Though they generally have less access to prenatal care and health insurance, Black women also have more frequent and longer antenatal hospital stays. They are more likely to experience pregnancy loss or complications when compared with whites and Hispanics.